According to Webster: “bun·co,” n., A swindle in which an unsuspecting person is cheated.
According to Webster: “proj·ect,” (in context) n. A plan or proposal; a scheme. See Synonyms; …
Synonyms for Project; “idea, design, scheme, strategy and enterprise.”
According to Webster: “char·i·ty,” (in context) Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
(Steven Nardizzi – New York lawyer – Non-Vet).
As a combat veteran of Vietnam with a patriotic heart as well as a Purple Heart, I feel that I’m more qualified to comment, and/or, provide (my opinion) on the effects, and/or, aftermath of military combat
On November 12, 1965, I was temporarily residing in a self designed hollow in a harvested peanut field thirty-five miles northeast of Saigon when my breakfast was interrupted by a barrage of mortar rounds directed in protest to my presence.
On that day I became a “wounded warrior,” for which I would sometime later be compensated with a…
Question: Am I proud of my Purple Heart?
The truth; “not particularly,” and with that said, I would like to clarify. I am and have always been proud to be an American and I am proud of my service to America. Albeit as the reality of being wounded and taken “out of service,” and/or, having “lost” to my opponent is not (in my humble opinion), an event to brag about.
When my thoughts drifts to the things that I’m most proud of, I ponder my accomplishments, not my failures. Not that the Viet Nam war was my failure, that one, like our current fiasco in the middle east is one hundred and twenty percent on our inept “representatives” in Washington.
(Barack Obama – President – Non Vet).
According to Webster: “in·ept,” (in context) adj. Displaying a lack of judgment, sense, or reason; foolish.
Being the responsible person that my parents raised, after a short sabbatical to take advantage of the free beers that my celebrity as a wounded Vet provided, I returned to work at my old job with Lockheed, bought a car and rented a place to take off my shoes after work without once pondering the ideal of participating in an anti-American group to protest the war as our current “Swift Boat” Secretary of State John Kerry chose to do.
But then I had no designs on becoming a politician, working for a living served my father well and who doesn’t want their father to be proud of them?
But enough about me and folks that were raised to believe that the world didn’t owe them a living, i.e., conservatives.
Let’s delve a bit into the folks that take advantage of others and I’m not just talking about the “Steven Nardizzi’s” of the world, I’m talking about the greed and self-serving folks that dominates our current society across the board.
The people that literally bet their lives in the New York Stock Exchange, the Dow and the NASDAQ.
Then we have the technoids in a race to destroy humanity.
According to Webster: hu·man·i·ty (in context) n., Charity and benevolence.
Moammar Qaddafi did not meet his demise from a beating or a bullet, he met his demise from a cell phone.
Question: Do cell phones kill?
Question: So who’s responsible?
Our society under the guidance of irresponsible progressive politicians over the last sixty years has evolved from reason and common sense into anarchy in every sense of the word.
According to Webster: “an·ar·chy,” (in context) n., Political disorder and confusion.
Question: What is corruption?
Better than my opinion, why don’t you continue reading and decide for yourself…
Controversy Surrounds Wounded Warriors, Lavish Salaries, and White House
By Ryan Schuette…
April 25, 2014.
Last week, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki welcomed wounded veterans to Soldier Ride, one in a series of cycling events that the Wounded Warrior Project organizes every year.
The White House rollout was one of 19 the Florida-based nonprofit plans to hold with amputee veterans, whom it equips with adaptive bicycles specially made to fit each veteran’s specific handicap.
The South Lawn kickoff on Thursday was the fifth for the Wounded Warrior Project and represents its ascension to a place in the national spotlight that other charities can only covet.
Left unmentioned at the media-friendly reception with the president was a lawsuit in the works against a disabled Indiana veteran who claims the Wounded Warrior Project didn’t do much for wounded vets with the more than $150 million in revenue it raised in 2012.
The defendant, Ret. Staff Sgt. Dean Graham, a veteran of combat operations in Iraq with diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, first criticized the charity in a blog post he made last year, with claims the Wounded Warrior Project spent little on wounded vets and paid senior execs lavish salaries.
The post appeared on the now-defunct website for Help Indiana Vets, his own tax-exempt charity, which he says he had to shut down in the wake of the lawsuit.
That was a post heard around the world. Graham’s claims quickly ricocheted around the Internet, with numerous blogs including Veterans Today, a news website and benefits forum, publishing his article and amplifying a Google search that now pulls up 84,000 results for the phrase “Wounded Warrior Project scam.”
The charity subsequently filed charges against Graham in December that accused the vet of defamation and unfair business competition, alleging that his post confused donors and led to a $75,000 drop-off in contributions.
“I didn’t say anything false about them,” he maintained in an interview for IVN. “They want to send a message to every other person who wants to speak out against [the Wounded Warrior Project].”
Michelle Roberts, a spokesperson for the charity, said that Graham “had been saying things for quite some time. We ignored it until it got to a point where there was a final post… that was so egregiously false and defamatory that we began to get questions. It was creating confusion in the minds of the public.
“At that point we decided we couldn’t sit by and ignore it anymore,” she added.
IVN enlisted the help of three sources with years of experience in the nonprofit sector to conduct an in-depth review of the Wounded Warrior Project’s fundraising and expenditures over the time period in question.
To including a former controller for the United Nations Foundation and distinguished Columbia University professor went on the record.
A common claim that circulated in posts after Graham published his is that the Wounded Warrior Project spent just 3.5 percent of the whopping $154 million it raised on veteran programs and services in 2012.
Sources for IVN helped vet the tax filings to verify that this simply isn’t the case. The 3.5 percent comes from roughly $5.5 million the charity made in grants to nonprofits, but the bulk of its expenditures, more than $69 million, directly funded in-house programs and services in the course of that fiscal year.
Of the $69 million, the Wounded Warrior Project spent 27 percent on direct-assistance support that included representation for hard-to-get Veterans Affairs benefits, physical rehabilitation services, and combat stress recovery.
Another 19 percent funded educational and vocational programs that the charity says helped vets acquire IT skills, enroll in college, and learn to navigate the workforce.
That year, the Wounded Warrior Project allocated the rest of the $69-million in-house budget for the Soldier Ride (8%), caregiver support (6%), backpacks for recovering veterans (3.5%), and in-hospital visits by other vets that it says cultivates a “hospital buddy” system (2%).
The value was less clear with $17.4 million the charity fronted for an alumni association and $1.1 million for another initiative that it said helped vets “communicate effectively.”
Taken together, that brings the total amount spent by the Wounded Warrior Project on programs and services to roughly $75 million. The expenditures amount to roughly 48 percent of more than $154 million in revenue it counted for the 2012 fiscal year.
With $95 million in program-related expenditures, that brings the total amount that the charity spent on services for vets during the 2012 fiscal year to roughly 61 percent, less than 73 percent it said went toward vet assistance, (but much closer to 58 percent), a number the Tampa Bay Times reported in an independent investigation last summer.
That beats the claim that the Wounded Warrior Project spent only a small amount on veteran programs.
But that doesn’t end the criticism. Some point to the money left over by the end of the fiscal year as evidence that the charity could be doing more for beneficiaries, and that it’s using small donor contributions to put up lavish salaries and bonuses for senior executives.
‘A Beacon of Light’ …
Graham asked why the Wounded Warrior Project wound up with more than $90 million in net assets by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
The charity’s net assets in fact skyrocketed by nearly 200 percent from about $30 million in 2011, benefiting a restricted endowment.
By the same token, the vet said he financed his own charity with more than $27,000 in Veterans Affairs benefits and gave nearly all of it to the 50 Indiana-based veterans he claims he assisted.
According to Graham, he provided cash assistance that came to include Wal-Mart and QuickPay gift cards and donations that he said helped struggling vets with rent.
“Everyone donates and thinks [their donations are] going to our wounded veterans, but when you have so much in net assets, it looks like they’re setting up an escrow account,” he told us.
Doug White, who teaches fundraising and board governance at Columbia University, dismisses the idea that charities should spend everything it brings in on beneficiaries.
He went on to praise the charity’s 109-percent jump in revenue from 2011 to 2012, going so far as to bill it a “beacon of light” in a still-limping post-recession giving climate for nonprofits.
The Columbia University professor found it striking that the charity had so much in net assets on hand by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
“It’s a great thing on the face of it,” he added. Yet another accusation is that the nonprofit pays its executives salaries and bonuses that rival corporate sums. Records show that the Wounded Warrior Project paid 10 senior executives more than a combined $2 million in salaries, benefits, and incentive pay in 2012.
Less than a fourth of it came out to $400,520 in bonuses for those officers.
CEO Steven Nardizzi walked away with $311,538, a third of it in bonus pay, an amount Charity Navigator says comes out to less than 1 percent of total operating expenses in 2012.
The base pay for the execs didn’t bother Calvin Harris, a certified public accountant and former United Nations Foundation controller, now president of Maryland-based Change Management.
His own salary as onetime CFO for a vaccine-development nonprofit was roughly the same as the payout for the officer working in the same role for the Wounded Warrior Project.
What raised a flag for the consultant was the bonus pay, plus a $21-million payout to the charity’s 248-member staff, especially given that it paid more than $1 million to consult with a professional fundraising firm that year.
Impact Hard to Measure …
The Wounded Warrior Project justifies the compensation as equivalent to the salaries, benefits, and incentive pay comparable to what others receive for the same roles in the private sector, and all the more necessary to keep talent from shipping off.
But underlying all of that is a question that White calls the “holy grail” for nonprofits, businesses, and any service undertaking whatsoever:
What’s the real impact for beneficiaries, and can it be broken down into hard, verifiable numbers for the public?
“When we talk about charities and how effective they are, we have to think really quantitatively,” he told us. “We have to question what we mean by effectiveness.”
The Wounded Warrior Project doesn’t doubt its effectiveness. The charity’s website lays claim to supporting 398 vets and their caregivers, placing 320 wounded veterans in jobs, and bringing out 156 vets to Soldier Rides in 2014.
For a nonprofit that Guidestar reports brought in close to $235 million in revenue in 2013, numbers like those seem curiously low. Still another question is raised by just how some of the services that it funded actually helped veterans recover from post-traumatic stress or rehabilitate from combat-related wounds.
Close to a fourth of the nonprofits that received $5.5 million in grants used theirs for recreational activities like amputee surfing, kayaking, fishing, and horse therapy.
This follows lockstep behind $5.7 million for the Soldier Rides that netted so much publicity value at the White House South Lawn in April.
What’s unclear is what role, if any, cognitive therapy plays in activities like these likely to involve veterans with ongoing disabilities and therapy needs, a question made perhaps more urgent with a report by Forbes last year which found that approximately 22 vets commit suicide on average every day.
Asked whether recreational activities can benefit vets with debilitating disorders like PTSD, Carole Lieberman, a clinical faculty member with UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, says yes, but with a caveat.
“Sports and outdoors events—especially when they are enjoyed with other vets—can be very beneficial to [the vets’] mental health,” she said. “However, these cannot take the place of psychotherapy.”
And with Carol Lieberman’s statement I conclude my reprint of Ryan Schuette’s article on the IVN website.
Anyone wishing to read more of Ryan’s article can do so at;
As for my personal take, and/or, (opinion), I direct you once again to Webster’s definition of charity.
According to Webster: “char·i·ty,” (in context) Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity.
The wounded warriors project sounds an awful lot like a (business) to me an being an individual who has managed a successful business more than once, I can “unequivocally” testify that (benevolence and generosity) towards others and towards humanity are not part of the equation in producing a profit.
Truth forges understanding, I’ll be back tomorrow