Sunday, July 15, 2012

What does Wounded Warrior Project do for the wounded?

UPDATE July 22, 2012
Here's a great example of how the events they do are sponsored.

Wounded Warriors hit the surf at Camp Pendleton

CAMP PENDLETON – About 15 wounded combat veterans got their first taste of surfing Saturday, as the Wounded Warriors Project teamed up with Doheney Longboard Association, Hobe Surf Shop and Quicksilver to host a fun day at Sanford Beach on the Camp Pendleton Marine base.

The day started with surfing lessons and included barbecue, with volunteers and families relaxing in the sun while their wounded warriors received surfing lessons. Each surfer was given a longboard, along with a wetsuit, and more than 30 volunteers were on hand to assist the beginner surfers.
click link for more

What does Wounded Warrior Project do for the wounded?
Chaplain Kathie

I get involved in a lot of conversations regarding Wounded Warrior Project and most of them turn out to be bad. While they have a great PR campaign and corporate sponsors like Brawny showing up lately on top of what A and E is doing, no one seems to know what they do for the money they are getting.

Here's a look at what they say they are doing so that you can judge for yourself if this is a good place to send your money or not.

What does Wounded Warrior Project do?
Who does Wounded Warrior Project™ serve?
The WWP mission is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors who incur service-connected wounds, injuries and illnesses (physical or psychological) on or after September 11, 2001. You may also be eligible for the program if you are the spouse or family member and joining on behalf of a warrior.

Where is WWP located? Do you have a location near me?
We're a national organization and offer services to warriors throughout the nation, regardless of whether WWP teammates are in your area. We have field staff across the country and maintain offices in:
Chicago, Illinois
Fayetteville, North Carolina
Jacksonville, Florida
New York, New York
San Diego, California
San Antonio, Texas
Seattle, Washington
Washington, DC

Why don't you offer services to ALL veterans?
WWP began as a small, grassroots effort to provide immediate assistance when a warrior of this generation was injured. We felt we could do the most good by providing more comprehensive programs and services to the newly injured, rather than spread ourselves too thin by trying to help all veterans. We also knew there were many terrific veterans' organizations for warriors from previous conflicts, but very few focused on serving our newest generation.

Other than the backpacks, what type of services do you provide?
WWP provides more than 13 programs to Wounded Warriors and their families, in addition to numerous services and valuable resources. Please visit our Program page and browse all our offerings that are categorized by Mind, Body, Economic Empowerment and Engagement.

What percentage of my donation goes directly to Wounded Warriors?
We continuously strive to keep administrative and fundraising costs associated with the operation of WWP as low as possible. Based on our FY2010 audited financial statements ending September 30, 2010, 82% of total expenditures went to provide services and programs for our Wounded Warriors and their families. We're proud to far exceed the Better Business Bureau's minimum standard of $0.65 for every dollar. We're consistently working to improve our efficiency and better serve warriors.

This is from an interview with Raytheon.

Beyond Backpacks: The Story of the Wounded Warrior Project
Last Updated: 05/09/2012
Adam Silva
Chief Development Officer
Wounded Warrior Project

It all began with a car full of care packages. Nine years later, the Wounded Warrior Project® has grown into a $130 million charity offering a raft of programs for veterans injured in the wars since 9/11.

This month Raytheon has launched a Twitter campaign, Hashtags for Heroes, aimed at rallying support for the Jacksonville, Fla.-based group. In this interview, Wounded Warrior’s chief development officer, Adam Silva, explains how the organization began, what it does and where it’s headed.

How did the Wounded Warrior Project start?

We were founded in 2003, shortly after the push into Afghanistan.

Our founders recognized that we had men and women who were being taken off the battlefields with severe wounds and injuries. We knew they were going to come back to hospitals without basic comfort items like a medicine kit, shorts, underwear, socks, a sweatshirt.

And so our first executive director, John Melia, came up with the idea to create a backpack and put comfort items in it. He drove to a local Wal-Mart, bought all the backpacks they had, filled them with a bunch of comfort items, packed his car, drove up to Walter Reed (Military Medical Center) and started handing them out.

About two days later the people at Walter Reed called him up and said, “You know what, we need 50 more. When can you come back?”

How many backpacks have you given out since then?
We have distributed somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 backpacks. Our transition care packs are another 34,000. That’s for warriors that aren’t necessarily evacuated to a stateside hospital.

But now you offer many more programs to veterans, right?

Empowerment starts at the bedside with just a simple gift, like a backpack. But it also means walking them through the myriad of programs so that ultimately you’ve got a wounded warrior who’s well adjusted in mind, body and spirit.

We now have 18 programs and services, everything from wellness retreats to job training.

How many veterans have you helped?

Our active alumni database just eclipsed the 17,000 mark. That includes all kinds of help: people who have gone to our Restore Warriors website for some help with post-traumatic stress, people who came to an event or a leadership summit, or someone we helped with filing a benefits claim.

These services are needed partly because so many more U.S. soldiers are surviving their injuries than ever before. What’s behind that trend?

The everyday foot soldier on the ground is being trained so effectively at combat, life-saving medicine that they’re literally saving their brothers and sisters who otherwise would have died. That’s the first thing.

Then you’ve got warriors wearing body armor, where in past conflicts it was something that you could either put on or not put on. So now we’re seeing more instances of double, triple and even quadruple amputations than we ever did in the past.

What about combat stress?

There are estimates that 400,000 men and women are going to suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress as a result of their deployments.

So when you try to paint a picture of a cause that’s going to go forward for years to come, those are numbers that are very important.

Post-traumatic stress, or as we call it, combat stress, can manifest itself immediately or it can take years — if not decades — to manifest. If it’s gone untreated or undiagnosed, that’s where the bigger problems can come in. They lead to the inability to keep a job, unemployment, homelessness, spousal abuse, substance abuse.

That why it’s so important for us to engage the Wounded Warrior alumni so we can try to get them in and at least expose them to the programs and services we offer. We treat emotional and brain injuries just as seriously as we do physical wounds.

Where does your funding come from?

Our support comes from the American people. We don’t accept any federal or state money in any way. So 100 percent of our donations are private, whether they come from individual donors or corporations like Raytheon.

Raytheon has really been kind of a pioneer for us at WWP, stepping up to the plate and saying, “Look, we’ve seen what you guys are doing. We’re obviously in the business of helping warriors fight more efficiently. We want to support you.”

They came to us with very little agenda and very little expectations, even after they did a tremendous amount of homework on us.

Do you also advocate on veterans' issues?

Our mission statement is actually to honor and empower wounded warriors. A big part of that is to elevate the discourse and the dialogue about veterans’ issues as a nation. That’s the honor part.

Can you tell us about the Hashtags for Heroes campaign?

We’ve been able to do some really creative things in the last year and a half with our corporate partners, everything from QR code scans on the back of a ketchup bottle to using Facebook to create a call to action for supporters.

So when Raytheon, being such a technologically advanced company, came to us and said, “Hey, let’s look into doing some stuff with Twitter,” we were thrilled. It’s really a home run for us.

This is their tax report September 30, 2011

Here is the breakdown of what this report has. The $89,466,336 listed as Program Services goes to:
Media ad value $41,630,358
Salaries $8,869,206
Consulting and outside services $5,548,329
Advertising $8,680,552
Postage and shipping $2,724,686
Direct mail $2,419,282
Meetings and events $4,640,963
Travel $2,577,577
Payroll tax and benefits $2,366,948
Grants $3,035,031
Promotional items $2,666,894
Occupancy $816,099
Depreciation $673,939
Office equipment and services $790,534
Telephone $400,305
Miscellaneous $153,167
Supplies $428,585
Organizational and membership fees $474,775
Printing $220,550
Professional fees $57,324
Insurance $84,478
Education and development $88,683
Utilities $67,736
Books and subscriptions $50,365

When you look at their other page you also see
Management and general at $4,727,106
Fundraising at $13,883,984

Net assets for the end of the year was $30,357,444

When you look up the "program" services Wounded Warrior Project offers for PTSD


The Alumni program provides long-term support and camaraderie for Wounded Warriors through events, discounted services, and an online community. No dues here - you paid those on the battlefield. We have a wide range of complimentary programs and events designed to give you the ongoing support you need to heal from your experiences. Since many fellow warriors face similar challenges, our Alumni program provides warriors with long-term support through communication, events, and networking.

In addition to all WWP programs and services, WWP alumni have access to the following benefits:

Alumni Events & Activities - Throughout the year you can participate in Alumni sporting events, educational sessions, personal and professional development summits, and recreational activities. Since helping others is instrumental in the healing process, as an alumnus, you may also support activities and events for newly injured service members.

Veterans Advantage - By being an active WWP alumni, you are entitled to receive a free membership with Veterans Advantage, which offers discounts on various services and products. Upon your verification as a WWP alumni, a membership card and introductory letter will be mailed to you. Your Veterans Advantage membership remains active as long as your contact information is updated annually with WWP. Learn more. WWP Connect™ - This exclusive online community allows alumni, caregivers, and WWP staff to share information, support, and resources including updates on programs and events, photos, and blogs.

WWP Resource Center provides warriors and their families/ caregivers with information on available programs and services to meet their needs. The Center is equipped to help warriors and caregivers identify resources to meet a range of needs. Call 888.997.2586 today! Experiencing a crisis?

The Veterans Crisis Line connects veterans in crisis and their families and friends with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline or online chat. The website offers additional valuable resources. Visit the website Locate additional resources.

The National Resource Directory (NRD) connects wounded warriors, service members, and veterans, as well as their families and caregivers with services and resources at the national, state, and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation, and community reintegration.
Search now

A few more thoughts on this.

Adam Silva said that they began in 2003 "after the push into Afghanistan" but that is odd since troops were sent into Afghanistan in 2001 and into Iraq in 2003.

He said they have "18 programs and services, everything from wellness retreats to job training" but their tax filings under Program Services lists only 5

Warriors to Work with expenses at $4,180,581
Transition Training Academy with expenses at $1,780,277
TRACK with expenses at $4,447,842
Campus Services with expenses at $1,056,198
Warriors Speak with expenses at $1,853,265

These programs are part of the total expenses listed above.

In addition to the breakdown of expenses to account for the $89,466,336, they also list Supporting Services expenses at
Management and General $4,727,106
Fundraising $13,883,984.

I almost forgot to mention what got me started on this today. I was drinking my first cup of coffee when I came across this press release,,,,,,

Tax Defense Network Participates in the Wounded Warrior Project

Tax Defense Network spent two weeks raising funds through employees and their families for the Wounded Warrior Project. See how well the company did.

JACKSONVILLE, FL, July 15, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- As of May 1st, there were 6,436 casualties, 48,011 wounded soldiers, 320,000 soldiers with traumatic brain injuries, and 400,000 soldiers with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder estimated in those who served our country in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Tax Defense Network has a long history of assisting many military men and women and their families with their tax problems, but felt compelled to get involved in helping wounded veterans coming back from combat to give America's heroes the happy lives they deserve.

Tax Defense Network spent two weeks raising funds through employees and their families for the Wounded Warrior Project. Employees were encouraged to donate to the worthy cause, and were rewarded with the option to wear casual clothes to work for certain contribution levels. Tax Defense Network offered employees the opportunity to wear jeans for a day with a $5 donation, jeans for a week with a $20 donation, shorts for a week with a $25 donation, and any sized amounts were rewarded with red, white, and blue starred necklaces.

Inspirational and informative emails were delivered company-wide about the many ways that the Wounded Warrior Project helps our returning soldiers. Their services include:

Combat Stress Recovery

Family Support

Transition Training

Workforce Placement

Adaptive Sports Events

Engagement with Other Wounded Warriors and Peer Mentors

Upcoming: Two education facilities located in Jacksonville, FL and San Antonio, TX.

Employees proudly donated a total of $1246 to the wonderful cause, while Tax Defense Network continues to look for ways to assist military men and women and their families.

For more information, or to find out how you can get involved with the Wounded Warrior Project, contact the organization's Jacksonville, Florida, office at 877-832-6997.

Tax Defense Network is a national tax debt relief firm, which has assisted thousands of taxpayers resolve their tax debt with the IRS for over 10 years. Tax Defense Network's high standard of ethics has helped it maintain an "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau, and its contributions to local and national charities has given it a reputation as a company that truly cares about its clients and community.

Here's something that Wounded Warrior Project has done.

The Wounded Warriors Project represents approximately 17,000 Wounded Warriors in the U.S. and overseas.

“Golf is very near and dear to the Wounded Warriors Project’s heart. It’s a sport that allows veterans with several disabilities to get out and still be competitive and have a good time and to do a sport,” said Marine Cpl. Andrew Music, who is from Downers Grove, Ill.

This article reports that "volunteers" did this.

Then there is this.

Wounded Warriors to investigate the paranormal
Wounded Warriors will be led on a ghost hunt this weekend at a mansion outside of Beeville.
By Julie Silva
Posted July 14, 2012

CORPUS CHRISTI — Wounded warriors will be led on a ghost hunt this weekend at a mansion outside Beeville.

Many have said footsteps and music can be heard throughout the Berclair Mansion, built in 1936 by Etta Wilkinson Terrell. Saturday night, about 15 wounded soldiers will investigate the home for themselves with Golden Crescent Paranormal, an investigation team based in Victoria.

“It’s a novel idea, never been done before,” said Rob Calzada, founder and lead investigator for Golden Crescent Paranormal.

Sgt. Brian Neuman, regional director for the Wounded Warrior Project, said the organization is focused on honoring and empowering wounded soldiers while helping them adapt. Ghost hunting is an unusual request, but Neuman said if the wounded warriors are interested in something, the organization will do it.

“We want to be very careful about situations that we put warriors into,” Neuman said. “From the warriors’ perspective, they’re really just excited about it, but it’s not for everybody.
read more here

And yet another fundraiser,,,,

Soldier Ride to Yankee Stadium set for Wednesday
By Spencer Fordin

The Wounded Warrior Project will bring its Soldier Ride to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

One of America's most prestigious sporting venues will play host to some of the nation's great heroes next week. The Wounded Warrior Project will bring its Soldier Ride to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, allowing the local community to show its support for the country's soldiers at home and abroad.

Soldier Ride began in 2004 as part of a cross-country pledge drive by civilian Chris Carney, who rode coast-to-coast on his bicycle and raised more than $1 million for the Wounded Warrior Project. Carney rode again in 2005, this time with veterans, and an annual tradition was born.

The project expanded to seven regional rides in 2007, and President Bush welcomed a group of Wounded Warriors to the White House the following year. President Obama also recognized the effort, inviting the members of the Washington D.C. Soldier Ride to the White House in April.

click link above for more.

This commercial showed up on TV even though it was done last year. In it notice that no one is talking about what Wounded Warrior Project did or plans to do for this wounded soldier. They talk about his courage. They talk about the care he received in the hospital. So what does Wounded Warriors plan on doing with the $19 a month they are asking us for?