Skip to comments.Wounded Warrior Project Email Exchange (With Gun Talk Radio)
Posted on 11/15/2012 9:33:57 AM PST by Marie
Wounded Warrior Project Email Exchange
by Gun Talk on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 9:56am ·
After Sunday's show, we've gotten many emails about Tom's remarks after WWP declined an interview request on Gun Talk Radio because it's a firearms-related show. We've also seen the forums that are suggesting many things that are not true. So, I'm going to lay it all out right here.
We thought it would be great to book the WWP on the Veteran's Day show to promote the organization, so I contacted them. I was flabbergasted when their PR contact, Leslie, sent me an email saying they could not participate because our show dealt with firearms. Knowing that WWP has had a booth at trade shows and various gun shows across the US, takes wounded warriors on hunts and range days, raffles guns and accessories as fundraisers, etc., their policy didn't make much sense. I forwarded the email on to Tom to get his take.
The following is the complete email exchange:
Sarah forwarded me your email after I asked her to invite the Wounded Warriors Project to join me on "Tom Gresham's Gun Talk" radio show.
I'm stunned at your email saying that the WWP doesn't participate in an interview or activity related to firearms. Inasmuch as there are 90 million gun owners and most of them support wounded veterans, I think they would be shocked to hear that they are, by way of their hobbies, somehow not worthy of helping with the Wounded Warriors Project.
Does your policy apply also to police agencies and the military, since they are "related to firearms?"
I'm hoping that we have misunderstood your email. Can you confirm that it is, in fact, an official policy of the Wounded Warriors Project to not do interviews with or participate in any activity related to firearms?
Good afternoon --
While we appreciate your interest in Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) you are correct that we decline the media opportunity.
Please note the following notice that appears on our website which also applies to WWP public awareness policy and inquiries from media outlets:
WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.
Thank you for your inquiry.
LESLIE A. COLEMAN
public relations director
Wounded Warrior Project
4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
Thanks for confirming that, Leslie. It was a simple opportunity to promote the WWP on a national program in an effort to send donations your way.
I'll pass along the info that you don't want or need the help of America's gun owners.
Good morning --
This policy is not a judgment on those who own and use firearms clearly every member of our armed forces has been trained in the use of firearms and then called on to use them in the course of their service to this country.
Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.
LESLIE A. COLEMAN
public relations director
Thank you for that explanation.
I do think -- and I'm being as kind as possible -- that it's the nuttiest thing I've heard in years. Suicides are not linked to firearms. Japan has a much higher rate of suicide than does the U.S., and they have essentially no firearms. Suicide is a serious issue irrespective of the methodology used.
This explanation doesn't pass even the most simple "does this make sense" test.
Your policy does, in fact, brand firearms and the companies which make them as undesirables, and by association, you are saying that those who own and use firearms for recreation, hunting, self protection, and other safe and legal uses are to be avoided.
It's certainly your option to ostracize the firearms industry, the 90 million gun owners in America, and the media which support firearms safety training.
At this point, I feel an obligation to make sure the millions who listen to my radio show and watch my two national television series know about your policy.
I cannot fully express how much I feel you are doing a disservice to our wounded veterans, and how disappointed I am to discover this bias at the Wounded Warriors Project.
"Leslie" claims that WWP does not "WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies."
Alright then why did they have a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion on May 16, 2009? Would that not be sexual in nature?
Alcohol? Then why, on June 23rd of THIS year, did WWP kick off the 2nd Annual Knoxville Brewfest with a 5K run?
Co-branding with gunmakers? How about this Citadel M1911 that is actually BRANDED with the WWP logo as a promotion to raise funds for WWP?
Are these the new policies of WWP, or is "Leslie" off her rocker?
WWP needs to clarify their positions on these matters. And they need to do it now. Already hundreds are pulling their donations and it's only going to get worse as the bad press marches on.
I'm giving them a week to get it together before I transfer my monthly donation to another organization.
I find it insulting to our vets to paint them as suicidal drunks.
Here’s some ‘clarification’ from WWP.
Apparently, this IS their new policy and their ‘clarification’ is clear as mud.
So I guess we won’t be able to buy our WWP beer stein for much longer.
Y’know. Because of all those drunk, suicidal veterans.
LESLIE A. COLEMAN
public relations director
SO the WWP “Thinks” they “Need” a “Public Relations BITCH huh. SWIVE THEM. NOT ANOTHER DIME!
Organizations should have the right to go where they want to go. I have to read more into this entire story. I will not say anything bad against the wounded warriors because I know many of them in case this effects them emotionally. People (not you) should be careful how they turn invitations down so stuff like this does not happen. I hope they work this out. The vets do not need any of this.
How weird!!! I was almost going to donate to their recent drive, to fund a house for a vet. While I think it is a great idea, a little voice told me to hold my donation.
This was just the day before this story broke.
You and me both!
While there are people who have problems, that isn't limited by any means to veterans, but the idea that vets somehow are at a disadvantage when it comes to handling either alcohol or firearms is not doing anyone any favors.
Sadly, I will be diverting funds which would have gone to WWP to other veterans organizations without such an apparent cranio-rectal insertion, at least until the issue is straightened out. Our guys (and gals) don't need to be branded this way.
(What a stupidly missed opportunity to raise funds for the organization!)
I am to the point that I think most all *charities* skim too much of the top and many are even a scam.
I am to the point I would rather give directly to the person and cut out the middle man.
I don’t know why there can’t be a list of veterans in need and people can ‘adopt’ the veteran. Churches could help organize this.
Something like that anyhow...
Just like with the RNC, they aren’t representing us so we give directly to the candidates.
pass this along to your friends. I emailed them my dismay. Our local hunting/conservation advocacy group donates a lot of time and money and volunteer hours to assist all the disabled in outdoor activities, particularly hunting, and particularly wounded vets.
When my son was injured, it was the Semper Fi Fund and Charity Works, along with Fisher House.
I wouldn’t hesitate to give to them.
Also in Michigan, there is a pure charity called “Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund” run entirely by volunteers, so all the money passes to our heros.
I was involved in launching the WWP Outdoors Progrqm, but haven’t been so in a while. None of the folks I worked with are even there anymore, and their policies are totally different.
Please think about what you are doing! Why deny help to these wounded warriors just because you do not like the policy of the WWP?
Perhaps you could choose to send your donations to the Charlie Norwood VA Hospital (#1 Freedom Way, Augusta, GA. 30904) which has a large number of Wounded Warriors as patients as patients. You could designate the money for their Volunteer Services which provides many things to the veterans and current wounded warriors. This could be personal care items or even recreational opportunities. Or support the Fisher House, where military families and veterans families stay free of charge while spouses are receiving care at the VA Medical Centers. They can use donations for many needs and you can designate how you want it used. I have personally supported the purchase of “grab and go” breakfast items so the family members can get to the patients sooner. Family love is good medicine and the Fisher Houses make it possible for family to be with a patient. Food, linens, personal care products and anything you can think a household needs is all by donation.
So please consider these and other options before cutting off support. Thank you for your consideration.
They do a butt load of television advertising, and as a retired ad guy, I can tell you it’s not cheap. I wonder how much of their proceeds actually go to the ww themselves.
Check out Wounded Warriors In Action...pretty good organization. The husband went on a couple of the hunting trips and had a good time.
Thanks for the note. I have to be very careful about my charity giving. I simply can’t afford to support any progressive movement or progressive charity any further.
I’ll just say this...I work with another non-profit whose goal is to help provide education and resources to other wounded families (www.familyofavet.com) and when we have called on WWP to help a family with serious issues, we’ve gotten turned down more than once. This is one recent example, we at family of a vet received word of a family that had been homeless for about a year and turns out WWP had known about this family for months and did nothing to help when asked, even though their website says they help with financial resources. The founder of family of a vet (know her well, she’s a personal friend and I work with her) was able to go to a church and raise enough money to get the family temporary housing for a few months.
There are other veterans groups that don’t have their heads up their asses.
As a veteran, I would ask that you please support those other groups rather than this one...
I contribute monthly and will continue to do so.
While I think their stance on firearms is ridiculous, part of me understands their desire to control “the brand” and avoid offending potential donors. It’s a tricky business, but I think they’ve chosen the wrong side of it.
I understand, but I don’t agree.
The disgust is towards wwp & charities gone bad — not veterans.
I suspect wwp will change their policy in a few months when they see what damage they have done to their brand...but it will be too late.
Check out their 501c3 filings...pretty interesting reading.
They’re sort of like the NRA.
I give to them on a monthly CC charge, but they send me calendars, dog tags, etc. to get me to give more.
I’m sure that at some point, it becomes counterproductive (marginal costs > marginal revenue).
But, they do great work and I’m gonna continue to support them.
Will sadly pass this on to my Vets list and others. GD it! They have been compromised! Another one bites the dust...
I just cancelled my monthly donation. I was giving them $25/month. Pretty pathetic that they would adopt crazy positions like this but yet they’ll cozy up to Playboy.
You urge me to support any other group but this one? That is exactly what I am saying. We call our wounded “wounded warriors.” That is not exactly including the WWP, is it? Money or goods I donate to the Fisher House or the VA goes to help our wounded (warriors) or sick veterans. It does not go through the Wounded Warrior Project and has nothing to do with them.
If you ae are concerned about your money going to worthwhile charities, check the Fisher House website and you will be impressed, I promise you.
If you visit the website of Fisher House you will be gratgified to see how they spend the donations. You can designate which Fisher House you wish to receive your donation or you can put it in the general fund and it will be divided between them.
My husband stayed at the Fisher House in Austin when I had my spinal surgery. It was good for him to have a close place to grab some sleep for the 10 days I was admitted.
We lived an hour and a half from the hospital and it would’ve been hell for him to do that commute with the stress he was under.
We also stayed in the FH while my son was sick when he was a baby. Two weeks of hell. The FH made it bearable. We were broke and they let us stay for free.
The CEO gets over $300K.
I am glad to know you had a positive experience. Our local Fisher House in Augusta GA is on the grounds of the Charlie Norwood VAMC. There are 19 bedrooms and they are almost always full with up to 3 in a room.
It is as beautiful as a 5 star hotel and no one is ever charged for staying there. Some stay for months.
A mother and her two children recently stayed while her spouse was going though blind rehab. That is just one of the state of the art departments in the Charlie Norwood VAMC
I am quite proud of that hospital and of course the Fisher House.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us here on FR. I hope you and your family are all healthy now.
Perhaps that sentiment should be directed at WWP instead. They will get nothing from me unless they publically repudiate this policy. Money is scarce and I am already forced to surrender far to much of it to organizations who work against my interests (read The Government). I'll not do so voluntarily.
Ok. I will look into that, yes. I agree not to punish the wounded, and they do deserve support.
Thanks for mentioning The Fisher House. Great resource deserving of donations. In addition to monetary donations, I also try and send them lap/regular quilts and goody boxes w/phone cards, etc for those visiting.
I participated in the NYC Veterans’ Day Parade last Sunday, with another organization, and was stunned to see what seemed like a thousand participants from the WWP. They had tents set up in an area between 28th and 29th Sts, just off 5th Ave. There they were handing out blue drizzler jackets to all their “volunteers” along with handing out thousands of lic plate frames and other “souveniers” They also had food and entertainment there. I did see some wounded warriors, but I was still amazed at the number of volunteers they had.....and wondered what they did, other than get a jacket? Those jackets had to cost a pretty penny....or dollar, with inflation! Just how much of their income actually goes to the our service members?