tv Inside Story ALJAZAM February 4, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm EST
fear persecution when they shine a light on wealthy doctors. fear of retribution "third rail". it's one of the most re reliable lines. no matter what is at hand, spri nshg kle praise for the proopers. at a time when we have dealt with a confused health system, high rates of suicide, homelessness, unemployment and lingering scars of more than a decade of war do our leaders seem more interested in feel good cheers than the serious 21
st century challenges. it's the inside story welcome to inside story. i'm ray suarez and this is "inside story". service in this country's armed forces moved from a mass experience to a rare one. the shift to an all volunteer military made uniform service a matter of personal desire rather than the nation's broad based needs. every president from harry trueman to george hw bush served in the military. a big percentage of men elected to the house and senate for decades had some form of military experience. now only a tiny percentage join the military and are strangers
to vast numbers of civilians. while a tiny does 100% of the fighting and dying in combat, the kinds of wars the country fought over meant multiple deployments in combat areas, reservists heading over seas for multiple tours and injuries that would have killed people in earlier wars, amputations, newer neurological damage. it became commonplace to thank vets and in the place of your own service, no praise was too high. >> veterans died and people got raises and only three people have been fired because of that. so there's a lot of things we need to do to fix the veterans' administration. i will do it if elected president. i will make sure i will make people accountable.
>> right now, and you know, it we have illegal immigrants that are treated by far than our veterans. it's not going to happen any more the country has watched as a strange position took place where private charities rose to care for the unique range of needs produced by the afghan and iraqi conflicts. >> i want to tell you about these true american heros and how you can show your thankss by helping them through the project a recent cbs news investigation reas a ruled the charities, the wounded war project raised 30 on 00 million dollars in 2014 and during that same year spent 26 million dollars in conferences, expenses and over heads. saying these events were not
only necessary, but the best use of the money. team building exercises. the organization strenuously denies there is anything dishonest about the way it raises or spends money, but maybe the wounded warrior project reports whatever they say about the organization also shines an unflatering light on how this country has managed the remaining challenges that will last long after the last service man or women comes home from afghanistan or iraq, at a time when few of us serve, we're addressing these problems with hand shakes, pats on the back, thanks for service. veterans become the magic pixie dust you can sprinkle into your situation. donald trump rebrands his rival event as a veterans fund raiser, anxious to give the candidates a
shot at his main rival. ted cruz challenged trump to a debate and offer a million dollars to veteran's groups if trump will agree >> donald trump when he backed out said he was doing it because he was very concerned about veterans. we all care about the incredible brave men and women who served our country. this is a chance to go to veterans' charities carly fiorina pact upped the ante offering first a million and a half dollars and two million dollars to benefit the veterans, of course. none of it needed to be paid since the new york candidate didn't take the bait. is all this praise really what they need. thanks but no gratitude this time on the program. joining me now is travis
tritton, capitol hill reporter for the newspaper stars and stripes. what do they do with the money in any given yeah for the project? >> their mission statement is to reintegrate wounded members who come back from afghanistan and iran. they have a variety of programs where they take them out and perform a variety of other services. they put them into jobs, they get them materials, things like that is it fair to say that basically this was seen at not only noncontroversial but laudable because it was for vets? >> i think that's exactly right. what they were doing, i think it is seem by the vast number of americans as a noble cause. we have hundreds of thousands coming back, one of the wars the
longest in american history, who deserve to be supported. i think people rally around that cause the leadership of the wounded warrer project doesn't cite other charities as a model, but corporate and industrial firms. tell me more about that >> i think what we're seeing is a completely different ethic that what we've seen in the past with military charities. ceo said that he models wounded warrior project on starbucks in. in the past what we've seen with these charities or grass root efforts they focus on taking every bit of the money that they generate and putting it back into their programs. it's more of a lee word of mouth-- low-key word of mouth operation this is not to imply, and i should be clear about this, that anybody is alleging anything illegal has been done.
the charity is buy all accounts-- by all accounts audited, operated within the bounds of the law. what caught people's attention about this story, then. >> i think first the wounded warrior project is such an immense charity. it dwarfs other charities. it has a huge presence. the idea that they would be taking these donations, i think that people believe were going directly to troops and getting rooms at five-star hotels or having these allegedly lavish conferences, i think that was probably offensive to a lot of people what happens now? are they thrown back on their heels and is there any sign of change at the organization itself? >> in the past they have pushed back against these type of allegations. we've been hearing rumblings of
this for years, but it seems this is a crucial point for them. earlier this week they said they're going to do an independent review to look into this, that they're concerned. it wasn't an acknowledgment of any sort of wrongdoing, but it was a departure from what we've seen in the past, which was a complete denial and offence of what they spend does the pentagon have to keep an arm's distance now until the smoke leers around wwp? -- clears around wwp. >> i think everybody is and waiting to see how this will shake out. i think it's a problem for everybody, for other military charities. they're getting questions. i just spoke to a nonprofit today and they have been getting questions for the past week about this. people are paying attention and they're concerned about it thanks a lot. >> thank you the capitol hill reporter
"inside story". it is instructive to look at the growth of the wounded warrer project into a fund-raising joint. at the start of 2005 to 6 with ten million raised, a decade later they were raising 300 million annually, but what about the veterans? you cheer them, you see them introduced at the first lady's party at the state of the union address, you wait while they board a plane before the rest of the passengers, but are the kindnesss, the thanks, the pats on the back good enough. while leaving surprising levels of unmet need, especially once rehab or deployments are over. thanks but no gratitude this time on the program. joining me now jim daniel, ruth
moore and ginger miller. all three are veterans. general, welcome to the program. has it been an easy ecosystem to live in to be a veteran's charity when you've got the giant wounded warrior project around? >> for us and the daniel family it is a personal issue because we've got a lot of skin in the game. our son is currently deployed on his 8th deployment in afghanistan, has spent the last five years of his life in afghanistan and my wife and i have been hosting wounded army rangers since after 9/11. so we have a lot of investment and we've been one of those grass roots organizations that has tried to go its own way and do its own thing and do it
according to - we try to live by the ranger creed and do what we do in a way that demonstrates the care and the concern you heard the stores and stripes correspondent a little earlier in the program talk about how most charities, it sounds like, are like yours, small, almost family operations. how has yours grown along the years? are people willing to open their wallets? >> the people of arkansaw and some nation-wide have been incredibly generous to us. i think most people suffer from the fact they don't have that connection and part of what we do in our support is we make that connection for them by having them spend time with the wounded rangers and special forces and seals who come to spend time with us. we found people to be generous, but yes there are those challenges and yet if you're a
volunteer organization where you have a tag line that says "support soldiers, not salaries", our over head is such that we can live with the kind of donations that we get. somehow or other each year the money has always taken care of itself and we focus ourselves, yes, we raise money, but we focus instead on our soldiers if someone perfectly well meaning, and i don't mean to question the real generosity and sincerity of people who write a check, but i'm wondering if they feel like they've done their bit once they've written that check. vetera veterans. >> i think most people do. writing the checks are important. it takes a lot to really open your chequebook and to write a checkout to a nonprofit organization, to support veterans. i think people are doing the best that they can. you know, nonprofit organizations, we all do the best that we can with what we
have. where i sit it's always an uphill battle for women veterans period because we don't fit into any category. there's a veterans program so women can go there but there's no program there. my take on the wounded warrer project. they have a lot of money. it's amazing to go from raising what do you say ten million to the 300 pillion, whatever it was. i think that's outstanding. they're doing something right. how they spend their money, that's totally up to them. i think they're doing a lot for veterans, but my take is this. all non-profits are under the microscope, all of us. we all get scrutinised all the time. the bigger the nonprofit the bigger the microscope. this is not the first time that we've heard this. it won't be the last. good stories, bad stories, they're doing something, but i think that they're under a
really big microscope you heard ginger and you her our reporter from stars and stripes, do you fear that everybody is going to get blacked by this brush, that the stories of five star hotels and 7,000 plane tickets and first class all the way sort of lets the side down? >> i totally love and respect ginger and my other esteamed colleague. i think when we look at this, i come from a background of cognitive neuro science, so when i look at donors and the nonprofit that we've started and the work we're doing, i think ginger is right there is a difficulty for women veterans to get care in the nonprofit sector. getting donations, this is a really hard economy and people are very weary about writing a check. do i think that the overall stigma of the project affects
all the non-profits, absolutely. i think the integrity of each nonprofit has to be remembered. we're all in this together. it takes so many hands to make, you know, this program work for our veterans. each nonprofit specialize iss and does something unique. we wouldn't have these non-profits if there wasn't a need for us to exist. so i think that overall we're not going to be stigmatized by it in the long run, but i think that there is a microscope and people are looking carefully at the bottom line budgets. our founder with our team of veterans, our benefactor had a vision and it matched what we were doing. so we've had a lot of the appropriate supports to get started would you suggest that people do their homework before they write the check, though? >> absolutely. i think that they should look at the mission of the nonprofit that is existing.
they should look at it and do some research and see how that nonprofit fits their own values. there are non-profits that are designated for direct on the grounds charity, there are non-profits that work towards empowerment, others that are there to help needs as they arise. so doing research for the nonprofit before you donate is integral. i know ms miller is impeckable and i would stand by her 100%. we've walked this together and i know that there are probably the same feelings there. we're all veterans, all in this together. we know what's needed. as the va adopts to the natural changes that happen with soldiers returning from war, hopefully they can work with us and we can work with them to go ahead and meet our veterans' needs, whether it be governmental or nonprofit. if their needs are being met,
then that's the important factor for us it has become a regular feature of our politics, candidates hurl accusations at their rivals over who the vets' real friends are. after wars that ran from 201 in countries where men and women are still dying today, what do they want and need and what are they really going to get. stay with us. it's the "inside story".
welcome back. lots of thanks but no real gratitude. it's the question we're asking on today's program. looking at the way our country in which a smaller and smaller percentage of people do the fighting has shifted to gushing praise and promises of support. retired general jim daniel, ruth moore and ginger miller are still with me. ginger, you talked earlier about the peculiar needs of women vets, i'm wondering whether it is broader than that, whether this generation of wars have created a generation of veterans
for whom the old answers, american legion halls and being sal uted on memorial day is enough. >> it's not enough. veterans should be recognised 365 days of the year. it is easy to salute somebody on special days. for women veterans we get attention during the history month, but what about the other months? the airport stuff is nice. if i'm a civilian and i see a veteran i'm going to thank them for the service. how that veteran receives that remains to be told. i think we are reaching the time in our military experience where we have to change with the times. women veterans, we have special needs. some of the older non-profits, women veterans don't feel comfortable going there. we have ones where women can
feel safe and get the service that they need. who are supporting them? some it's like we're always the after thought. i think we have to turn it up a notch to support them as well when you listen to all the gushing, over the top praise and thank you and applause and on and on and onand then match it to what is actually being done, is there a big gap there? what's going on? >> there most certainly is a very serious disconnect. like ginger said, the women should be recognised and honored 365 days a year. unfortunately, when women go into service organizations, a lot of times they are relegated to going into the auction ilre-- auxillary and helping in the kitchen rather than working with the service organization. i've seen some tremendous changes in a few of these organizations and they're becoming more women friendly, but the overall underlying
presumption is that women are warriors as well and we should be respected and treated as warriors and until that disconnect is gapped, we're just not going to have the respect that we need. when we look at society in general, the veterans themselves, they know that it's shallow. they know that thank you for your service, it makes the other person feel better, but it doesn't help the veteran because the veteran is not getting the access to care and services this that they were promised when they went into boot camp. they were willing to write a check up and to and including their life for the country, but when they need the help for their country-- from their country, they are being forsaken. i think there is a serious disconnect here and we need to start bridging that gap andy ternt does that because-- eternity does that. they make them feel important and help with the issues in their communities was it because of this lack
of follow through, this lack of services that follow a veteran long after their deployment and treatment for whatever injury, that groups like yours, like wounded warrior and so many others have had to rise up to fill in that gap that we're talking about? >> i think certainly there are gaps and i agree that the women's non-profits certainly face a unique challenge. we serve primarily special operations soldiers and i think i would be remiss if i didn't point out the fact that for the last 14 years more and more, so the special operations seals, rangers and deltas, they're carrying more and more of the load. we call them heavy lifters, and what those families and those military personnel are being asked to commit and go through is a tremendous sacrifice. so we try to serve them, but i
would like to point out the fact that what means the most to the veterans that we serve is genuine sincere care, sincere care. we had two young - not young, middle aged rangers now but that played their role in the conflict, leave our lodge just last week, both of them were tour men in tears and looked at us and said "this is a place of healing. this is a place of safety". i think what our soldiers are looking for, the veterans administration can provide only so much because it's really lifelong needs i want to thank my guests all of whom are working to support veterans ginger miller, jim daniel and ruth moore.