Controversial new charity teaches veterans how to use GI Bill, go to college, and get a job
DENVER — A controversial new military-focused charity organization is spending its entire budget on booklets for veterans that outlines how they can use the Post 9/11 GI Bill to go to school and later land a job, sources confirmed.
Founded by former Army Sgt. Justin Wallace earlier this year, the Warrior Transition Foundation has taken flack from some other non-profits for not investing its cash on high-cost vacations, giveaways, and one-time life experiences for veterans.
“I think the idea first came to me when I was starting my transition of out the military,” Wallace told reporters. “I’d been wounded back in Iraq. Nothing serious, but I qualified for a Purple Heart. Suddenly I had dozens of charity organizations offering me free hunting trips, sporting tickets, and even one that wanted to help combat my PTSD through a pottery workshop."
As Wallace explained, many of those experiences were fun but at the end of the day he still had no job and was living in his parent's basement.
"I was just spending my days trolling the internet looking for stolen valor," he said. "That’s when a friend told me about this thing called the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and the rest, as they say, is history.”
In the booklets, vets are coached to avoid degrees in fields such as dance, anthropology, or the history of interracial lesbian poets, and instead study things like engineering, business management, or software design. After their education is complete, it explains, they can then go on to get salaried positions in real companies that offer benefits like retirement and health care.
Wallace’s foundation has so far been wildly successful, already collecting millions in donations since it’s creation. But recently, it has faced allegations of defrauding donors.
“I find it extremely suspect that WTF has collected millions in donations, yet they haven’t organized a single all-expenses paid trip to Tahiti, or purchased box seats at the stadium of their local NFL team to help veterans,” said Ashland Marks, a lawyer for an unnamed charity that is suing Wallace for also using ‘Warrior’ in his foundation’s name. “There’s no way this guy is legitimate."
Others critical of the nonprofit have noted that although Wallace claimed to have helped thousands with his common sense charity outreach, there is not a single gratuitous picture of him shaking hands with a wounded veteran or Gold Star family anywhere on his website.
On Friday, WTF had ceased printing self-help booklets in order to pay the legal bills accrued combating 11 separate lawsuits from pro-veteran charities, according to a statement on the foundation’s website.