Long term unemployment is seeing more women and citizens of color forced into service when they would not have chosen this path.
REBUILDING OUR LOCAL, DOMESTIC ECONOMIES IN ALL US CITIES IS THE STEP TO ENDING AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF CLOSE TO 35% FOR US CITIZENS.
Friday, Feb 21, 2014, 3:34 pm
The U.S. Military’s Assault on Overseas Labor Rights
BY Michelle Chen
In 2012, the Tazreen factory fire killed 112 people. Strewn among the wreckage were garments labeled for sale in various U.S. retailers—including those run by the military. (STR / AFP / Getty)
A six-foot gash in the wall; charred corpses strewn amid the rubble of a collapsed building; families mourning nameless civilian casualties. Such tragic scenes are historically associated with the aftermath of military aggression, but these days, they also reflect a different kind of military assault—on labor rights. In Bangladesh, Uncle Sam is making the world less secure for workers, one sweatshirt at a time.
The U.S. military is notorious for being an ethically challenged institution, tainted by corruption and innumerable human rights violations at home and abroad. Now, a watchdog group says the military's clothing businesses are aiding and abetting massive labor exploitation overseas.
As we reported in January, major branches of the armed forces run an extensive apparel manufacturing network that contracts with U.S. firms and overseas factories through its procurement system—business deals with private companies to produce military-branded goods, such as Marines-logo sportswear. These patriotic-themed fashions are then sold through military-run retail outlets known as exchanges, which operate as mostly self-funded businesses and are therefore considered outside of the standard Defense Department budget (though, as a Pentagon operation, they are also taxpayer-supported).
These exchanges have established basic labor codes for contracted overseas producers, covering issues such as child labor, wages, hours, collective bargaining rights and safety. But as research by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) shows, the military has displayed malign neglect when it comes to enforcing those codes, particularly in the garment manufacturing hotbed of Bangladesh, where sweatshops are rife.
The report, which ILRF released in mid-February, documents an epidemic of safety threats at factories that have supplied apparel to military exchanges: missing fire extinguishers, combustible materials kept near hot machines, a massively cracked factory ceiling, underpayment of wages and forced labor conditions. Physical or verbal abuse is commonly heaped upon workers, many of whom are women who have migrated to urban areas from rural communities. Workweeks at one factory lasted up to 80 hours.
At Citadel—a known producer for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) that employs about 700 people in its factory near Dhaka— a "social compliance" audit conducted by a specialized industry auditing organization found that half of workers did not wear protective dust masks. About two-thirds did not even wear shoes. ILRF investigators found that although the exchanges claimed to have verified the labor code compliance of these factories, they repeatedly left issues like these unaddressed.
In some cases, according to the ILRF, the exchanges blatantly ignored third-party accounts of the conditions in their supplier factories. For instance, the report states, “in several cases in this report, the Marine Corps Exchange requires only a factory self-attestation that it is ‘in compliance with all applicable labor laws’ with no substantiating evidence to support this claim." And even when the exchanges took the time to actually review third-party factory audits, the ILRF continues, the auditors themselves had often overlooked safety hazards and other workplace problems.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the various scandals in the fashion industry over big-name brands that profit off of sweatshop labor. In the past, activist and media investigations have revealed that factories supplying Western fashion brands, both private and military, have repeatedly received passing audit grades despite clear evidence of substandard working conditions.
And when auditors do report problems, companies often fail to take corrective action. At one of the most notorious disaster sites in Bangladesh, the Tazreen factory, past Walmart-commissioned audit reports of the factory had revealed major safety problems. However, these issues apparently went ignored until the factory caught fire in late 2012, killing 112 people. Garments bearing the Marine Corps-licensed brand were also found in the ruins.
Because of this reliance on third parties, ILRF Senior Policy Analyst Bjorn Claeson tells In These Times via email, “In terms of oversight, the military exchanges are, in effect, 'flying blind,' sourcing their private-label clothing from factories in Bangladesh without taking any independent action" on safety and labor issues.
When indisputable evidence of violations emerges, he adds, “The military exchanges again rely entirely on the private sector retailers to address violations. They assume private sector retailers will deal adequately with the problems and do not themselves take responsibility for workers to have safe, decent workplaces."
At the Citadel factory, according to the report, AAFES based its approval of the facility on an audit done by Walmart, which has also sourced from Citadel. But attached to the probationary “passing” grade were documented safety violations “in every health and safety category, including missing fire certificates,” along with a one-year reprieve to allow for making improvements. Although AAFES had clear access to the information about the conditions, the IRLF states, it “did not raise concerns about the range of health and safety violations with the factory.”
In a response published in the ILRF report, an AAFES official, Gregg Cox, argued that its standard procedure of relying on third-party auditor ratings, along with subsequent follow-up inspections, was sufficient to verify compliance of factories like Citadel—a position that the ILRF sees as deeply inadequate for ensuring real protection for workers.
Meanwhile, any potential systemic improvement is also hampered within the factories themselves, thanks to an overarching climate of hostility to labor organizing and political oppression. One worker quoted in the ILRF report spoke of the consequences of organizing under the global manufacturing system's culture of silence: “Even if they break the laws, or the production quotas are too high, or we have too long working shifts we can’t raise our voices ... If we raise our voices we’ll be fired.”
The report also quotes testimony gathered by the Worker Rights Consortium from workers at the Coast to Coast factory, another supplier for AAFES, in which interviewees recalled a longtime finishing worker reportedly being fired after he spotted a fire in the boiler room and pulled an alarm. “Now, workers say they would be afraid to sound the alarm if there was a fire in the factory,” researchers report.
The ILRF report reveals how the Pentagon, despite its vast budget, rigid command structure and supposed culture of discipline, has repeatedly failed workers in poor countries at the dregs of the export market. Nonetheless, the ILRF argues the military must both take responsibility for its current factories and use their massive economic and political clout to set higher standards.
“Military exchanges have an obligation and an opportunity to define a new standard for social responsibility in their supply chains. With the support of the Administration and Congress, they can set an example through their procurement of private-label apparel and prod other brands that they sell in their stores to follow,” the report concludes.
Late last year, Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) proposed legislation to compel military exchanges to follow stricter labor standards, including the provisions of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Though the initiative has stalled, public pressure has made some inroads: The Marine Corps licensing authorities recently announced they would adopt the Accord. And the ILRF and other labor advocates continue to campaign for greater accountability in the military's supply chains. Some lawmakers are currently pushing measures to expand congressional oversight of all the exchanges' compliance with fair labor standards.
If the military is so invested in selling its brand, its public-relations strategy ought to include protecting the workers who stitch its fashions from turning into collateral damage.
Keep in mind US military personnel over the last few decades under global pols have been sorely used------it is with casual disregard that they are displaced the this NEW WORLD ORDER private global military corporate force. Our VETS deserve the wages and benefits they signed up to receive----health care, education, housing----and Clinton/Obama neo-liberals are posing progressive when they push all these bills they know will be lost in the same corporate fraud, corruption, misappropriation, and mismanagement.
The article below is too long to post----with videos that are good----please Google this article to read in total.
A legacy of pain and pride
A nationwide poll of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reveals the profound and enduring effects of war on the 2.6 million who have served
More than half of the 2.6 million Americans dispatched to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan struggle with physical or mental health problems stemming from their service, feel disconnected from civilian life and believe the government is failing to meet the needs of this generation’s veterans, according to a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The long conflicts, which have required many troops to deploy multiple times and operate under an almost constant threat of attack, have exacted a far more widespread emotional toll than previously recognized by most government studies and independent assessments: One in two say they know a fellow service member who has attempted or committed suicide, and more than 1 million suffer from relationship problems and experience outbursts of anger — two key indicators of post-traumatic stress.
AFTER THE WARS:
This story is the first in a multi-part series examining the effects of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on the 2.6 million American troops who served and fought. Find the full results of a nationwide survey of active-duty troops and veterans here.
The veterans are often frustrated with the services provided to them by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Pentagon and other government agencies. Almost 60 percent say the VA is doing an “only fair” or “poor” job in addressing the problems faced by veterans, and half say the military is lagging in its efforts to help them transition to civilian life, which has been difficult for 50 percent of those who have left active service. Overall, nearly 1.5 million of those who served in the wars believe the needs of their fellow vets are not being met by the government.
“When I raised my right hand and said, ‘I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America,’ when I gave them everything I could, I expect the same in return,” said Christopher Steavens, a former Army staff sergeant who was among 819 vets polled. He served in Iraq in 2003 and in Kuwait two years ago, where he was injured in a construction accident. Upon leaving the Army last summer, he filed a claim with the VA, seeking medical care and financial compensation. He has not yet received a response.
I wanted to look at employment issues for VETS but before I do let's look at how Federal unemployment stats are skewed under Clinton/Obama neo-liberals. When the US economy was humming last century all but 4-7% of Americans were working. Industrial America-----WW 2 America-----social Democratic New Deal America-----War on Poverty America-----all had US economy the strongest ever-----full employment----workers earning strong wages and benefits----home-ownership------broad small business economy ----and corporations earning millions in profit.
THAT WAS THE US ECONOMY FOR SEVERAL DECADES OF LAST CENTURY.
Then the Robber Barons installed their pols yet again----the Robber Barons brought the economic crash and Great Depression with massive systemic Wall Street fraud and government corruption back then as is happening today. Reagan/Clinton were the tag team Robber Baron pols-----when Clinton brought Reagan Republican neo-liberalism to the Democratic Party-----Bush created the neo-conservatives as the Republican global corporate Robber Barons. When these global pols installed all that global market/breaking the Glass Steagall banking wall policy needed for this next Robber Baron Wall Street fleecing of America -----mass unemployment hit and this time citizens were finding it harder and longer to find a job. Today, we have a huge class of citizens called THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED. Black citizens especially in US cities have felt this since Reagan/Clinton. White citizens now through Bush/Obama.
The point is this------Federal unemployment stats tied to people losing their jobs and receiving unemployment benefits used to reflect REAL unemployment figures. People lost a job and were able to find another in weeks. Then cities hit hard with corporations moving overseas saw that window of re-employment grow larger and larger ----and now Federal unemployment stats tied to unemployment benefits were not working for black citizens in urban areas. Then white workers were seeing their unemployment become long-term so through later 1990s------to today-----tying unemployment to unemployment benefits NO LONGER REPRESENTS WHAT REAL UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE US IS and yet, they still use this Federal unemployment benefit figure. That is why when they say unemployment is 5%-----it is not-----the real unemployment including long-term unemployed is 25-35%. This figure is skewed more heavily for returning VETS ----REAL unemployment is high.
U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate Lowest Since 1979
04/06/2013 09:55 am ET | Updated Jun 06, 2013
By PAUL WISEMAN and JESSE WASHINGTON
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a full year of fruitless job hunting, Natasha Baebler just gave up.
She'd already abandoned hope of getting work in her field, working with the disabled. But she couldn't land anything else, either — not even a job interview at a telephone call center.
Until she feels confident enough to send out resumes again, she'll get by on food stamps and disability checks from Social Security and live with her parents in St. Louis.
"I'm not proud of it," says Baebler, who is in her mid-30s and is blind. "The only way I'm able to sustain any semblance of self-preservation is to rely on government programs that I have no desire to be on."
Baebler's frustrating experience has become all too common nearly four years after the Great Recession ended: Many Americans are still so discouraged that they've given up on the job market.
Older Americans have retired early. Younger ones have enrolled in school. Others have suspended their job hunt until the employment landscape brightens. Some, like Baebler, are collecting disability checks.
It isn't supposed to be this way. After a recession, an improving economy is supposed to bring people back into the job market.
Instead, the number of Americans in the labor force — those who have a job or are looking for one -- fell by nearly half a million people from February to March, the government said Friday. And the percentage of working-age adults in the labor force — what's called the participation rate — fell to 63.3 percent last month. It's the lowest such figure since May 1979.
The falling participation rate tarnished the only apparent good news in the jobs report the Labor Department released Friday: The unemployment rate dropped to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 in February.
People without a job who stop looking for one are no longer counted as unemployed. That's why the U.S. unemployment rate dropped in March despite weak hiring. If the 496,000 who left the labor force last month had still been looking for jobs, the unemployment rate would have risen to 7.9 percent in March.
"Unemployment dropped for all the wrong reasons," says Craig Alexander, chief economist with TD Bank Financial Group. "It dropped because more workers stopped looking for jobs. It signaled less confidence and optimism that there are jobs out there."
The participation rate peaked at 67.3 percent in 2000, reflecting an influx of women into the work force. It's been falling steadily ever since.
Part of the drop reflects the baby boom generation's gradual move into retirement. But such demographics aren't the whole answer.
Even Americans of prime working age — 25 to 54 years old — are dropping out of the workforce. Their participation rate fell to 81.1 percent last month, tied with November for the lowest since December 1984.
"It's the lack of job opportunities — the lack of demand for workers — that is keeping these workers from working or seeking work," says Heidi Shierholz, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute. The Labor Department says there are still more than three unemployed people for every job opening.
Cynthia Marriott gave up her job search after an interview in October for a position as a hotel concierge.
"They never said no," she says. "They just never called me back."
Her husband hasn't worked full time since 2006. She cashed out her 401(k) after being laid off from a job at a Los Angeles entertainment publicity firm in 2009. The couple owes thousands in taxes for that withdrawal. They have no health insurance.
She got the maximum 99 weeks' of unemployment benefits then allowed in California and then moved to Atlanta.
Now she is looking to receive federal disability benefits for a lung condition that she said leaves her weak and unable to work a full day. The application is pending a medical review.
"I feel like I have no choice," says Marriott, 47. "It's just really sad and frightening"
During the peak of her job search, Marriott was filling out 10 applications a day. She applied for jobs she felt overqualified for, such as those at Home Depot and Petco but never heard back. Eventually, the disappointment and fatigue got to her.
"I just wanted a job," she says. "I couldn't really go on anymore looking for a job."
Young people are leaving the job market, too. The participation rate for Americans ages 20 to 24 hit a 41-year low 69.6 percent last year before bouncing back a bit. Many young people have enrolled in community colleges and universities. That's one reason a record 63 percent of adults ages 25 to 29 have spent at least some time in college, according to the Pew Research Center.
Older Americans are returning to school, too. Doug Damato, who lives in Asheville, N.C., lost his job as an installer at a utility company in February 2012. He stopped looking for work last fall, when he began taking classes in mechanical engineering at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
Next week, Damato, 40, will accept an academic award for earning top grades. But one obstacle has emerged: Under a recent change in state law, his unemployment benefits will now end July 1, six months earlier than he expected.
He's planning to work nights, if possible, to support himself once the benefits run out. Dropping out of school is "out of the question," he said, given the time he has already put into the program.
"I don't want a handout," he says. "I'm trying to better myself."
Many older Americans who lost their jobs are finding refuge in Social Security's disability program. Nearly 8.9 million Americans are receiving disability checks, up 1.3 million from when the recession ended in June 2009.
Natasha Baebler's journey out of the labor force and onto the disability rolls began when she lost her job serving disabled students and staff members at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., in February 2012.
For six months, she sought jobs in her field, brandishing master's degrees in social education and counseling. No luck.
Then she just started looking for anything. Still, she had no takers.
"I chose to stop and take a step back for a while ... After you've seen that amount of rejection," she says, "you start thinking, 'What's going to make this time any different?'
Please stop allowing global pols to 'keep US citizens busy with all the job training as they install International Economic Zone and Trans Pacific Trade Pact policies with a goal of sending all Americans into third world poverty---that is what this coming decade is about----and that is the NEW WORLD ORDER of Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons. Let's get back to being America-----and rebuilding our nation under US Constitution/Rule of Law/Equal Protection/ getting rid of corporate monopoly!
'Unemployment for Young Vets: 30%, and Rising'
I will end for now this discussion on VET policies by making a transition to my next topic------unemployment policy. We looked at the downsizing of the US public military and movement to a global corporate military force and the fact that US citizens are less and less likely to be staying in the military. This was a huge employment source for much of the rural south and for urban citizens so if US citizens no longer look to the military as the source of employment right out of high school-----we are seeing why the unemployment for young adults is soaring in the US and that extends to our young VETS. The article below is a good one but it uses those Federal unemployment stats not true to today's economy. The War in Iraq and Afghanistan sent lots of patriotic Americans overseas but all lasted so long that recruiting pools saw the youngest citizens joining in record numbers. They are the VETS today returning from long tours and as with the rest of American citizens they have not seen unemployment drop. We see lots of local news about businesses putting VETS to work----but the reality is just with all employment stats------the regions recruiting the most to serve-----the rural south and urban centers are in fact where unemployment is soaring. These are the US citizens now being run through all kinds of job training programs-----certification programs for years and not getting a job.
REBUILDING A LOCAL ECONOMY IN ALL US CITIES AND MOVING AWAY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ZONE POLICIES BRINGING GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES THAT WILL CREATE THE WORST OF JOBS IS A MUST. WE COULD HAVE HAD REAL UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY IF BUILDING A LOCAL ECONOMY WAS THE ECONOMIC POLICY GOAL.
Unemployment for Young Vets: 30%, and Rising
Posted by: Dan Beucke on November 11, 2011 at 3:45 PM
On Veterans Day in America, it’s sobering to realize just how badly the job market has turned against the men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their rate of unemployment was 12.1 percent in October, vs. 9 percent for the U.S. overall. But that only scratches the surface of the employment picture for vets.
Dig deeper into the pages of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data and it becomes apparent that while the job market is slowly improving for most Americans, it’s moving in the opposite direction for Gulf War II vets (defined by the BLS as those on active duty since 2001). The youngest of veterans, aged 18 to 24, had a 30.4 percent jobless rate in October, way up from 18.4 percent a year earlier. Non-veterans of the same age improved, to 15.3 percent from 16.9 percent. For some groups, the numbers can look a good deal worse: for black veterans aged 18-24, the unemployment rate is a striking 48 percent.
(The BLS provided us with hundreds of pages of data beyond what’s easily found on the Internet; if you want to analyze the numbers yourself, we’ve posted them for October 2011 and for October 2010 here.)
That 18-24 category only covers 320,000 veterans. I used BLS data to expand the bracket and calculate the rates for vets aged 18 to 34. Unfortunately, the trend still holds up: their jobless rate grew to 16.6 percent in October, from 12.6 percent a year earlier. For non-veteran men and women of that bracket, the jobless rate shrank, to 11.4 percent from 12.0 percent. The issue is not just that unemployment among young vets is high. It’s that if there’s even a limited jobs recovery, they are not sharing in it.
“The numbers don’t lie,” says Ryan Gallucci, deputy legislative director for the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington. “The new veterans are going into the unemployment pile.”
The “new” part is key. From age 35 on, for the most part veterans have a lower unemployment rate than non-vets. In surveys earlier this decade, veterans aged 25-34 also did well. The BLS released figures in 2005 that showed veterans in that age group with a lower unemployment rate than their peers (just 3.8 percent vs. 5.0 percent.) For 2008, the rate for vets 25-34 was just a shade above that for those who hadn’t served in the military. Now for that group it’s 11.7 percent, well above the 9.2 percent rate for non-veterans. What might be most worrying is that what’s happening with younger vets looks like a leading indicator: the cohort of veterans now entering the work force in the midst of the economic malaise may point to a future in which veterans are falling behind their peers.
Why would someone coming out of military service have a harder time finding a job? Think about the demographics of a young soldier. Most are men, and unemployment is worse now for men: 9.5 percent in October vs. 8.5 percent for women. Younger vets are coming right out of high school; the job market punishes those with less education. Many vets come from and return to rural and rust-belt areas that are struggling. And the cut-throat competition for jobs has been hardest on those out of work the longest; fair or not, eight years in the Army is viewed by some employers as eight years without private-sector skills and experience. At a job summit held by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs in September, Gallucci says, some companies said many vets have a hard time adjusting to corporate culture.
The skills issue is particularly troubling. Hiring is strongest in jobs that require specialized education, and weakest for blue collar jobs, says Stephen Fuller, a professor of employment and economics at George Mason University in Arlington, Va. Even military jobs that are in the right ballpark for growth industries — say, software or electronics technician — may involve specialization that doesn’t readily apply to Silicon Valley’s Web 2.0 or software-services jobs. Some military positions seem to line up perfectly with their civilian counterpart — think of an emergency medical technician or truck driver. But that doesn’t mean the soldier comes out with the required licensing. Someone who’s been driving an armored truck through the mine-strewn streets of Iraq still has to pass state driver certification.
How could it get worse? Let’s say the Congressional deficit committee fails to achieve a breakthrough in the next two weeks. The result will be $500 billion of automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget over the next 10 years. There are a number of ways that could play out, but the House Armed Services Committee estimated in September such an outcome would push nearly 200,000 additional soldiers and Marines onto the job market. The draw-down of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan is already sending more troops home.
It doesn’t help that a higher proportion of vets work for government (that’s even truer of disabled vets). That has been the hardest-hit employment sector recently. Over the past two months alone, 57,000 federal, state and local jobs have been eliminated. President Obama made it a priority for federal agencies to increase hiring of vets; 25 percent of all federal civilian hires in fiscal 2010 were veterans. At least at the state and local level, many vets move into police and fire jobs, which haven’t been targeted as much as, say, teachers.
Is there any hope? In a rare breakout of bi-partisan agreement, the Senate yesterday passed a bill that grants tax credits for companies that hire vets and overhauls job training and counseling. The House is expected to OK it next week. Daniel Indiviglio over at The Atlantic has analyzed the tax credits and found that while they may help some veterans find work, they probably won’t boost hiring overall. The job training changes, according to the VFW’s Gallucci, should make it easier for military jobs to translate into civilian certification.
In other words, it could help a little. Still, to quote George Mason’s Fuller, for vets “it gets worse before it gets better.”
For every article you read that says a charity is a fraud----you get those that say otherwise-----I think the voices coming from veteran's themselves are probably more accurate-------whatever the case----any pol that really cared about these VET issues has the power in each state to attack this problem of charity corruption and has the ability to rebuild VA structures so our VETS are not made charity cases.
The point is this-------citizens needing help get it through Federal programs and they are likely to not get help or not the quality they need when people are pushed to charity.
Stop Donating To The Wounded Warrior Project – They’re A Fraud
Posted by Tony Oliva on Dec 30, 2014
Update at the bottom
During this Christmas and New Year’s season the gift of charity swells in the hearts of many. And who better to benefit from that charity than those who have literally given life and limb for the freedom and liberty we possess today than the veterans who stood tall when their nation called on them?
When people donate money they expect that the majority of it will go to the actual cause and not line the pockets of some corporate hack or grease the wheels to enable extravagant parties. Unforunately, when it comes to the Wounded Warrior Project, the people who have been so generous with their donations have been bamboozled and the veterans in need have been placed, as one veteran put it, into a “dog and pony show.”
For full disclosure, I have been against the Wounded Warrior Project ever since they came out as being against the 2nd Amendment. That is not some perceived imagined slight, WWP has stated that as a fact. Via their director of public relations Leslie Coleman, the Wounded Warrior Project staked their position with regards to the 2nd Amendment thus after refusing to go on the Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk national radio show:
“While we appreciate the interest in having a WWP representative on your show on Veterans Day we are not able to participate in interviews or activities with media/organizations that are related to firearms.”
So basically, if you have anything to do with firearms, the Wounded Warrior Project doesn’t want anything to do with you.
Every since then I have told believers in the 2nd Amendment to take their donations elsewhere.
But now, I have discovered that on top of being against the 2nd Amendment, the Wounded Warrior Project is a legal scam in which the vast chunk of donations made to them go to executive salaries and lavish parties and the veterans they claim to help, by and large, are given trivial trinkets and used as fodder for photo ops.
During an interview with the Daily Beast, a double amputee veteran of the Iraq war spoke candidly:
“They’re more worried about putting their label on everything than getting down to brass tacks. It’s really frustrating.”
“Everything they do is a dog-and-pony show, and I haven’t talked to one of my fellow veterans that were injured… actually getting any help from the Wounded Warrior Project. I’m not just talking about financial assistance; I’m talking about help, period.”
Another soldier, Sam, an active duty soldier with Special Forces gave voice to what he sees as the problem:
“In the beginning, with Wounded Warrior, it started as a small organization and evolved into a beast. It’s become so large and such a massive money-maker…the organization cares about nothing more than raising money and “keeping up an appearance” for the public with superficial displays like wounded warrior parking spots at the Walmart.”
A veterans’ advocate spoke their concern stating:
“They’re laser-focused on making money to help vets, but forgetting to help vets. It’s becoming one of the best known charities in America—and they’re not spending their money very well.”
A second veterans’ advocate echoed that concern:
“It’s more about the Wounded Warrior Project and less about the wounded warrior.”
Ken Davis, a veteran from Arizona says that he is considered an “alumni” of the WWP even though he doesn’t want to be associated with the organization and that the WWP uses him to bolster their numbers fraudulantly. He questions the WWP:
“I receive more marketing stuff from them, [and see more of that] than the money they’ve put into the community here in Arizona. It’s just about numbers and money to them. Never once did I get the feeling that it’s about veterans.”
He could have used a ride to a VA facility for health care, he said. But rather than receive practical assistance from the WWP, he got a branded fleece beanie.
“They’re marketing, they’re spending money—but on what?”
Speaking of how the WWP spends its money, how does that break down?
Only 48 to 58 cents of every dollar actually makes its way to wounded veterans and as you read above, that could be spent on trivial nonsense orchestrated to bolster the WWP and not necessarily help actual veterans who are in need.
Think about that though…for every dollar you give them as much as 52% of it goes to their overpaid executives in either salary (the CEO Steve Nardizzi makes $375,000 a year) or their corporate infrastructure that includes vacations, parties and events.
One would expect to find such excess and bloating in the Federal Government but not in a charity that says it is there to help. More like they are there to help themselves and give only the meanest of help to those they claim to champion.
Let me make a comparison for you so as to illustrate how little of your donation goes to the veterans when you give to the Wounded Warrior Project, because maybe you think that 58% (I’m being generous) is a good amount and that an organization needs 40 plus percent to operate with.
While the Wounded Warrior Project circles the drain at the mid fifties when it comes to percentage of donation going to cause, another veterans charity, Fisher House has 95% of their donations going directly to help veterans. Fisher house receives top marks from charity watchdog organizations and is 25 times more efficient when it comes to fundraising than the Wounded Warrior Project.
Transparency, efficiency, nearly all the money going to veterans, no anti American sentiments…this is why, if the spirit of giving has touched your heart and you desire to donate to a charity that helps veterans, give to Fisher House. You will get more bang for your buck and will help out those in need instead of helping buy Steve Nardizzi another sports car.
So yeah…stop wasting your money by padding overpaid executives and give to organizations you know will spend the money on those in need.
I encourage you all to look into Fisher House and any money you were going to give to the Wounded Warrior Project, consider sending it them instead.