Veterans’ Voice

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Have you seen the latest CBS Reports on a veterans’ charity and their spending of millions in fringe benefits and parties for the employees. This reiterates my advice to only give to instate charities. There are many good charities here in Arizona so that you do not have to look further to contribute to helping veterans. This past January 28-30, 1,850 homeless or in need veterans were helped by the largest StandDown in the U.S. at the Arizona State fairgrounds. With seven others in the state out of 200 plus nationwide we need to help our own state veterans without paying for large offices with large wages to help. Interested? I am here with facts.

To follow-up concerning Wounded Warrior Project, just a few statistics that I may quote from another front page article in The New York Times of January 28. The charity was started in 2003 by veteran John Melia, a veteran to help other veterans. Unfortunately, he needed help and recruited Steve Nardizzi, an attorney and not a veteran, to help him. John has been forced out and Mr. Nardizzi is now running the charity which took in $372 million in 2015. Mr Nardizzi was given $473,000 in compensation in 2014. I wonder what he was given in 2015 but that report is not yet out. Some veterans who had worked for the charity in the past became disillusioned and some were forced out as others resigned when they saw how the money was used. According to tax forms the Times reported that in 2013 the WWP gave $150,000 to a charity called the Charity Defense Council and Mr. Nardizzi joined that Board’s advisory group. The council’s mission includes defending charity expenses on overhead and executive salaries. Looks to me like it is hiring the fox to guard the henhouse. Recently Stars and Stripes was told that the charity would investigate all these charges. An aside to this article is that the majority of veterans needing help in Arizona reside in Phoenix but their fancy offices are located in Scottsdale. If you want more info please call me.

The Maricopa StandDown was held January 28-30 with many persons and organizations in Sun Lakes contributing both finances and material goods to help make this a large success. They were the Sun Lakes United Methodist Church, Knights of Columbus of St. Steven’s Catholic Church, Post 619 Jewish War Veterans, the Marine League of Sun Lakes, Post 8053 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Countryman Chapter of the Korean War Veterans, the Sun Lakes Rotary Club and the San Tan Crown Rotary of Sun Lakes, the Sun Lakes Lions Club and the Sun Lakes Lions Breakfast Club. Many individuals also contributed this year to the Arizona StandDown which is a tax credit organization to fund the Maricopa StandDown. In addition many gave their support by attending the StandDown and helping the homeless and In Need veterans that attended.

Art Sloane may be contacted at 480-802-6810 or artgbeard@aol.com.