Sunday, January 31, 2016

What Connection Does Gen. Ray Odierno Have To Wounded Warrior Project?

UPDATE February 1, 2016
Wounded Warrior Project Board of Directors Issues Statement
The Board takes very seriously the concerns that have been raised in recent days and is in the process of retaining independent advisors to conduct a thorough financial and policy review of the concerns. We remain steadfast in our commitment to our warriors and supporters and will ensure that the organization is effectively fulfilling this important mission."
What they "do" is very vague so hopefully the "independent advisors" can clear that up. No one really knows what they are actually doing for the post 9-11 veterans but we do know they don't serve older veterans waiting even longer. If these veterans are "aiding and assisting each other, then why does WWP need all that money?
How Did Wounded Warrior Project Get So Big?
Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
January 31, 2016

In 2013 General Raymond Odierno was asked about the increase in soldiers committing suicide by David Wood during an interview for the Huffington Post.

This was his answer.
"Some of it is just personal make-up. Intestinal fortitude. Mental toughness that ensures that people are able to deal with stressful situations."

"But it also has to do with where you come from. I came from a loving family, one who gave lots of positive reinforcement, who built up psychologically who I was, who I am, what I might want to do. It built confidence in myself, and I believe that enables you to better deal with stress. It enables you to cope more easily than maybe some other people."

The problem is that he was head of the Army at the time. Left a pretty bad image of how the troops were really being treated especially in the Warrior Transition Units. It always comes down to the difference between what they tell us and what they actually do.

What does this have to do with all the reports about Wounded Warrior Project?

General Raymond Odierno's son, Anthony K. Odierno, is Board Chair, a combat wounded Iraq veteran. When I searched Charity Navigator for the report on WWP being put on "watch list" I discovered this.

"Odierno joined the WWP board of directors in 2009, serving as secretary from 2009 – 2013 and audit committee chair from 2011 – 2014. In 2014, he was elected to the position of chair."

Charity Navigator listed the CEO this way.
Steven Nardizzi Executive Director, Founder
But is he the founder?
Steve Nardizzi is a founder of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and currently serves as chief executive officer, overseeing all aspects of the organization. Before being promoted to this role in 2009, Steve served as chief operating officer.
Just a reminder, Nardizzi is not a veteran. With all the reporting going on it turns out that only about a third of the employees are veterans.

In the New York Times report on the scandal there was this about how it was founded and by whom.
The Wounded Warrior Project’s roots are more humble. Its founder, John Melia, was a Marine veteran who had been injured in a helicopter crash off the coast of Somalia in 1992. When wounded troops began returning from Iraq in 2003, Mr. Melia remembered how he had arrived in a stateside hospital with only his thin hospital gown, and began visiting military hospitals to distribute backpacks stuffed with socks, CD players, toothpaste and other items.

As the backpack project grew, Mr. Melia hired a few employees, including Mr. Nardizzi, a lawyer who had never served in the military but was an executive for a small nonprofit, the United Spinal Association, which served disabled veterans.

No one has been able to figure out how WWP went from that to that to this mega size charity. The question now should be if General Odierno had anything to do with it or not. If the accusations turn out to be true, they are far from new considering CBS had reported on most of this last year.

CEO responds after watchdogs give Wounded Warrior charity low marks
On the Wounded Warrior Project’s website, the charity says it spends 80 percent of its donations on its main services. But tax records show it also includes some fundraising expenses in that mix. Charity Navigator subtracts the fundraising and — in its most recent report — said the Wounded Warrior Project spends less than 60 percent on its services. The rest, according to Charity Navigator, went to fundraising and administration.

But as we've seen, not much has changed.  There are still a lot of other questions no one seems to have found the answers for. How did they get all the footage of wounded getting physical therapy? Are they doing it or did the DOD and VA let them use their wounded? If they are doing it then why don't they mention that in their commercials? When you think about it, they never really say what they are doing with all the money.

Charity Navigator Wounded Warrior Project
EXPENSES (Adjusted)
Program Expenses
Administrative Expenses
Fundraising Expenses

Wounded Warrior Project on Charity Navigator's watch list
CBS News
January 30, 2016

In another response to the on-going CBS News investigation of Wounded Warrior Project, Charity Navigator, a national evaluator of charities, put the country's most prominent veterans charity on its watch list.

Part 1: Wounded Warrior Project accused of wasting donation money
Part 2: Ex-employee: Wounded Warrior Project conduct "makes me sick"
Part 3: Charity watchdogs question Wounded Warrior's spending on vets

Wounded Warrior Project is facing criticism from more than 40 former employees about how it spends the more than $800 million it's raised in the past four years, reports CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.

CBS News asked Marc Owens, a former director of tax exempt organizations at the IRS, to review the Wounded Warrior Project's tax documents.

"What was your biggest concern in reading these forms?" Reid asked him.

"That I couldn't tell the number of people that were assisted. I thought that was truly unusual. If the organization is asking for money and spending money -- purportedly spending money -- to assist veterans, I would like to know," Owens said.
read more here

And if all that isn't enough for you, you can still get a credit card from USAA with their logo on it.
Make a Difference With the WWP USAA Rewards™ World MasterCard®
Show your support for WWP and its mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. USAA Bank will contribute to WWP five dollars for every new WWP USAA Rewards™ World MasterCard® account opened, one dollar for each renewal and 0.30% of each purchase. This excludes refunds, returns or cash and reward point transactions. Plus get a competitive introductory APR.

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