Wounded Warrior Project
|Type||Nonprofit 501(C)(3) Corporation|
|Jonathan Woodson (Board Chair)|
Kathleen Widmer (Vice Chair)
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is an American charity and veterans service organization that operates as a nonprofit 501(c)(3). WWP offers a variety of programs, services and events for wounded veterans who incurred a physical or mental injury, illnesses, or co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001. Military family members and caregivers are also eligible for WWP programs.
As of August 22, 2021, WWP served 157,975 registered alumni and 40,520 registered family support members. Since its formation, the organization has partnered with several charities they deem community partners, including the American Red Cross, Resounding Joy, a music therapy group in California, and Operation Homefront. In July 2022, WWP partnered with a total of twenty-eight veteran service organizations who collectively received grants totalling over $5.9 million. WWP has also previously provided a year-long Track program, which helped veterans transition to college and the workplace.
WWP allocates 71 percent of its revenue to programs and services for wounded veterans and their families, and the remaining balance pays to support those programs.
WWP is recognized under the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) workplace giving program of the federal government of the United States with CFC #11425.
Discover more about Wounded Warrior Project related topics
Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2003 in Roanoke, Virginia, by John Melia. Melia had been severely wounded in a helicopter crash while serving in Somalia in 1992. Melia assembled backpacks distributed to injured veterans at the former Bethesda Naval Hospital (now the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center) and Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Wounded Warrior Project initially operated as a division of the United Spinal Association of New York, which adopted WWP as a program in November 2003. WWP continued to support injured service members by providing them with free WWP Backpacks filled with comfort items.
In September 2005, The United Spinal Association granted $2.7 million to WWP to "develop into a stand-alone charity with its own identity and programs," with the intent to expand its services from providing immediate comfort items to providing longer-term support for returning wounded veterans via compensation, education, health care, insurance, housing, employment, etc.
The WWP Backpacks program remains a central activity of WWP, evidenced by the more than 65,000 backpacks the organization has distributed since 2018 in support of transitioning U.S. military veterans.
Former CEO Steven Nardizzi and former COO Al Giordano were fired from Wounded Warrior Project after they were accused in 2016 of spending massive amounts of the nonprofit's money on lavish company retreats and personal enrichment for themselves. Several former employees alleged that they were fired because they raised concerns over the mismanagement.
Discover more about History related topics
Wounded Warrior Project registered for incorporation on February 23, 2005. WWP was granted accreditation as of September 10, 2008, by the Veterans Affairs Secretary as a Veterans Service Organization (VSO) "recognized by the Secretary for the purpose of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs." The Veterans Administration's online List of Representatives for Accredited Organizations includes contact information for WWP's accredited service officers. as well as a search tool to access information about other VSOs.
In July 2006, Wounded Warrior Project's headquarters were moved to Jacksonville, Florida. WWP Founder John Melia cited a strong local veteran community, access to Jacksonville International Airport, and support from the local business community, specifically the PGA Tour, as the reason for the move. The WWP headquarters underwent a major $1.3 million renovation according to the Jacksonville Business Journal.
Veterans and military support programs
Wounded Warrior Project provides interactive programs, rehabilitation retreats, and free mental health counseling. WWP's outpatient care and therapy sessions provide PTSD and TBI treatment through four academic medical centers in the United States, including Emory Healthcare Veterans Program.
Warriors to Work
Warriors to Work is a WWP veteran employment program that connects veterans with employers and resources for jobs. Through career counseling, including resume building, interview preparation, and salary negotiation assistance, veterans can find work that best fits their skill sets and allows them to smoothly transition into civilian life.
Family support programs
Wounded Warrior Project helps families of veterans reconnect through events that support family bonding and transitional skills. By providing the space and time for veterans to spend with their loved ones, the transition from service member to civilian gets that much easier. Through their veteran family support programs, Wounded Warrior Project also helps guide families through the sometimes confusing process of receiving VA benefits.
Warrior Care Network
Warrior Care Network is an initiative providing access to high-quality care for veterans mainly dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Established in 2016, the $100 million project included four PTSD treatment centers in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Project Odyssey is an "adventure-based learning program" that provides veterans from all branches of the armed services an opportunity to work together in group activities and psychoeducational sessions. Through the Project Odyssey program, veterans can engage with other veterans with similar interests, such as motorcycle riding. Rolling Project Odyssey offers a series of group rides for veterans.
For the past 20 years, Wounded Warrior Project has organized its annual Soldier Ride, a multi-day cycling program. The most recent Soldier Ride was in January 2023 and featured a 3-day bike ride starting in Miami, Florida, and ending in the Florida Keys. Participants in the ride were also invited to interact with dolphins at Dolphin Research Center in the Florida Keys. In 2022, participants were invited to the White House to start the ride, where they were welcomed by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
Wounded Warrior Project's Independence Program offers support to veterans with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or other neurological conditions, and their caregivers. This program is for recovering veterans that are transitioning from a medical facility to their home environment to allow them to rely on themselves and become functionally independent. Through the program, veterans gain access to occupational therapy, social workers and rehab counselors on site where they live, without having to pay any out of pocket costs.
Discover more about Veterans and military support programs related topics
On May 27, 2014, Wounded Warrior Project filed a lawsuit against Dean Graham, a disabled veteran with PTSD, and his Help Indiana Vets, Inc. organization. After a court ruling, Graham retracted the allegations he leveled against Wounded Warrior Project and folded his direct-aid non-profit. In 2016 and 2017, however, subsequent investigations by a Jacksonville, FL television station and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee found that WWP "'inaccurately' reported the money it spent on veterans' programs by using 'inflated' numbers and 'misleading' advertisements."
Wounded Warrior Project filed a lawsuit in October 2014 seeking damages and court costs against a Blandon, Pennsylvania, non-profit, Keystone Wounded Warriors, claiming confusing similarities between the Keystone and WWP logo; Hampton Roads, VA Channel 3 TV covered the Keystone story on April 30, 2015, and Nonprofit Quarterly covered the story with a title asking, is WWP "a 'Neighborhood Bully' among Veterans Groups?" Tim Mak also covered the suit for the Daily Beast.
After a reporter for the Tacoma, Washington News Tribune informed disabled veteran Airman Alex Graham, a blogger at the conspiracy website Veterans Today, of a pending lawsuit against him by the WWP, he removed his articles critical of their policies, later retracting his criticisms and issuing a public apology.
Discover more about Controversy related topics
In March 2014, WWP testified before Congress strongly supporting the bill "To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide veterans with counseling and treatment for sexual trauma that occurred during inactive duty training (H.R. 2527; 113th Congress)". The bill would extend a VA program of counseling, care and services for military sexual trauma that occurred during active duty or active duty for training to veterans who experienced such trauma during inactive duty training. The bill would alter current law, which allows access to such counseling only to active duty members of the military, so that members of the Reserves and National Guard would be eligible.
The WWP did a study of its alumni and found that, "almost half of the respondents indicated accessing care through VA for MST-related conditions was 'very difficult'. And of those who did not seek VA care, 41% did not know they were eligible for such care." The WWP also testified that in addition to expanding access to MST care, the VA needed to improve care itself, because veterans report "inadequate screening, providers who were either insensitive or lacked needed expertise and facilities ill-equipped to appropriately care for MST survivors."
The Government Affairs team advocates for legislation that helps veterans and their supporters. Several bills have passed, including the Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI), the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, the Ryan Kules and Paul Benne Specially Adaptive Housing Improvement Act of 2019, the Veteran Families Financial Support Act (2020) and the PACT Act (2022). WWP's legislative agenda is guided by the information in the organization's Annual Warrior Alumni Survey and encompasses issue areas spanning from veteran brain health and toxic exposure to women veteran issues.
In 2020, Wounded Warrior Project's Legislative Director, Derek Fronabarger, worked with Jon Stewart from The Daily Show to advocate on Toxic Exposure related issues for service members and veterans.
In 2022, Jose Ramos, vice president of government and community relations for the Wounded Warrior Project announced support, on behalf of WWP, for the Maj. Richard Star amendment, a House Bill that would make disabled war veterans with under 20 years of active service eligible for both disability and retirement benefits.
Donations and spending
In 2012, WWP spent US$114,817,090 on programs in support of wounded veterans, their families, and caregivers.
In 2013, a new employee mistakenly declined to accept a donation from Liberty Baptist Church in Fort Pierce, Florida, and issued this inadvertent statement to the church leaders in an email, "We must decline the opportunity to be the beneficiary of your event due to our fundraising event criteria, which doesn't allow community events to be religious in nature." Shortly after the church received this letter, a WWP spokesperson apologized and said that it was a miscommunication.
In June 2015, The Daily Beast reported that the WWP sells its donor information to third parties. It also alleged that WWP distributed what it deemed an insubstantial percentage of donations to actual wounded warriors, and that it overpaid its executive staff.
In January 2016, The New York Times reported that only 60 percent of the revenue of the Wounded Warrior Project is spent on programs to help veterans; the remaining 40 percent was overhead. It also reported claims of work environment coercion, and multiple terminations. That same month, CBS News disclosed that the WWP had grown to spend millions of dollars annually on team-building events.
In March 2016, Wounded Warrior Project's board of directors dismissed the charity's top two executives, Steven Nardizzi and Al Giordano, after hiring the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett to perform an independent review of spending issues related to the company's funds. Board chairman Anthony Odierno was announced as temporarily taking control of the charity. And spending on conferences and meetings had increased from just under $2 million in 2010 to $26 million in 2014.
In October 2016, Charity Navigator dropped Wounded Warrior Project from its "watch list", and later boosted the nonprofit's score to a four-star rating (out of four stars).
In February 2017, the Better Business Bureau released a report clearing Wounded Warrior Project of the "lavish spending" allegations, and "found the organization's spending to be consistent with its programs and mission."
Discover more about Donations and spending related topics
According to a 2013 article in Nonprofit Quarterly, "Depending on the rater, the Wounded Warrior Project seems to have scored low (Charity Watch), high (BBB Wise Giving Alliance) or somewhere in the middle (Charity Navigator)". However, for the fiscal year ended 30 September 2016, Charity Watch assigned WWP a C+ rating (up from a D originally) and Charity Navigator published its rating for WWP on 1 February 2017 as "four out of four stars" (up from three). As of August 2018, that rating had dropped back down to 3 stars. According to Charity Navigator, WWP allocates 71 percent of its revenue to program and service expenses and the remaining balance pays to support those programs. In January 2017 The Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance renewed its accreditation of WWP, for the next two years, as meeting the 20 standards for charity accountability.
Discover more about Charity ratings related topics
Source: "Wounded Warrior Project", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 15th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Warrior_Project.
Get our FREE extension now!
Veterans Health Administration
Move America Forward
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
Fisher House Foundation
Army Wounded Warrior Program
Blinded Veterans Association
Military Order of the Purple Heart
Florida Department of Veterans Affairs
H.R. 2527 (113th Congress)
United States military veteran suicide
Semper Fi Fund
Warrior Care Network
- ^ a b "Wounded Warrior Project General FAQs". Retrieved September 13, 2013.
- ^ "Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax : Wounded Warrior Project" (PDF). Pdfs.citizenaudit.org. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ Who We Serve, Wounded Warrior Project, retrieved May 12, 2015
- ^ Expanded Emergency Financial Assistance Now Available For Wounded Warriors, Operation Homefront, retrieved September 19, 2013
- ^ a b Wounded Warrior Project spends 58% of donations on veterans programs, Tampa Bay Times, retrieved September 19, 2013
- ^ "Hope for the Warriors Receives $100,000 Community Partnership Grant from Wounded Warrior Project". Hope for the Warriors - Restoring: Self, Family, Hope. July 25, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
- ^ Chavez, Paloma (August 23, 2022). "Charity golf tournament for wounded veterans was a scam, Arizona police say". Retrieved March 15, 2023.
- ^ a b Strupp, Dave (July 6, 2007), "Fast-growing group helps warriors", Jacksonville Business Journal, Jacksonville, Florida: American City Business Journals, Inc., OCLC 44317335, archived from the original on April 28, 2011
- ^ a b Herbert, Robert (March 12, 2004), "Our Wounded Warriors", The New York Times
- ^ CNN Fredricka Whitfield interview with John Melia, CNN, March 20, 2004, archived from the original on June 4, 2011, retrieved August 21, 2009, archived by WebCite here
- ^ United States Congress. Senate. Committee on Veterans' Affairs (2005), Back from the Battlefield, Part II: Seamless Transition to Civilian Life : Hearing Before the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session, April 19, 2005, Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, pp. 7–8, ISBN 978-0-16-075462-3, LCCN 2006415120, OCLC 63270891
- ^ National Veterans Organization Awards $2.7 Million Grant to Aid Wounded Soldiers, United Spinal Association, retrieved September 30, 2013
- ^ How A Backpack Changed This Warrior's Life, Wounded Warrior Project, retrieved May 25, 2019
- ^ Philipps, Dave (January 27, 2016). "Wounded Warrior Project Spends Lavishly on Itself, Insiders Say". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- ^ "Wounded Warrior Project cleared of 'spending lavishly,' report finds - The Washington Post". The Washington Post.
- ^ Reid, Chip; Janisch, Jennifer (May 25, 2017). "Sen. Grassley releases report on Wounded Warrior Project spending". cbsnews.com. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- ^ "Wounded Warrior Project fires top 2 executives after accusations of lavish spending". Dallas News. March 10, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- ^ "2013/2014 Directory : Veterans and Military Service Organizations" (PDF). Va.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ "List of Representative for Accredited Organization". Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- ^ "Accreditation Search" (PDF). Va.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ "Gilbane doing $1.3 million renovation of Wounded Warrior Project HQ". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ "Mental Health Services for Veterans". Wounded Warrior Project. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- ^ HealthDay (January 5, 2023). "3-Week Program Effective in Helping to Ease Combat-Linked PTSD". Retrieved March 5, 2023.
- ^ Redmon, Jeremy (December 25, 2019). "Iraq war veteran helps others recover from invisible wounds at Emory". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
- ^ "Veteran Employment Programs & Career Counseling". Wounded Warrior Project. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- ^ "Educational and Career Counseling (VA Chapter 36)". U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- ^ "Veteran Family Support Programs". Wounded Warrior Project. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
- ^ The Washington Times (November 4, 2015). "More troops suffer from PTSD, still lack access to mental health care: survey". The Washington Times.
- ^ "The Wounded Warrior Project's Rolling Project Odyssey". Cycle World.
- ^ a b "Veterans arrive in Utah to receive 'motorcycle therapy'". FOX 13 News Utah (KSTU). July 26, 2022.
- ^ "Wounded Warrior bike ride set to start Thursday".
- ^ "Wounded Warriors end Florida Keys Soldier Ride with dolphins". www.cbsnews.com.
- ^ Leib, Mason (June 23, 2022). "Biden welcomes wounded warriors, families to White House ahead of annual bike ride". ABC News.
- ^ Staff, News4Jax com (July 1, 2015). "Winn-Dixie: July Fourth profits to be donated to Wounded Warrior Project". WJXT.
- ^ a b "'Headway' helps local veterans with brain, spinal injuries regain independence". wwltv.com. March 15, 2022.
- ^ Ashton, Adam (February 9, 2015), Wounded Warrior Project sues a veteran critic in Gig Harbor, The News Tribune
- ^ "Motion for Entry of Consent Judgment and Permanent Injunction" (PDF). Wounded Warrior Project. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- ^ Gardner, Lynnsey (May 24, 2017). "Senate releases report criticizing Wounded Warrior Project's past spending". Graham Media Group. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- ^ a b Mike Mather (April 29, 2015). "Small veterans' charity sued for "unfair competition" by Wounded Warrior Project". WTKR.com. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ "Keystone Wounded Warriors sued for 'unfair competition' by Wounded Warrior Project". fox43.com. May 12, 2015.
- ^ Tim Mak. "'Wounded Warrior' Charity Unleashes Hell—On Other Veteran Groups". The Daily Beast. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ Fitzsimmons, Kevin (October 8, 2014), Lawsuit over logo filed against Keystone Wounded Warriors, WFMZ-TV
- ^ Ashton, Adam (February 9, 2015), Wounded Warrior Project sues a veteran critic in Gig Harbor, The News Tribune
- ^ "H.R. 2527 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- ^ "Wounded Warrior Project Statement for the Record Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs United States Senate". May 22, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
- ^ Neiweem, Christopher J. (March 27, 2014). "Submission for the Record of VetsFirst". House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- ^ a b "Submission for the Record of Wounded Warrior Project". House Committee on Veterans Affairs. March 27, 2014. Archived from the original on May 29, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- ^ "Veteran Policies - Legislative Advocacy for Veterans | WWP". www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
- ^ "Legislative Priorities". www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
- ^ "Bill to improve VA adaptive housing grants passes House".
- ^ "Impact of Wounded Warrior Project Advocacy Efforts Crosses $2.5 Billion".
- ^ Studios, Yahoo Creative (May 24, 2022). "'Natural reactions to a very unnatural situation': Here are some of the urgent issues facing post-9/11 veterans". Yahoo News. Retrieved December 20, 2022.
- ^ "Veterans: Frontline Concerns - Jon Stewart and Derek Fronabarger". The Washington Post.
- ^ "In a blow to disabled and retired war vets, Congress skips measure that would help ease financial strains". NBC News.
- ^ "Bill to help disabled war vets surpasses rare threshold of support, forging new path for House vote after dying in committee". news.yahoo.com.
- ^ WWP Financials, Wounded Warrior Project, retrieved September 19, 2013
- ^ "Wounded Warrior Project denies money donation from a Fort Pierce Christian School". WPTV-TV. Retrieved February 1, 2013.
- ^ Starnes, Todd (February 4, 2013), Wounded Warrior Project Apologizes for Rejecting Church Donation, Fox News
- ^ Tim Mak. "'Wounded Warrior' Charity Fights—To Get Rich". The Daily Beast. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- ^ Phillips, Dave (January 27, 2016). "Wounded Warrior Project Spends Lavishly on Itself, Insiders Say". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
- ^ Reid, Chip; Janisch, Jennifer (January 26, 2016). "Wounded Warrior Project accused of wasting donation money". cbsnews.com. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
- ^ Phillips, Dave (March 10, 2016). "Wounded Warrior Board Ousts Top Two Executives". New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2016.
- ^ "Wounded Warrior Project's Top Execs Fired After Spending Scandal,” Military.com, March 11, 2016.
- ^ "Charity watchdog drops Wounded Warrior Project from watch list". WJXT Channel 4. October 3, 2016.
- ^ Wax-Thibodeaux, Emily (February 8, 2017). "Wounded Warrior Project cleared of 'spending lavishly,' report finds". Washington Post.
- ^ COHEN, RICK. "One Charity, Many Different Ratings: What's a Donor to Do?". Nonprofit Quarterly. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
- ^ "Charity Navigator - Rating for Wounded Warrior Project". Charity Navigator. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- ^ "Charity Navigator - Rating for Wounded Warrior Project". www.charitynavigator.org.
- ^ "BBB Wise Giving Alliance". Better Business Bureau. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
- 2003 establishments in Florida
- 501(c)(3) organizations
- Advocacy groups in the United States
- All Wikipedia articles written in American English
- All articles with unsourced statements
- Articles with ISNI identifiers
- Articles with short description
- Articles with unsourced statements from September 2021
- Charities based in Florida
- Non-profit organizations based in Jacksonville, Florida
- Official website different in Wikidata and Wikipedia
- Organizations established in 2003
- Pages using infobox organization with motto or pledge
- Short description matches Wikidata
- United States military support organizations
- Use American English from January 2019
- Use mdy dates from January 2019
- Wounded and disabled military veterans topics
The content of this page is based on the Wikipedia article written by contributors..
The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence & the media files are available under their respective licenses; additional terms may apply.
Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization & is not affiliated to WikiZ.com.