[green-label]NEWS:[/green-label] On 2 November 2015, Facebook user Courtney Leigh Schumacher shared the photograph display above along with a message criticizing the popular Wounded Warrior Project charity and veterans service organization.
Schumacher's Facebook post mentioned branded merchandise frequently sent to her family by the Wounded Warrior Project (such as clothing, hats, and bags), then described her personal experience with the organization in the past. According to Schumacher, her combat veteran husband was gravely injured at the end of her second pregnancy, and numerous pleas from Schumacher to the organization in the family's time of great need were ignored. Schumacher first addressed continued receipt of such tokens before providing background about her family's difficulties:
Dear Wounded Warrior Project,
Please stop sending us merchandise. We do not want the hats, stickers, magnets, clothing and backpacks you send us throughout the year. I don't understand how you have the funds for these items, yet you can't help the countless Veterans who need it. You can show us your programs and have a few Veterans testify for you, but it means nothing. I'm not a person who read a negative article about you and is now deciding to speak out. I am a caregiver who approached you in my time of need and I was told no. I was 3 weeks away from delivering our second son when my husband was injured. I flew from California to Bethesda to be by his side.
According to Schumacher, the confluence of her pregnancy and her spouse's severe injuries created several opportunities wherein a modicum of meaningful assistance would have greatly lightened the family's considerable burdens. Schumacher described specific challenges she struggled to meet (while preparing for her second child's birth and attending to her combat-injured husband) and prospective services that she stated were rejected despite her requests:
I asked for baby items and assistance with travel for our immediate family so I could recover. I was told no. These were two of my dozen of requests that were all denied. I asked then what can help us with and you said "whatever you need." Merchandise was the only thing we have ever received from you.
Schumacher then reported that other support organizations did step in, reuniting the family in time for her baby's birth and Christmas:
Fortunately for us, an organization did support us and fulfilled our needs. They gave us a swing and a pack n play for my husbands hospital room so I could continue his care. They flew our family out in time for the birth and flew out our oldest son,who was 4, across the country to spend Christmas with us. This organization was the Semper Fi Fund. I will be sending an email today to be removed from your mailing list. I hate to see anymore of your donor's funds wasted. Sincerly, the caregiver of a triple amputee. @wwp @semperfifund #wwpgear#woundedwarriorproject #semperfifund
After Schumacher's post went (by her description) "viral," she shared a follow up status on 4 November 2015 which offered the video shown below:
PLEASE SHARE! My rant has gone viral, so please make my rave go viral. This organization blessed us with a mortgage free handicap accessible home last thanksgiving. We were honored to be featured in this PSA. Homes for our troops is such an amazing organization that those they help are not paid to be in their ads, they are honored to be in their ads.
At Homes for Our Troops we believe our donor dollars should go directly toward serving our Veterans. Since 2004, nearly 90 cents of every dollar donated has gone toward building almost 200 mortgage-free, specially adapted homes. Please watch and share this 60 second video about our mission, and help us Build Homes and Rebuild Lives.
Posted by Homes for Our Troops on Wednesday, November 4, 2015
The group Schumacher referenced in her follow-up was Homes for Our Troops, a community organization that provides mortgage-free, specially adapted homes for wounded veterans.