Veterans’ Charities

What exactly is a veterans’ charity, and why do we need them? Never missing an opportunity to make a buck, some of these nonprofit organizations — disguised as do-gooders — collect donations from the well-meaning and guilt-ridden to line their pockets and propagate their organizations.

Ah, but we digress. Think about it: Why do we need veterans’ charities? Do we need them? We can understand lobbying organizations that fight for vets’ rights on the Hill but charities that help veterans? Help them do what? What could a “charity” possibly do that DoD, the VA, and the benefits legit vets have from honorable service cannot or do not? If veterans need help from private charities, then we are no better than the nations that see their pensioners sell trinkets and bits of food by the road or outside metro stops (a la Moscow at one time).

The watchdog group American Institute of Philanthropy found that 20 of the 29 military (?!) charities it looked at did not make the grade. Though we don’t completely agree with this well-respected organization, most of these nonprofits showed a pretty poor percentage of funds actually going to the purported cause. Another trend was debilitating overhead, which has been no secret on the giving circuit for some time. Charity founders and fat cats also seem to pocket some rather hefty paychecks.

Again, we digress. Regardless of the findings, why do we need charities for our veterans or the military? To provide “therapeutic arts-and-crafts kits to hospitalized veterans?” Please. We understand the service-related aid societies (all of which received top marks). We get the USO. We don’t get the rest, and it is unfortunate that some perceived void exists that has allowed them seemingly to flourish at the expense of some good people.
Epilogue: Congress in feigning its outrage has called for more regulation. Yeah, that’s the answer. We’re baffled why Congress would get involved — other than to pander to voters on a feel-good topic — of little importance to veterans or taxpayers. Did one lawmaker ask why these organizations exist? We didn’t think so.

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