Wounded Warrior Project is a Fraud- Making Millions Off Disabled Veterans

Wounded Warrior Project is a Fraud

My first experience with the Wounded Warriors Project came in 2006, when I made several donations from between $200 and $500 to the organization. I was a stock broker at the time and my income allowed for such idiocy. I guess you could say that I had more money than I had sense, but more importantly, I gave the money because I felt that I needed to do something to take part in the war effort, and what better way than to provide financial assistance to those who were coming back from the wars in the Middle East maimed and wounded. At least that is where I thought the money that I was donating was going.

In 2007, I took a bigger step in doing my part in the war effort, by leaving behind the brokerage business I’d spent 8 years building, as well as that much nicer income, and headed off to basic training and airborne school at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where I became an Airborne Infantryman at 33 years old.

I later ended up manning a machine gun, from 2008-2009, for a convoy security mission team in Mosul, Iraq, when that city was Al Qaeda in Iraq’s last urban strong hold. My brigade and I managed to run the bas#*ds north into Syria, though many of those bas#*ds have been returning to Northern Iraq with new machine guns given them by U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama. (See related: Horrific Video Syrian Rebels Armed by U.S. Execute Civilians and Surrendering Soldiers).

As proud as I am of my service, I ended up spending 6 months in a Warriors Transition Battalion upon my return because of it. That’s military jargon for the equivalency of “Wounded Warrior Battalion.” Thus came my next personal experience with the Wounded Warriors Project.

While I was in the Warriors Transition Battalion, my novel “Serial Street” was published. I noticed at one of the events that the Wounded Warriors Project had at Ft. Lewis, where I was stationed as a wounded warrior, had various vendors set up, selling Wounded Warrior garb to raise money for disabled soldiers. I asked if I could go around with the local events and set up a booth and sell autographed copies of my new novel. I was summarily told “no” because doing so would represent a “conflict of interest.”

I didn’t understand how a wounded warrior making a buck or two at a Wounded Warriors Project event from selling a book he’d spent more than a year writing represented a conflict of interest, but in time, as public knowledge of the Wounded Warrior Project’s true, very much for profit operations grew, I began to understand loud and clear.

Dean Graham is a fellow Iraq War veteran and journalist. He writes for Western Journalism.com and he has summed up what the Wounded Warriors Project really is. He says it best in his own words, so I give them to you now:

The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) pays millions of dollars for commercials showing injured service members. Many were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (why?). I have talked to many Veterans who were promised many things from WWP and did not receive anything in return for the use of their likeness in commercials and print ads.

The commercials do not mention anything WWP does to help the injured service members. Listen closely to the commercials as they parade an injured veteran around like an injured animal. They pay famous actors and musicians to pull on the nation’s heart strings. Fox News takes millions in commercial revenue from WWP, along with A&E and other T.V. networks. I have written to Fox and others begging them to investigate for themselves. I imagine they too are blocked by a non-disclosure agreement.

WWP has many paid board members; this is not legal, according to their own company bylaws. WWP claims that only one board member is compensated. In addition, they have multiple board members and employees who are former Veterans Administration employees, including the former head of the Veterans Administration. This allows the WWP to tap into federal grants that may not otherwise be available. WWP has made sure to hire board members from high places to give credence to their claims. I beg to differ and believe most people will too.

WWP has twelve or more offices in seven states employing thousands of civilian employees and very few former veterans. These employees should be volunteers. Yet every dime they collect for their paycheck is on the back of an actual injured veteran who needs assistance. I called and talked with six different paid civilian employees, and all stated that WWP does not award any type of financial assistance. Injured Veterans do not want to go on trips very often; however, they do need financial assistance while going through their recovery.

WWP uses other non-profits and organizations to provide trips and special events. Why are they not using their own donations? I believe they have so many employees working on collecting donations and soliciting help from other organizations that the actual help to veterans is minimal in comparison to donations.

WWP uses Non-Disclosure agreements with actors and employees to keep them from telling the truth about where the money actually goes. One pilot who used to do Air Shows with them shared this information with me; he said the WWP wanted them to exit the room with donors so they could be in complete control of donations. He refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement because they were taking all the credit for the air shows he and others were performing.

WWP is a for profit business, working under the umbrella of a non-profit. I believe they should be exposed for what they really are; many caring people are duped into donating to WWP, believing their donations will really help injured veterans. No financial donations, no homes built, no material donations; and according to their own website and commercials, it is not clear exactly what they do. I know they help a handful of veterans by showing up at hospitals, throwing their logo on a veteran’s chest, and snapping a picture to look like they are helping wounded warriors.

WWP is a fraud created by former military members and former Veterans Administration employees that needs to be investigated immediately. They will not go quietly and have an army of lawyers on staff to punish all those who try to expose them. I leave it up to every American to investigate on your own; do not take my word for it. Tell your friends and relatives not to donate to WWP; just help a veteran directly.

Comments and questions can be directed to Dean Graham with Help Indiana Vets by calling (317) 610-9779 or emailing [email protected]

 

UPDATE EDITOR’S NOTE:

WWP Financials for their most current tax year can be found HERE, outlining corporate salaries, and overall expenditures. The circumstances surrounding the author’s experiences were not exclusive, and found to be two of a multitude of complaints once this article published. Many who were quick to judge and request “evidence” dismissed that this commentary was from combat veteran’s personal experience, and first-hand accounts. People must remember, not everyone is treated the same.

Charitynavigator.org (which is also a charity) Scores WWP an overall 54.39 percent out of a possible 70. Their figures for the organization are included in the provided link. When navigating through their comments tab, the amount of complaints against the organization from veterans is astonishing. Lastly, anyone seeking further information or “evidence” need only hit their nearest search engine…the results for “Wounded Warrior Project Scam” were over 100 thousand.
Charity Navigator Rating – Wounded Warrior Project.

Kevin Lake

Kevin E Lake is an Iraq War Veteran and an author. He has published five books. Please visit his store to check out all of his titles by clicking HERE!

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  • S. Jacobs

    I Questioned their strategy when I started to get made in China bribes. I stopped giving to this organization and now donate to DAV.

  • karen

    I. new. that this wasnt for wounded estropea. Dome one should go after someone

  • Teufelhund Or

    They also came out as almost anti 2A ….. frauds there are other more well deserved orgs that actually help wounded warriors..

  • Patriot

    That’s a pretty serious accusation, you ought to be horsewhipped if it isn’t true.

  • WOWinNY

    I hate watching their fraudulent commercials. They took 100 veterans a year to a major league baseball game.. none of this ever mentioned in their commercials pleading for money.

  • Ron

    I know they have always been there for me when I came home from Iraq with TBI 2009 and the military would not pay or help me with my bills and the wwp helped with the bills and they also adopted my family for Xmas if it was not for them my children would not of had one and as for the VA THEY could only help with my meds and therapy and yes I did call my local congress but we all now all the BS red tape there is my wife called everybody we could think of the only other ppl that helped was the VFW I belong to so I would give the wwp some credit or some time but as for me they are a big help.

  • George Sarge Pinchuk

    The same can be said about the DAV. I’m a life member of the DAV, and a 100% Service-connected Disabled Veteran. I was evicted twice, while going through the VA process of determination of disability. I asked for a loan, or any help I could get, to avoid eviction. I was told they didnt help Veterans in that way. The money donated to the DAV, does the same.. it pays for salaries and parties for volunteer drivers. I was a DAV volunteer driver for nearly 3yrs. The travel services they perform, are compensated by the VA; from the individual Veterans travel reimbursement fees. I haven’t even received the monthly newsletter or DAV magazine, for over a year. The DAV provides transportation services to appointments at VA hospitals and clinics. That’s it. The vehicles they use, are mostly donated by the large automakers. I went through this in 1998-99. I had surgery in 1999, and began driving for the DAV when I was able to walk again. The surgery was to remove a herniated disc from my back. I stopped driving for the DAV, when my meds were increased. A look at the financial statement in the monthly magazine is astounding!! They could do more if they wanted to.. but we
    ‘re a big business. I’m sick of these groups profiting from those that need it the most. Respectfully, George Pinchuk US Army – Ret.

  • Mike flood

    I have to disagree with this article, after two tours of duty, months of hospital stays, and then almost two years at the W.T.B in fort drum, all I can say is that one of the only things that I got to look forward to was these “trips”, I went fishing in the golf coast, went to a week long fly-fishing getaway to the Adirondacks that was so remote that we needed a float plane, and finally I spent a weekend in NJ on the beach, what I am saying is that after utter hell I was able to feel …. well human, for the first time in years I was able to enjoy myself, iv now been home for a year and a half and I STILL am in contact with everyone from the W.W.P, there not just there for trips, if I just need someone to shoot the shit, or I need advise, they are right there. If anyone doesn’t believe me, my email is [email protected], hit me up.
    Mike

  • PlaneGuy

    I was the Senior Vice Commander of a DAV chapter that would go unamed. Our chapter had a budget surplus… We also had a great, trustworthy Chaplain. We gave our Chaplain a bank account, and authorized him to use the money, at his discretion, to help veterans in need.

    This money was used to help disabled vets avoid eviction, avoid utility disconnection, or whatever our Chaplain deemed necessary.

    Every month he would come to the Executive Committee meeting and report any funds disbursed during the past month, and why. We would then replenish his account.

    We did this for a couple of years until the National HQ found out about it and said that it was not authorized, and chapters were not allowed to have a budget surplus. We were forced to cease the practice of allowing our Chaplain to have an emergency funds account. We were also forced to surrender the surplus money (over $15,000) to National.

    That being said, donations do not just go for parties. Donations go to pay National Service Officers, who are full-time paid staff that represents veterans at NO COST when they file disability claims with the VA.

  • George Sarge Pinchuk

    Thank you for what your chapter did to help Vets! I know the service officers assist Veterans, as they initially assisted me with my claim; but was unaware of how they are compensated. They were dragging their feet here, and i eventually was assisted by my local congressional office.

  • Chris Flynn

    combatmedic ~ You seem to be taking the article AND the author, personally. “Half-baked broker?” “…Living in your mom’s basement?” Is that how you handle ALL disagreement? Whether you choose to use $10 words to sound intellectually superior or not, resorting to juvenile name-calling is petty and unbecoming. If you don’t agree, say so. But leave the personal attacks to the middle school kids. It cheapens your argument.

  • Pupp

    I am appalled by this. If it is true I will be ruined. I am a large advocate to the project i emailed them and I am waiting for their response!

  • Delilah

    I guess all of these vets are liars? Hey, don’t bother looking anything up. I’ll do the research for you to validate his claims.

  • Delilah
  • Delilah

    It’s backed up by many….just start looking for more complaints

  • Robert Collins

    Responsibility is the Key Word Here, And if Our leaders Can’t handle the whole Picture they shouldn’t be starting these wars , And sending our people into harms way , As a veteran myself , I believe all these Org. are nothing but making great Jobs for S/P people on the backs Of the Troops , Just my opinion , !!

  • cjnbb

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!!!! I’ve been on ONE caregiver’s retreat (while he was still AD in the WTB) and while I met some very nice ladies, the actual ‘helping’ was a joke. My husband cannot be used a ‘poster boy’ that they can trot out for publicity so we have been completely FORGOTTEN since his medical retirement over a year ago. I’m DISGUSTED with WWP. I can’t access my profile, no one bothers to call/email any kind of response about this, nor can I sign up for any events since I can’t access my profile!!! My hubs has tried NUMEROUS times to sign up for events and either the event is already ‘full’ a mere hour after being up or he does manage to sign up but he never hears anything further! Same thing for me. Now, I see a few of the ladies I met going on MULTIPLE TRIPS (caregiver, couples, AND family) every single year. The one thing they all have in common? Their husbands were severely wounded. Oh, and in response to my husband’s numerous calls, requests, and complaints? They sent him a ‘gift package’ – a ball cap, a license plate bracket, and a couple magnets. Seriously? He wanted to try the peer mentoring, joining events and meeting other vets….if he wanted the merchandise he’d have bought it! And I KNOW I’m not the only one they’ve done this to, either! Quite a few of our close personal all across the country have been treated like this or WORSE. Just disgusting. If anyone asks me about WWP, I tell them to do their homework BEFORE donating, and most times they come back and say thanks for giving them the heads-up!!!!!

  • Vet,wife,army/navymom

    I am sorry for the way you were treated by the DAV, but your experience is not typical of three separate states I worked with. A large portion of my work with military families has been finding emergency assistance for situations like yours. Once I found the right people, which admittedly can ce difficult depending on where you are, the process for emergency grants was quick and efficient, often handled in a matter of days. The money was paid on behalf of the military family to the company they needed to pay, ie. electric company, mortgage company, car payment. Again, I am sorry you were unable to access the help you needed but many times it hinges on who you reach and how knowledgable they are. Just like any organization, one bad seed can ruin things for many.

  • SomeGalNTx

    In defense of the Red Cross, yes, there is a paid full time staff that manages the day to day affairs of each chapter. That is their full time job. But the majority of the work is done by volunteers….like me. I was IN West, Tx, after the explosion for over 36 hours, without sleep, or stopping, drove home and went to work 8 hours later. All I got from that was the blessing of being able to help.
    And the next time they call, you can bet I will throw my gear in the car and GO. Just like thousands of other volunteers do across the country, who do so for no pay whatsoever. The donations go toward keeping our disaster relief trucks stocked and ready to roll on a moments notice, filled with blankets and other items for those who just lost everything. Putting a blanket around someone’s shoulders as they see the damage done by a tornado to their home is something you cannot put a price on, or forget.

  • American

    OK, I noticed that this article keeps mentioning the Wounded Warriors Project and then mentions Wounded Warrior Project. Is this just an editorial mistake? Or, is it referencing two different organizations? Just asking…

  • JudyBuda

    Red Cross CEO has salary of $ 651,957 plus expenses More info on chart below

  • Delilah

    Yeah, because i just generated all of that myself right? Moron. Maybe you should have LOOKED! Satire and entertainment…real nice for you to talk trash about other vets that way!!! (learn how google works, it will save you from looking like an ass in the future.)

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.comments&orgid=12842#.UoSh5RqINSg

  • Delilah

    I could tell that you were lacking in internet skills, so i will help you out and get you started, here are all of the results for complaints. You act like every person that walks in there will get treated identically….Now you “shut up”, I don’t think I have stopped a single person here from commenting by providing evidence. You just don’t want to see truth!

    https://www.google.com/search?q=wounded+warrior+scam&oq=wounded+wa&aqs=chrome.1.69i59l2j69i57j0j69i60j69i61.2982j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

  • Delilah

    Your link to their financials just backed up all of the claims, I’m guessing you don’t understand how to read a corporate tax return? Way to go numb nuts, you called two vets liars then handed out the proof in what they’re saying.

  • Tom Laverick

    WTF, you’re spewing shit because you got turned down or had your feelings hurt? Back your rhetoric up with facts.

    1. The WWP was never designed to provide financial assistance! There are plenty of organizations that do that!

    2. From its inception it was designed to bring wounded vets together to help them cope with everything they saw and had happen to them – Alumni Project
    3. It was also designed to help soldiers deal with the PSTD that they are coming back with.

    The WWP has been a huge help to my brother before he started working for them. As for you claims that there are no vets working for them, Hmmm 21/07/2003 My brother’s squad was hit with an IED in Baghdad, he lost 2 people in that explosion and almost died himself. I guess he was a civilian when that happened. They staff as many veterans as they can The Ft. Bragg office is proof of that!

    Understand what you are talking about before talking about it! You might not like or participate in the outdoor/sporting events provided by the WWP – alumni or the pstd programs provided by another division of the WWP, but there are those soldiers who love to participate and are tankful to the WWP that the programs are there because it may be the only time they can get out and do something and be around people that actually understand what they hall happened to them over there!

    Sincerely,
    A very pissed of Patriot!!!!!

  • anne britton

    My father is not a disabled vet and has enough money to go to a MLB game on his own if he wanted to…none of them were wounded vets.

  • anne britton

    If you are referring to me , that is not nice at all. Dad went to a baseball game each summer, wounded warriors took them there, everything paid … He did fight in a war.. the TV commercials make no mention of this they say that all of the money goes to building new houses for the wounded vets to help them live as normal as they can. Lies by omission…not very kind. Did they build you a new house??

  • Tom Laverick

    Anne,
    The WWB is not just about physically wounded vets. Do you realize how many of these kids are coming back with mental problems and the VA is doing absolutely nothing about but prescribing meds. Most of these people need others to talk to, People that will understand what they saw over there.

    Some of these groups are for the soldiers that fit just that description, Some of the groups pair PSTD soldiers up with other soldiers that are not suffering from anything so that connections can be made and help can be given in the form of advice on how to just move on and deal with what they saw.

  • George Sarge Pinchuk

    I’m thinking things may have changed since my experience. The Past National Commander is in my chapter, and who administered my oath of membership. Like I said…. this was in 1998-99. I voiced my concerns, given the millions of dollars National has access to. During my visits to the VA for my own appointments as recent as last month, I’ve yet to read stories of Vets being financially helped, in ways to keep them from the same fate i experienced. I wasnt looking for a handout .. just enough help to keep a roof over my head in January 99, and what i thought would be a cpl months to prove my claims. With help from the service officers, my claim took nearly four years. That’s on the VA … not the DAV. I sincerely hope the good news you mentioned is still helping Veterans. Thank you for the information.

  • Brie

    Really? How immature does one have to be, exactly, to start personally insulting someone for an article that was very well written and thought out? If you don’t agree, that’s fine. But part of what they fought for was freedom of speech. Remember that, and pay them some respect…

  • Butch

    I donate monthly to the WWP and checked it out before donating it is highly rated by the BBB and received 3 out of 4 stars. I’ll continue to support them

  • combatmedic

    Yep, free speech works both ways. Thank you for pointing that out. I don’t have to respect anyone that writes sladerous bs. They offer a forum to rebut said “argument” so I have. My rebuttal used sarcasm as part of my statement and if you can’t appreciate a good zinger then you have the problem. By the way, I’ve spent over ten years in the military and keep on truckin for everyone’s right to free speech. So if that’s your argument then you should respect my rebuttal. Sit down and let the adults talk.

  • combatmedic

    This is your rebuttal to validate his claims? Wow, you posted someone else’s comments. Rock on. Try Google next time. You might find more options. Jeesh.

  • combatmedic

    I do take it personally. I am out on the battlefield with these honorable men and women and this dipshit comes out to write an article disparaging the fine men and women who have reached out when even our OWN government failed. These wounded warriors deserve everything they can get from patriotic Americans wether it’s finances, volunteer help or prayer. And concerning my name calling…. bite me. It was a passionate speech and nobody held your face to the computer monitor and made you read what I wrote. My comments still stand…. and by the way… it was sarcasm. His attacks were personal, why shouldn’t mine be. I was articulate and concise. Again, nobody made you read it. Go away and let the adults speak,

  • combatmedic

    Same

  • combatmedic

    Your time line for WWP is waaaaaay off. Google works.

  • combatmedic

    So, your argument is that WWP spent 7.3% on salaries for fy 2012. I did the math. Their “other expenses” was 100 MILLION. That’s over 70% of what they brought in went OUT tohelp wounded warriors. Delilah, I ddon’t know if you’re a liberal or a misguided patriot but I CAN tell you pertaining to showing me their tax return for fy 2012…. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE SOMEONE JUST ABSOLUTELY POUNDS YOUR IDEA INTO THE GROUND. Your PDF argument is invalid. Every single statement I’ve made thus far is valid. Go away and let the adults talk.

  • SeabeeMode

    I wasn’t referring to other vets as far as the satire and entertainment go, I was referring to YOU and your site. The stories that you post are more to the taste of the Onion. You know the News Satire site.

  • SeabeeMode

    This coming from someone who can copy and paste! LOL! Awww Did I hurt your Feelings??? LMAO!!!

  • Denise Quiros Nobs

    Sounds like a disgruntled man who used to dupe folks in the stock exchange. Not a very talented writer because it’s all about whining and complaining without giving any credence to his so called ‘facts’.

  • Denise Quiros Nobs

    And you should write a book. Kudos to you. I am a writer and this guy is using the Internet to whine because he’s a lousy author and we was gracious enough to decline as to why they wouldn’t let him sell his lousy book.

  • william seaman

    The thing that bothers me about WWP is their commercials. If you didn’t know better(and let’s face it most American’s don’t) you’d think from their”optics” WWP was the only organization helping the vets they profile. The vets they profile are 100% with numerous SMC’s and care giver supplimentals. So they are pulling $5K-$6K/mo. Not to metion the SAH & SAV. IMHO WWP is flat out deceptive in that respect. That said they do fill a void when it comes to working with families.

  • Carol Ford

    So Sad, I am so thankful that when we give it is to 100% volunteer charities and check them out before jumping on the wagon so to speak. God has a special place for greedy asswipes. Want to give to help here is one awesome charity Operation Military Embrace. They only have a 1% overhead and do what they say. There are other deserving charities that folks don’t even know about because they are small and not lead by greed of their own pockets. These are the ones people should look at and give support to because they do help others even though they can’t raise the big bucks like the frauds do.
    God Bless The True.

  • CombatMedicIWas

    Now go away and let the adults talk. You forgot to add that, since it seems to be his main retort.

  • gag

    I disagree with you. If you investigate, you will discover that the VA reimburses the 46 recognized VSOs for every Power of Attorney signed by a Veteran for help with their claims. VSOs get free rent and phones at many VAMCs and Federal office buildings adjacent to VAROs. This has been the case since World War One. VSOs vehemently deny it but it’s true. Vets are a cash cow and are milked accordingly by as many as can belly up to the bar.

  • PurpleHeart09
  • Dean Graham Help Indiana Vets

    Wounded Warrior Project files suit in Indiana against Help Indiana Vets visit http://www.helpindianavets.com

  • anne britton

    My father along with 99 other vets were taken to Yankee Stadium two years ago and Mets game last year..they don’t fit the description of any of these. I feel the television commercial is very misleading. None of these vets are retired or use any other VA services. They are all Korean War vets.

  • David Craig Franklin

    One thing I don’t understand about your response here is where you stated “A large portion of my work with military families has been finding
    emergency assistance for situations like yours. Once I found the right
    people, which admittedly can ce difficult depending on where you are,” Why do you have to find the “right people” for emergency assistance? If the money donated to DAV is suppose to help Vets then there shouldn’t be any “finding the right people”. The American Red Cross doesn’t have to “find the right people”, you just have to prove why you need help and, if it is not a grant they are giving you, how you will be able to pay the funds back. Where do the donations go? What are they being used for if not to help Vets, as DAV claims?

    R,
    David F.

  • WWP Legal Scam?

    Any one who has eyes can read this tax document fro
    WWP’s website. http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/media/477620/wwp-900-fy-2012.pdf

  • Chelle Lynne

    The lies in this article have been debunked numerous times. Financial information is readily verifiable on the WWP website which shows that many of these claims are not true. Instead, they are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and have a Gold Star rating on GuideStar.

  • Cuevanomics

    This is the problem with big charities. The talent that it takes to run an organization this big commands a huge salary. That is why my friends and I started The Fanatical Change Foundation in Houston, TX. There are no salaries. It is a 100% volunteer organization. We all have jobs. Those are our profit centers, Fanatical Change is our Non Profit. We have raised and distributed over $500,000 since 2008. Please Google Fanatical Change Foundation for more information. We have an event coming up in October that we are planning now.

  • Tom Girouard

    The best Orginization for Veterans since WWII , has been the Salvation Army .