Many of our readers will remember a calendar we printed filled with wounded warriors as a fundraiser for Brian Kolfage. Brian used the funds we raised to help support a mentoring program he started that helps other amputees and their families deal with the loss of a limb or multiple limbs while they were serving our nation.
Senior Airman Brian Kolfage is a triple amputee who lost 3 of his limbs after a rocket landed next to him in Iraq. He’s never spent a moment of his life feeling sorry for himself or behaving like a victim after his tragic accident. Wounded Warriors has played a major part in Brian’s life, and has allowed him to reach out to other wounded warriors in an effort to help them heal. Brian is truly an inspiration to everyone he comes in contact with. He’s also a fierce defender of those who have helped him and his fellow veterans, so it comes as no surprise to us that Brian worked with writers at Freedom Daily to expose the wrongs of the New York Times and CBS after they did a horrible smear job on The Wounded Warriors.
Freedom Daily – The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) has been helping injured veterans since its inception in 2003, 2 years after the deadly terror attacks that rocked the nation on 9-11. Since its inception, the organization became the #1 veterans charity in the world. This year, WWP surpassed the 100,000 mark in terms of veterans they provide assistance to. Work the Wounded Warrior Project does has seen billions of dollars go to help severely injured veterans, and that doesn’t even include the charity’s day to day operations.
After being attacked by the New York Times and CBS News last year, Wounded Warrior Project has fallen on hard times, and many severely wounded veterans are no longer receiving assistance. But now the truth has come out. The reports by the Times and CBS that Wounded Warrior Project was misusing funds has been completely debunked. Not only were tens of thousands of wounded veterans harmed by the lies maliciously told about WWP, but two of the founding members were fired by the board of directors, and now they’re speaking out.
Freedom Daily spoke exclusively to Al Giordano, a Marine vet & co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer of WWP.
In 2009, Steve Nardizzi, another co-founder, became CEO of WWP. Both he & Giordano have been credited with building the Wounded Warrior Project into a charity powerhouse for injured veterans. That’s when MSM began running fake news about the organization.
On Wednesday, January 27, 2016, the New York Times ran a story based on the testimonies of several employees of WWP who were disgruntled over their termination from the charity. The former employees who had been fired had created a private Facebook page with which to communicate with one another. There they plotted to take down Wounded Warrior Project, and the New York Times was more than eager to help.
Here is a response that was published by the NYT’s to their article:
To the Editor:
I read with disgust your slanted article on the Wounded Warrior Project. The saddest part is that it endeavors to hurt an organization that does so much to help our wounded soldiers.
I have been involved with the Wounded Warrior Project for over 12 years. I have met over 1,000 soldiers and their caregivers whose lives have been positively affected by the organization. Many soldiers have told me they would have committed suicide were it not for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Your article zoned in on some disgruntled former employees rather than the roughly 500 staff members who work tirelessly to honor and empower our wounded. You do not reflect the sentiments of the more than 80,000 wounded soldiers we have helped, focusing instead on a few malcontents. For fiscal year 2015, Wounded Warrior reported a 92.9 percent satisfaction rate with the organization’s services.
Giordano steered us to Professor Doug White, an author, recognized expert on charities, and former Director of the Masters of Science in Fundraising Management program at Columbia University. Professor White became aware of the hit piece done by the New York Times and compiled a 79-page independent report on the matter.
White pointed out in his independent report that the Facebook group included Len Stachitis, Executive Vice President of Strategic Giving of WWP. Stachitis was terminated for covering up the theft of donor dollars from his direct reports including Teresa Nichols, Manager of Major gifts, another member of the Facebook group.
Dave Philipps, a reporter for the Times, had been contacted by the group of fired WWP employees in June of 2015. Giordano relayed to us that while some former employees spoke glowingly about what WWP had done for them personally, they lied about how the charity was being managed. They had a score to settle. And Philipps ate it up.
Nothing good that Philipps was told about WWP made it into his final article for the New York Times.
What did Philipps leave out of his hit piece?
•Employees told him that WWP saved their lives and even their marriages.
•Dan Nevins, an Army vet who lost both of his legs in Iraq literally cried about what WWP had done for him. Philipps laughed about it.
•WWP had awesome morale and the lowest employee turnover for any charity – half the industry standard.
•WWP had been voted the best non-profit to work for 3 years in a row – Philipps said it was worst.
•WWP set up a private health care network with $70 million over three years to 4 hospitals for injured veterans to receive free mental health counseling.
•WWP set up a Trust Fund with $100 million to take care of veterans whose parents couldn’t so they wouldn’t have to have the government put them into nursing homes.
•Al Giordano and Steve Nardizzi got rave reviews from the WWP Board of Directors for how they did their jobs… Every. Single. Year.
•A third party company was even brought in to do the internal polling in order to avoid the possibility of employees feeling “pressured” to rate their bosses in a favorable light.
None of these things made it into the New York Times’ hit piece on the Wounded Warrior Project. Everything that was perceived to be negative about the charity, even the lies the disgruntled, fired employees told Philipps, made the cut, though. Imagine that.
The biggest lie the New York Times told about Wounded Warrior Project? That they only spent 60 cents of every dollar donated for wounded veterans.
The New York Times cited a report from charity auditor “Charity Navigator” that WWP spent “lavishly” on executives & administration rather than on vets. It turns out, the reporting was completely bogus, and just recently, WWP was afforded a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator, it’s top rating, for the fiscal year 2015. Of course, for the New York Times, the story is all that matters, regardless of who is hurt if the story is 100% BS.
Wounded Warrior Project’s past finances were audited by FTI consulting and the Better Business Bureau. They found that there was NO “lavish spending” on the part of WWP and that the charity, in fact, gave 81% of contributions to injured vets.
Professor White explained in his report how the inaccurate reporting came about. His conclusions are damning – for the Fake News New York Times that is. In his report, he states that:
Today, Steve Nardizzi and Al Giordano have been vindicated as over 300 media outlets have so far carried the story that WWP was in fact NOT misusing donor funds. Nardizzi and Giordano were fired because of FAKE news put out by the New York Times, and by CBS News (We’ll have an exclusive follow-up story on CBS News’ stunning part in the take-down soon, also).
The disgusting thing about all of this? Despite being proven wrong, neither the New York Times nor CBS will publish a retraction of their false stories. The Wounded Warrior Project is on schedule to lose $300 million in donor funds since the fake news stories came out. This has devastated WWP and its ability to help more wounded veterans, according to Giordano. Millions of veterans have been affected.
Even the uber-liberal Washington Post reported on WWP being cleared of any wrongdoing under Nardizzi & Giordano.
Houston Chronicle – After reports they were “spending lavishly” on things like travel, dinners and team building exercises at posh resorts instead of the needs of combat veterans, the Wounded Warrior Project has been given a clean bill of fiscal health from the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance said this month that the Florida-based Wounded Warrior Project meets their 20 point standard of charity accountability. According to their report, the WWP gets a passing grade for proper finances, governance, effectiveness and funding raising.
“WWP provided details of expenses and expense areas to demonstrate there was no evidence of lavish spending,” according to the report which found “the organization’s spending to be consistent with its programs and mission.”
One of the issues that drew critical attentionin 2016 was a so-called “All Hands” meeting for WWP’s employees at a five-star hotel in Colorado Springs. The audit from the BBB determined that the event cost $1 million and not the $3 million that was reported in the media.
“That amounted to less than $440 per day for the five-day training for 415 staff members, including hotel, food, travel and conference cost,” according to the report.
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly covered the news. Watch at 3:48 into the video.