To call this charity a colony of vultures would be doing a disservice to vultures.
For those of you who may have missed the editorial in the New York Times, or the findings of Henry Waxman's investigation, I feel compelled to pass this advice along.
If you get an envelope from the Coaltion to Salute America's Heroes or the Help Hospitalized Veterans, shred it. Yes, these people sound like they're all about helping veterans, but the truth, according to the Times, is they're more about helping themselves.
If scum had a face, it would look remarkably like Roger Chapin's, the founder of both charities. His self-congratulatory bio at HHV says our selfless hero is "...a veteran of the U. S. Army Finance Corps." In GI lingo, that makes him a REMF, which stands for Rear Echelon ... well, I'll let you fill in the rest. The bio goes on to say, "Roger has founded a number of organizations that have benefited veterans as well as society at large."
If veterans and society at large are primarily Mr. and Mrs. Chapin, then indeed, his charities have benefitted them quite handsomely, according to the Times:
"...Mr. Chapin gave himself and his wife $1.5 million in salary, bonuses and pension contributions over those three years, including more than $560,000 in 2006. The charities also reimbursed the Chapins more than $340,000 for meals, hotels, entertainment and other expenses, and paid for a $440,000 condominium and a $17,000 golf-club membership.
And what did the soldiers get? Try almost $18.8 million in “charitable” phone cards sent to troops overseas in 2006 — not to let them call their families, but rather to call up a stateside business that sells sports scores."
God damn. This makes me so angry I can't even conjure up a decent joke. As regular readers know, I have great respect for men and women who put themselves in danger for our sake. To find people like the Chapins feeding on their pain and sacrifice is almost more than I can bear.
When asked in testimony why his charities weren't more transparent, he said, “we’d all be out of business. Nobody would donate. It would dry up.”
That's the least we can hope for. I was thinking more along the lines of a long, painful and disfiguring illness.