Providing answers to questions regarding the publications will be presented here. Names will be omitted for security purposes. Newest questions will always be on the top and older questions/answers will fall below.
Q: If you know, does all of the money these Non-Profit Organizations go to helping veterans? Is there a way to know how much money from donations actually make it to help veterans and their families?
A: Charity Navigator is a good site to check out. This site will allow you to research the different NPOs and from there you can see how their money is distributed. (click on the text above: Charity Navigator and it will open in a new window)
Also, Charity Ratings is another location to check NPOs
You can also access their financials, which is important because it will lay out exactly where their money goes. Keep in mind, NPOs are supposed to be non-profit…so at the end of their fiscal reporting year, they should show zero profit. Remember these organizations still need to pay staff and admin expenses, but if you do your homework, you can quickly see who has ‘admin costs’ that are truly higher than normal.
Do your research on any/every organization you plan on donating your hard-earned money because not all organizations that boast about being pro-veteran, are. There are some who milk money out of those who care about veterans by looking the part, but with little effort, you can truly see their lies unfold. Data doesn’t lie.
As an example, if you were to look up a popular NPO that boasts about helping veterans, look at their financials and realize their CEO and other officers pay themselves over a quarter million dollars a year, and further research on Charity Navigator will show links to IRS filings, which will further show where their money goes.
After doing your homework, you may decide to put your money towards organizations that actually help veterans and their families instead of lining the pockets of those who prey on the public’s desire to honor our nation’s veterans. Prepared to be slightly disappointed in many of these groups.
Q: Are there a lot of veterans who are fighting for their disabilities?
A: There are too many veterans who are constantly fighting. That’s one of the horrible realities. You don’t know what you don’t know and that means that if you don’t know how things work, then how can you expect the process to be smooth or efficient? Short answer is you can’t.
Q: Can you give any advice?
A: I cannot legally direct you in any direction, but I can provide insight into what I had to do and why. This way I am not directing you in any way, rather I’m just providing a parallel sample of what I had experienced.
Q: The book hints at VSOs not being effective. Your opinion?
A: VSOs can be great help and a voice to help you battle your case(s) against the VA. The book stresses the fact that there are good VSO agents and bad VSO agents, good VSOs and bad VSOs. The point to that is to indicate that you should do your research to find which VSO can help you in your battle. If you are not happy with your VSO, research the area and switch.
NOTE: The big thing about VSOs and the veteran is this: Too many veterans drop their records off and sign with a VSO and then the veteran(s) forget about their case because they think/believe the VSO is going to go toe-to-toe with the VA until they get everything they believe they are deserving. This is a fallacy. The VSO handles many cases and it is up to you to be proactive about your own case. Keep in touch with your VSO and ask questions. Go and visit your VSO and bring them a coffee or a donut. I am not saying to bribe your VSO, since they can only do what they are allowed to do (by law), but I am saying that if I was a VSO agent and someone brought me a jelly donut and asked me how I was doing, before talking about their case, I will remember that person better.
Q: Is this story fictitious? The conversation makes it seem like it happened.
A: This is a fictional story and the conversation was written to make the reader feel like they are in the room, listening to the conversation between the young firefighter and the veteran.
Q: Is “The Kingdom” referencing a specific hospital or clinic (at the VA)?
A: The Kingdom is just a reference to the big organization that the veteran has dealt with over the many years he had to battle.