Veteran Charities

Posted: August 4, 2011 in Uncategorized

Veterans call it disgraceful. Former state Sen. Dan Gelber wants to make it a felony. The problem, men dressed in military fatigues at intersections and grocery stores, soliciting donations for veterans. Real military vets say non-veterans dressed in fatigues are fooling the public into donating money. Senate Bill 1824 – which earned a 10-0 vote in the committee – would make it a felony to misrepresent oneself as a veteran or member of the U.S. Armed forces in order to collect donations from the public. In many of Florida's major cities, paid solicitors asking motorists and shoppers for contributions, are dressed in military combat uniforms and stationed on street corners and at retail stores. "This is a critical first step toward passage, and I thank my colleagues for joining me in standing up for our veterans all across Florida," Gelber said. "The unanimous vote just goes to show that impersonating our veterans for personal enrichment won't be tolerated." The bill next heads to the senate criminal justice committee for a hearing.
"Why do they need to wear the uniform? We are furious," Don Rickard, Treasurer of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 133, told Miami TV Channel 10's reporter Jeff Weinsier. "It galls me. Words can't describe it," said Harry Ahrens with The Veterans of Foreign Wars. "Do you get any money? How much money do you get?" Weinsier asked "Brian," a non-veteran who was wearing fatigues and soliciting on Hillsboro Boulevard and Federal Highway for an organization called Veterans in Need Foundation. "Sir, I have no comment," the man replied.Weinsier asked Josh Riley, the Chief Operating Officer for the foundation, how much money collected actually goes to veterans. "We don't have a figure to give to the public at this time," Riley said. An internet check revealed Veterans In Need Foundation located at 2303 W Mcnab Rd, Pompano Beach, FL 33069 Tel: (954) 941-1919 is a private company categorized under Veterans' and Military Organizations. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $81,000 and employs a staff of approximately 3. [Source: article 15 Mar 2010 & VFW Post 2391 Incident report 25 Jul 2011 ++]


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