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Making Money on the Plight of Veterans

As a veteran, I am a more than a bit sensitive about those who would profit over the condition of veterans in the US especially since those who send those soldiers into combat have little regard for their plight once they return. The vultures circle in the absence of support. A particularly odious practice is forming a charity that spends an inordinate amount for overhead and salaries. This particular veteran oriented charity (Wounded Warriors Project whose logo apears above) advertises widely on TV with the help of celebrities who are either duped into or complicit in the charade. Reports surfaced about this outfit years ago and I understand the charity spent considerable funds to attack those who exposed their chicanery.

Note this piece (on the Wounded Warrior “charity”) in Alternet by Sarah Lazare entitled “Famous Charity for Veterans Accused of Inappropriate and Lavish Expenditures”. Excerpt: “About 40 percent of the organization’s donations in 2014 were spent on its overhead, or about $124 million, according to the charity-rating group Charity Navigator,” the Times reports. “While that percentage, which includes administrative expenses and marketing costs, is not as much as for some groups, it is far more than for many veterans charities, including the Semper Fi Fund, a wounded-veterans group that spent about 8 percent of donations on overhead.”

A review of charities is advisable for all of us prior to giving. A good source of information on charities is CharityWatch.org. That is why I refuse to give and complain to management about attempts to collect money from me at the cash register of any number of stores in Bellingham. These establishments may or may not vet these charities but even if they do their vetting may not be to the standards I would hold them to. These merchants seems to count on my being embarrassed into giving in that I am in line and in proximity to others who would overhear my refusal to give a mere dollar to save the _______ (fill in the blank). However well intentioned, this borders on shakedown.

In Whatcom County there is an excellent veterans self help group, Growing Veterans. Check it out. A chance to give locally to an award winning group.

[The Bellingham Herald ran a story from the NYTimes on the same topic that you can read here until such time as the article is no longer available on line.]

About Dick Conoboy

Writer • Member since Jan 26, 2008

Dick Conoboy is a recovering civilian federal worker and military officer who was offered and accepted an all-expense paid, one year trip to Vietnam in 1968. He is a former Army [...]

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