LETTER TO THE EDITOR: $19.00 A Month

To the Editor,

Isn’t it nice to know that we can save a veteran and get a free blanket? Does this strike anyone else as strange — that these large corporations are in such desperate need? Could it be they are running out of product? Yet they continue to produce expensive melodramatic TV spots and buy airtime.

Thankfully, the number of combat-wounded continues to fall, so why is there still a need? Or is it that business is going too well to quit? A few years back, one of our national veterans’ organizations was put under a microscope and it turns out that only 15% of what they collected actually got to the veterans. A couple of years ago the Wounded Warrior Project fired a couple of their top executives, primarily to throw water on anyone looking hard at them after taking in just shy of $400 million that year.

Okay, it’s a free country and if people are gullible enough to believe this stuff, I hope they’re happy with their blanket, but think about the old folks on fixed incomes, getting hooked into yet another monthly payment they can’t afford. As an amputee from Vietnam and those like me, it’s an insult to see wounded combat veterans portrayed as victims, incapable of taking care of themselves, asking for handouts.

The VA and Department of Defense have hundreds of hospitals across this country, not to mention thousands of community-based clinics and outreach centers. On top of that, thousands of state and county local veterans’ offices…all at no cost to the veteran or the public. So, to see combat-wounded veterans exhibited as objects of pity only further reinforces the stereotype that many in this country have, that veterans are charity cases, and there must be something wrong with someone who would pick up a weapon in the first place.

Please don’t put the rest of us into this group of scripted performers for a multi-million dollar corporation who is using them as props to take your money.

Sincerely,

Jerry Donnellan
Retired
Director, Veterans Services Agency of Rockland