Lorenz, Rosenfeld, Asch, and Ettner (2003) conducted research relating to unreimbursed hospice care. In their research, they found out that “Agencies providing unreimbursed care to persons over the age of 65 years were more likely to be not-for-profit and freestanding” (585). This is where veteran charities assist. Unfortunately, they are not executing this role as required. Although many charities have come out to defend themselves against the accusations of fraud, their arguments are not satisfying. Many debates indicate that these fraudulent incidences occur due to poor laws and administration policies relating to the veterans care. The continual debate pertains that there are no fraudulent activities in the veteran charities that watch out for the well-being of the veterans. There are fraudulent activities in these charities propelled more by selfish individuals and parties than incompetent laws and policies as perceived.
Out of all the United States militants who come back from war, twenty five percent of them go through PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and depression disorders, TBI (traumatic brain injury) amongst other sorts of problems. In addition to this, many combats opt to commit suicide even after surviving the dangers overseas. To be specific, the Department of Veterans Affairs encounters one thousand cases of attempted suicide among the former soldiers under their care (Lugo, 2006). These encounters are on a monthly basis. Even after serving the country, approximately fifty thousand of former soldiers experience chronic homelessness (Herens, 2011). Further statistics shows that the veterans between the ages of eighteen to twenty five years have a twenty one percent unemployment rate. This exceeds the 16.5 percent unemployment rate among the people in the same age bracket who have never become soldiers (United States, 2008).
As for now, over seven hundred and twenty thousand fail to take advantage of their benefits in Veteran Affairs. This is because of the disappointments they continue to face due to the bureaucracy they have to navigate before they enjoy these benefits. These former soldiers take advantage of veteran charities. Unfortunately, some charities, if not many, take advantage of veterans and the public. The aim of veteran charities is to provide aid the veterans in getting their benefits from the government. They also help these ex-soldiers in financial issues, rehabilitation services, funds for medical research and care, and job training amongst other issues.
In showing the rate of fraud taking place in these charities, AIP (American Institute of Philanthropy) graded almost fifty percent of the thirty nine charities in the United States with ‘F’. This research took place in the year 2011. One of the charities referred to as VietNow National Headquarters took this grade. Charities such as World War II Veterans Committee, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, and Veterans of the Vietnam War& the Veterans Coalition received a ‘D’ (Baram, 2011). The institution explained that some of these charities earned such grades because they spent most of their funds in finding other funds as opposed to helping the veterans. The estimate given to these veterans is only one percent of the funds collected.
In a recent case, Fitzpatrick and Griffin (2012) reported that Disabled Veterans foundation received accusations of misusing approximately fifty six million dollars. This was the money collected in the year 2007. The charity organization whose headquarters stand in Washington received ‘F’ due to the lack of using the funds in veteran activities. In order to cover its fraudulent activities, this organization handed cheap “giveaways”. Most of the money collected from donors paid Quadriga Art (Barem, 2011). The approximated money is sixty one million dollars. The organization aids the charitable organization to make the fundraisings.
In elaborating further their use of the donations, some charity managers employ telemarketers, fundraising coordinators and other contractors in order to run these organizations. These contractors may do the job given, or they may also choose to subcontract other contractors. Since these are professionals, they make a lot of money as they are able to convince many parties to donate (Campbell, 2005). However, the charity organization uses the money to pay these professionals since they are in business. As one observes, it seems to be an unending cycle. This explains the small amount of money left to take care of the course (veterans).
In order to defend their way of spending, most veterans charities argue that relying on the ratios given by their critics is misleading. The veterans’ charities explain that newly formed non-profit organizations spend more than fifty percent of the funds they receive on fundraising, education? and outreach (United States, 2008). Although this explanation may be valid, charities that use almost ninety percent of the funds they receive on expenses continue to receive condemnation and criticism. Such organizations intrigued the 2007 congressional hearings. Unfortunately, no one seems to see any serious follow-ups on such charities.
D-Montana’s Senator Max Baucus stated “Our veterans should never be used as pawns in a scheme to exploit the taxpayers” (Fitzpatrick & Griffin, 2012). He said this as he initiated a review into Disabled Veterans Foundation so as to determine whether the tax exemption policy was applicable. Other past cases include the two million dollars fraudulent incident by the Navy commander imposter. Another case included the loss of money from the local post office for many years as a fraudster acted on behalf of non-existent veteran groups.
Some charities are legitimately carrying out their activities in order to aid the veterans. Air Force Aid Society is one of them. Unfortunately, the wrongful deeds have created a negative image of this sector towards the public. The public has become skeptical of these charities which continue to threaten the donations that will take place in the future. This skepticism will not only affect the veterans’ charities, but they will also affect other legitimate charities in other sectors (Campbell, 2005). Those in support of these charities continue to defend the charity actions where some go forth and deny the allegation against them concerning misuse of funds. Fortunately, the financial information produced explains something different, which should prompt the government to take serious actions.
Veterans’ charity continues to attract praises form some of the veterans who got a stable life due to their efforts. However, the charities’ lack of honesty and transparency places this sector on a shaky foundation. Kroger, the attorney general, explains that he is taking serious actions in curbing these negative issues arising in this sector. He said that he would take this issue seriously since he was once a Marine Corp. In a statement showing the rapid growth of these veterans’ charity organization, Kroger explained, “a number of veterans groups came up extraordinarily high on the list. One was outright fraud -- a guy setting up a table at a shopping mall -- and another problem was people who were raising money and not being honest about where the money was going” (Baram, 2011).
These charities argue that this issue is taking a political turn. In an attempt to show his seriousness, Kroger sued the founder of Oregon War Veterans Association and Military Family Support. His name is Greg Warnock. Kroger claimed that the founder used the donations for his own benefit (Baram, 2011). He further used the money to engage in the political scene by contributing to powerful state politicians. In an attempt to clear these allegations, Warnock explained that the claims initiated by Kroger were only political. He further explained that the organization executed a crucial role affecting the livelihoods of many veterans in Oregon and other places.
As constantly mentioned, the government continues to make several steps so as to portray the intensity of the issue, but this is not enough. Some hearings took place in 2007 and 2008, but these cases continue to happen. Although the grading done by these charity watchdogs may not be accurate in examining excessive salaries, mail campaigns, overhead costs, and poor resource management, it is clear that many charities mismanage their donations in an alarming way. Additionally, those who support these groups do not offer enough evidence in order to strengthen the support of their money expenditure.
The 2007 and 2008 committees set to investigate the issue said that the charity watchdogs wrongly graded some charities. However, the committee agreed that the majority of the low graded charities had a problem in managing their resources and funds (United Sates, 2008). Those who say that the issue is political are not justified to do so since the majorities who raise the alarm are not politicians, but average people in the society. Some veterans have come forth to express their disappointment with some charities. Through the financial reports/information, the other arguments become void. Many charities are misusing the funds due to their selfish desires and the lack of management. They are not doing so due to inadequate laws and policies or extra expenses as argued.