AN OPEN LETTER TO CELEBRITY SPOKESPEOPLE FOR WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
In recent years it has become fashionable to support veteran causes; it is now good business, good PR, good exposure. Wounded Warrior Project is the dominant charity among more than 60,000 others, the vast majority of which are ethical. In the mind of the public, Wounded Warriors are to veteran causes as is Kleenex to tissues. You’ll probably see their ads over Super Bowl Weekend. Their advertising is professional, persuasive and prolific.
It should be. With annual donations of $100 million, they can afford the best. Of that $100 million, $60 million is dispersed among numerous veteran initiatives…the remaining $40 million is not; it is applied to “administrative costs”. By having become the most successful player, they siphon off funding to more efficient initiatives, such as Fisher Houses, which returns 95% to their work. Or The Soldiers Project, (TSP) which returns 88%. https://www.thesoldiersproject.org/
My generation, Vietnam, succeeded in teaching America not to blame the warrior for the war. TSP provides free, confidential care to post-911 veterans and to their loved ones, contending with PTSD. You should know that I serve on their board, that I am a Vietnam veteran and that I also live with PTSD. Each day, 22 veterans end their life. Help for them will not come from the VA and their multi-billion dollar budgets. Confidentiality of care is non-negotiable to those with PTSD; they will avoid the VA if at all possible. Civilians may question my opinions but veterans know that I speak the truth.
So what is to be done? I encourage celebrities to become better informed. Many worthy initiatives would benefit from your endorsements. Find one whose programs you respect and lend them your support. They may not be able to offer you air fares and posh hotels and elegant gatherings. Is that really important to you? Spread your love around, Sam Waterson, Gary Sinese, Trace Atkins, Mark Wahlberg, Dean Norris, Alec Baldwin, Alan Cumming, Al Roker, Bill O’Reilly, Bob Costas, Jimmy Buffet, Kyle Petty, Mike Myers, Sean Connery and others.
Perhaps you didn’t know the facts before. Now you do.
Actor, Veteran, Advocate