The wife of a triple-amputee Marine received a package from the Wounded Warrior Project in the mail. The contents of that package led to a social media rant that has gone viral.
Courtney Leigh Schumacher’s post reads:
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. 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.
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
The post immediately went viral and Courtney began getting attacks from people who support Wounded Warrior Project. Because of the responses she got, Courtney posted this update:
***NOTE (11/3/15) I had no intention of sending this post viral. Its honestly overwhelming because we are very quiet and private people.
I know not everyone agrees with my post because they were assisted in some way by WWP. That is great. I don’t expect everyone to agree and I am glad there are individuals who have received help.
We were stationed in 29 palms, Ca and made under $1900 a month for a family of three. When my husband was injured, I was flown to Bethesda, MD. I decided to leave our four year old son in California with my parents. I was expecting a swift return to San Diego and I didn’t want him to see his dad in that condition. I had a automatic payment set up for my parents back home so all his needs were met.
There was no savings for our needs in Bethesda. I was never looking for a handout or a check from WWP. I just wanted help.
I had nothing to lay my newborn baby in while in the hospital room. I slept on a chair and my husband had MRSA. i asked for a bassinet, I was told no. I asked for someone to take my debit card to target and buy me one. I was told no. I didn’t have a vehicle or a car seat. I was desperate. I flew to Bethesda in October and stayed through January. I didn’t own any warm clothing. I walked to and from the hospital through snow in flip flops until my family bought me boots during their visit. I never asked for things for myself.
We couldn’t afford plane tickets across country during the holidays. I was due to deliver our second son on December 17th. I knew we needed family bedside to continue my husbands care while I delivered our son. We were told no. Luckily Semper Fi Fund flew our family out for two weeks. It made our hospital room Christmas morning much more pleasant. I had a hard time getting my husband dressed everyday for therapy. He was still connected to wound vacs in his legs and tubes throughout his body.
We asked if there was a way to get some snap athletic clothing, we were told no. Luckily “Sew much comfort” provided Jon with velcro clothing. There were more requests I made and I was told no. I asked what do you do and they said whatever you need.
If you only provide specific services, then make that information available. If you outsource most of your Veterans to other non profits, yet sue them for stepping on your toes, then state that.
If you cant help my family then state that instead of keeping us hooked with false hope. I see organizations like Homes for our Troops who can put a Veterans family in a mortgage free handicap accessible forever home with a tiny portion of what WWP makes a month and it upsets me.
All I ask, if you know of a specific need of a Veteran that you want to see happen, then donate to that specific organization.