You hear about scandals occasionally involving high-profile charities.
They usually involve extravagance. Such is the case with the Wounded Warriors Project.
For the life of me I’m having trouble mustering the right words to convey the outrage I’m feeling at what’s been reported.
CEO Steven Nardizzi and chief operating officer Al Giordano have been fired by the WWP board, which said an “independent study” confirmed some grotesque “irregularities” in the way the organization was spending money donated to help care for heroes wounded in battle.
The outrage should sweep the nation. Politicians keep telling us how we must treat our wounded veterans with all the care and compassion we can deliver. People give to organizations expecting their money to go toward that care. Sure, there are “administrative costs” to be paid.
The WWP, though, reportedly was funneling roughly half of the money it gets to far more than paying salaries and buying stationery.
There were reports of extravagant parties at posh resorts. Nardizzi reportedly rappelled down the side of a hotel to make a grand entrance.
One report revealed that in 2014 alone, the organization spent $26 million on parties. Twenty-six million dollars!
I don’t know if there will be any criminal prosecutions involved with the two individuals who’ve been canned by the board. A part of me wishes they would just vanish from the face of the planet. Another part of me thinks there ought to be an examination into possible criminal malfeasance.
The Wounded Warriors Project is supposed to help the 50,000 or so vets who’ve been injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. People give money to this group expecting the money to do good for those who need the help.
We’ve come a huge distance from the Vietnam War era when our veterans were virtually scorned by the country that sent them into battle.
This hideous story must not dampen our resolve to continue to help our wounded veterans.
Indeed, it should cause us to redouble that effort.