Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Veteran Suicides: Making money or making a difference?

Who are you really helping?
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 21, 2018

There is a huge disconnect between the military/veteran communities and the communities where they call home.

The good news is civilians want to help. The bad news is they still don't know what is really helpful, instead of what is popular. In this case, the proof of what civilians don't know, is worse than nothing.

$125,000 rip off
The scheme involved collecting donations for two fraudulent organizations, the “Wounded Warrior Fund” and the “Wounded Warrior Foundation” – both plays on the legitimate Florida-based Wounded Warrior Project, according to the indictment, unsealed Friday.
The article on Stars and Stripes had this other detail,
The four are also accused of getting free hotel rooms, gift cards and restaurant meals, ostensibly for veterans’ families. They are charged with defrauding more than 1,000 victims over six years, the indictment said.“Everything they did was for personal use,” Richard Ferretti, special agent in charge of the Louisville field office of the Secret Service, told Stars and Stripes. “No veteran’s family that we found as of yet has benefited from the money solicited.” 
And there was this guy, reported by ABC 10 News 

MIAMI - A U.S. Marine who worked under former Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado was arrested Wednesday after he and a friend were accused of stealing $300,000 of donated items meant to help military veterans in need.
And this one reported by Daytona Beach News Journal

An Ormond Beach man has been accused of running a sham veterans charity after investigators said he scammed several local businesses that had provided services for a benefit golf tournament headlined by a former NFL player. Christopher Blake, 46, faces a felony charge of organized scheme to defraud after he received donations and services under the guise of a charity called “Second Chance Veterans Foundation,” Volusia County sheriff’s detectives said.Blake held a late October golf tournament at DeBary Golf and Country Club where he brought in a friend, retired NFL football player Gerald Riggs, to be the star. But the golf course, a sign maker, a hotel and even Riggs were left empty-handed after Blake paid them with bad checks for their services or tried to skirt payment entirely, according to a charging affidavit. 
And then there are things like this reported by POLITICO

Veterans Charity Raises Millions to Help Those Who’ve Served. But Telemarketers Are Pocketing Most of It. Levite says he protested, but Hampton ignored him. He hired another telemarketer, Outreach Calling, to assist a related veterans nonprofit he runs out of the same office. This telemarketer — which the New York attorney general’s office says is run by a man they banned for life from fundraising in New York and remains under investigation — kept $9 out of every $10 raised.
This could go on and on, but you get the idea. Americans love our veterans but maybe we should love them a little less and stop long enough to check to see where the money is going before we donate. Are they really helping veterans or themselves?

After all, for all the money that went to people claiming to be helping veterans, had gone to groups actually making a difference, IT WOULD HAVE HELPED THE VETERANS NEEDING IT!