In an attempt to stem their expected losses following the revelations of exorbitant CEO pay, the Big Six VSOs announced plans today to institute a temporary surcharge on Vets for helping them with their VA claims.
James Robert “Jimbob” Sniffalot, who drew the short straw, was trotted out to do the press release yesterday in the bar at the VFW headquarters in DC. Nursing a Jack and Coke, he bemoaned the mainstream media attack on Veterans Service Organizations and their devoted employees.
“In light of the Sequestration and the expected drop in donations and membership, it is with heavy heart that we announce the need to institute a means test on all Veterans and begin charging a small pittance for representing them before the Veterans Administration. This miniscule fee, amounting to no more than 20% of a Veteran’s award, will be collected following his grant. We do not see a need for a higher percentage because we’ve agreed to suck it in and go lean. We feel the pain of our Vets and we commiserate with them but we simply cannot sustain our losses at this time. With the advent of the Sequestration, funds available to us from Congress are slated to dry up.” said Sniffalot.
When queried about this more closely, Sniffalot admitted Congress was not cutting them short but intimated that “they might and we simply have to consider that possibility”. When pushed for some type of corroboration for his comments, Sniffalot was vociferous about the possibility of forged IRS Form 990s that have appeared recently. ” We have enemies in this business. The lawyers who represent Vets have it in for us. They’re the ones behind this. They’re greedy and want more than the 20% they gouge now” We’re simply mirroring the industry standard at 20%.”
It appears with the recent reports of extravagant pay and vacations on the Riviera for “Veterans Affairs Conferences” that most or all of the Big Six will hunker down and deny the IRS Form 990s released in the last few weeks are wholly representative of their CEOs’ pay. The American Legion went so far as to release the new location of their 2013 extravaganza as Peoria, Iowa rather than their original choice of Kapalua on Maui citing the economy as a reason. “We are just want to spend our member’s dollars in America rather than take them to the overseas” said AmLeg spokesperson Amanda Chursprudethsha. When it was pointed out that Kapalua and indeed Maui were American possessions, Ms. Chursprudethsha was taken aback. “Did this occur recently?We don’t get out much here in the New Delhi.” When it was pointed out that Peoria was actually in Illinois rather than Iowa, Miss Chursprudthsha was at a further loss for words exclaiming “We just release what the Legion has given for us. It is very possible Illinois is in Peoria.”
Interesting comments and claims and no real proof! VSO’s are not paid by the government, they’re paid by the organization they represent through donations made.
If the donations don’t come in to support the salaries, the guess what? Like any other business they’re laid off!
That’s NOT to say the Big Six don’t receive government grants to support operations, they do, for their headquarters, furniture, fixtures, phones, equipment, rent utilities, top salaries and benefits, but not for VSO’s!
And IF this were true, then show me the proof!
VSO stands for Veterans Service Organization. I think you mean to refer to individual service officers who represent individual Veterans. Insofar as you insist these “service officers” are paid only by their respective organizations (VSOs), you are correct. They are paid from dues and donations to the organizations. Quite poorly, I might add. When the Grand Poobah and all his buddies at the top are knocking off $2-300K a year plus bennies for playing golf and sucking down 30 year old single-malt scotch and the little people who do all the work are getting $50K, there’s something horribly out of kilter..
If a VSO is getting $200-$300 million in freebies (rent, utilities, furniture, etc.) every year, don’t you think it would be appropriate to take the savings and amply remunerate the people who actually help Veterans? In addition, each VSO gets a set fee from the Government for each Power of Attorney (POA) turned in that they collect from Veterans to represent them. These monies are supposed to be used to fund the service officers. From the exorbitant salaries we now see being handed out, it is apparent that very little matriculates down to service officers which probably accounts for their lack of training and Veterans’ high (85%) denial rates while under their tutelage.
The above article was humor but it arouses anger in service officers. It should. If I worked hard to help poor and sometimes homeless Veterans with little or no training and discovered my bosses were living high on the hog at my (and Veterans) expense, I might be miffed. As you point out “If the donations don’t come in to support the salaries, the(n) guess what? Like any other business they’re laid off!” . I might add “Guess what? If you squander the valuable resources of your organization on booze and golf, don’t be surprised if folks quit donating!”
Please do not take this as an insult. We value everyone’s opinion here, be they Vets or not. We have one job to do and we do not have time for golf. Most of us have compromised livers so that rules out adult beverages as well. Our mission here is to educate Veterans, not preach to them. They can choose to seek VSO representation if they want it. They are also free to do it themselves which is what we advocate up to the CAVC. The holier than thou attitude VSOs have exhibited for the last century is now exposed for what it really is. The truth hurts.
Catching up. I can’t find the mainstream articles yet. Can you link?
Also, are these guys drawing the big bucks retirees too?
If they were to be the same as injury attorneys, you know, the ole ” We don’t get paid unless you win your claim”! Maybe I’d vote for it. Sliding scale, you get 100%, they would get full 20%. You get 50%, they get 10% and so forth.Mikey like it!
I cannot deride all of those VSO’s out there as I only delt with one and that was an eye opening experience to be sure. But to get back to the post; I feel it is the duty of these individuals until such time as their pay is at or below the incomes of the many Vets who, through no fault of their own, have been awaiting justice on their claims. They would have to scale back on their lifestyles but it is still possible to live on $ 35-40 K per year. Vets should never be charged a fee for having a limb blown off, shrapnel throughout their bodies nor any of the other maladies they currently are facing just as we should not have to fight to prove we are indeed sick. Sorry Charlie! The boo hoo room is down the hall and to the left.
You guys do realize it’s still April and you are all fair game?
“….we announce the need to institute a means test on all Veterans and begin charging a small pittance for representing them before the Veterans Administration. This miniscule fee, amounting to no more than 20% of a Veteran’s award, will be collected following his grant.”
Wow. That’s rich. VSO’s and their advocates have long touted that they can do the same or better than a lawyer and do it for free, now they’re trying to slip in a fast one by taking the same fee as lawyers (but with less legal expertise). What bullshit.
Sometimes fiction becomes fact.Hope not