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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 2nd, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Is the Wounded Warrior Project Anti-Gun?

» by in: US Military

Here is something that I have had multiple people send me to get my opinion on:

Does the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) have a bias against guns and gun makers?

Two weeks ago that would have sounded crazy, but this week many shooters are convinced that it’s true. Hundreds of hunts and shoots are held as fundraisers for the WWP, and gun companies donate to WWP for its projects. How could it be that this $185 million (2013 projected revenue) outfit could be anti-gun?

It started with a simple invitation — I wanted someone from the Wounded Warrior Project to join me for the Veteran’s Day episode of my national radio show, Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk. I had no idea it would turn into a national dustup which now has the gun rights community in a turmoil — so much so that people are burning their Wounded Warrior Project shirts.

We were disappointed when the Leslie Coleman, PR director for WWP, said they couldn’t come on the show, but that happens. Schedules don’t mesh, things happen, but that’s not uncommon. No big deal. Except that Ms. Coleman said they were declining because we “are related to firearms.”

“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,” said Ms. Coleman in her email. [Ammoland.com]

You can read the rest at the link, but basically the Wounded Warrior Project is willing to take money from gun makers and advocate groups, but is not willing to participate in any media interviews that would associate them with gun makers and their advocates.  This is pretty hypocritical on their part, but I am not surprised.  The WPP has for a while been more about raising money and with the current political environment they are keeping a low profile from gun makers and their advocates to make sure they can keep making money.

What concerns me more about Wounded Warrior Project and why I haven’t given them money in the past two years is how much in overhead costs they have.  Only 55% of their funding goes to their programs while the rest goes to advertising and overhead.  Because of this they only get two stars out of four for their financial ranking on Charity Navigator.  Compare this to the Fisher House Foundation which is a charity I do support which 98% of their income goes to their programs.  The USO another charity I support has 72% of its funding going to its programs.  Something else I like about Fisher House and the USO is that this is something you can see helping servicemembers because nearly every major military hospital has a Fisher House and the USO is visible everywhere the US military is at.  The WPP you only see them when they hold a race or some other event to raise money.

Anyway I am very skeptical when it comes to charities with high advertising and overhead.  I highly recommend everyone watch Pink Ribbons Inc. on Netflix to see how breast cancer charities have become an industry and not just a charity.  Something else to watch for on Charity Navigator is to see how much the CEO’s of these charities make.  With the new tax deal that was passed many of them will now be taxed in the wealthy tax bracket since most of them make above $400,000 a year.

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17
  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    7:08 pm on January 2nd, 2013 1

    The USO’s operation in Korea is an extremely wasteful venture. I donated to the USO for many years until I learned how much (1) money was wasted on activities that had nothing to do with supporting service members, and (2) the degrees to which their regional leaders were either wholly corrupt or wholly incompetent. They were very close to getting kicked off of all U.S. installations in Korea back in 2008-2010, for distributing base access privileges in exchange for donations.

  • SmokingFreedomGuy
    8:57 pm on January 2nd, 2013 2

    #1 Any references? Those are pretty damning statements to make without so much a hyperlink in support of the claims. I’m not saying you’re lying but without backing any of that up it’s getting chalked up to internet smoke.

  • Songtan1
    2:59 am on January 3rd, 2013 3

    “The USO another charity I support has 72% of its funding going to its programs.”
    I agree with #1 LG. Check out the top guy’s salary. And if #2 Smoking wants some links, it is going to very difficult to find as the USO has a deep burial of their assests and where they actually go. I would not give the USO $.01. The Salvation Army is one of the few that spends their donations on those deserving it.

  • Leon LaPorte
    3:23 am on January 3rd, 2013 4

    #1,2,3: LG DACOM Stinks, Royally was being overly generous. The USO at Camp Casey has had a lot of problems and it goes back further than 2008. There have been irregularities (ration card misuse among other things) and some person(s) associated with USO were invited to move on to other opportunities (let’s say the appearance of impropriety). Right now its main business seems to be as a host for a cell phone store and that’s about it.

    I don’t know of any links but it is common knowledge up here.

  • LG DACOM Stinks, Royally
    4:29 am on January 3rd, 2013 5

    My comment is based on first-hand knowledge of the USO’s operations in Korea. All that they do is raise funds for USO ventures, elsewhere. Their operations on Camps Kim & Casey, and in Osan have all failed, and exist only to host third-party businesses like tour companies and cell-phone guys. It should be mentioned that the USO’s sponsorship of celebrity concert tours and meet-and-greets is entirely independent from its regional operations.

  • Glans
    6:25 am on January 3rd, 2013 6

    To heck with private charities. The government should do it all, under oversight by Congress, the mainstream media, and bloggers.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:31 am on January 3rd, 2013 7

    5. Your sarcasm is sweet and noted but in the case of the Korean USO’s, there is a problem. It doesn’t make the entire organization bad. I’m fairly certain the problem is localized to Korea (in the USO’s case).

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:39 am on January 3rd, 2013 8

    To second what Leon said in #7, the USO shouldn’t be considered a bad organization because of a allegedly corrupt USO in Korea. The USO’s in Iraq and Afghanistan I found all to be very well done. I have also had to chance to meet a number of celebrities I would have never had the chance to meet over the years if it wasn’t for the USO. The USO also maintains places at airports for servicemembers to hang out at and get free food during layovers. I have used the USO at LAX more times than I can remember. I highly recommend any servicemember flying through LAX to check the place out if you have a layover there.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:44 am on January 3rd, 2013 9

    8. I further recommend, from experience, that consumers avoid the Camp Casey USO phone store.

    Since there really isn’t anything else going on there… Well they do have some internet PC’s and recliners. :roll: :???: :|

    I’m not even sure if they bother opening the canteen anymore.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:44 am on January 3rd, 2013 10

    @3- That is why I made the comment in the posting about the salaries the heads of these charities are making. The ones that lead large charities nearly all make over $400,000 a year. It seems a lot to me, but the argument is that a CEO of a private company as large as some of these charities makes much more money than this. So the charities give their CEOs these large salaries to be able to attract top talent.

  • Teadrinker
    3:01 pm on January 3rd, 2013 11

    “This is pretty hypocritical on their part, but I am not surprised.”

    I’d say that refusing to be under the thumb of the gun lobby is smart management.

  • The Joker
    4:09 pm on January 3rd, 2013 12

    Teadrinker instead of constantly being a blowhard blabbing off your uninformed opinion, why don’t you go back to where facts were being discussed.

    You are an embarrassment to Canada as you perfectly personify the rude and self-centered French Canadian, ridiculed and loathed the world over far more than any ugly American. Your attitude and behavior shames the vast majority of nice Canadians from an otherwise nice country.

  • Teadrinker
    6:22 pm on January 3rd, 2013 13

    #12,

    You’re embarrassing yourself.

  • The Joker
    7:40 pm on January 3rd, 2013 14

    That’s a pretty inventive comeback but it does not counter any statements made about guns or you.

  • tom langley
    10:54 pm on January 3rd, 2013 15

    Teadrinker, the criticism of the WWP is that the organization is perfectly willing to take money from gun manufacturers but was unwilling to appear on a gun talk radio show. That is hypocritical don’t you think? I have never heard the organization before make any anti gun statements but I will never contribute to them again. Being a guest on a radio show is not the same as being “under the thumb of the gun lobby.” If they stick to the job of helping wounded warriors then I would love to help them but if they get into this unrelated area of trying to take away American’s gun rights then NO WAY! America’s freedom was won by guns & the way to prevent governmental tyranny is for the people to be armed. An armed person is a citizen, an unarmed person is a subject. American’s will be no ones subject.

  • Teadrinker
    11:53 pm on January 3rd, 2013 16

    “Teadrinker, the criticism of the WWP is that the organization is perfectly willing to take money from gun manufacturers but was unwilling to appear on a gun talk radio show. That is hypocritical don’t you think?”

    Not at all. It’s wise to stay out of politics.

    ” Being a guest on a radio show is not the same as being “under the thumb of the gun lobby.” If they stick to the job of helping wounded warriors then I would love to help them but if they get into this unrelated area of trying to take away American’s gun rights then NO WAY! ”

    You’re twisting the fact that they want to concentrate on helping wounded soldiers into something that it isn’t.

    In other words, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  • Glans
    4:57 am on January 4th, 2013 17

    Does my lead-poisoned brain understand this? Ms Coleman didn’t speak for guns, and she didn’t speak against guns. And that’s an outrage?

 

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