Help for Heroes, a British Charity for injured war vets, has come under fire from some of Britain’s most seriously wounded troops—including one of its own patrons—and their relatives for the way it spends the mcney it raises. They complain that the military is subsidizing multimillion-pound Ministry of Defense (MoD) building projects rather than spending the money on practical, everyday help for injured service personnel and veterans.
Recently discharged and serving wounded troops and their families said that despite extra government money and hundreds of millions of pounds raised by military charities every year, they are still not getting the help they need. The investigation has uncovered examples of wounded veterans having to pay for physiotherapy and prosthetic limbs that meet their requirements, and reports of amputees with ill-fitting prostheses being told to pad their stumps with multiple pairs of socks.
One such veteran, Royal Marine Ben McBean, a double amputee and of the charity’s patrons, said Help for Heroes and other military charities have been ‘getting cosy with the MoD.’ McBean paid £7,000 of his own money for a prosthetic arm after the NHS limb he was offered failed to meet his expectations. The MoD originally issued him with a white arm. McBean is black. He said he has defended Help for Heroes in the past when other troops have criticized it, but had now decided to speak out because he is ‘fed up’ with the situation.
There has been limited media coverage regarding this issue. Small newspapers in England have mentioned that there is a problem between the veterans and MoD but there is no in-depth article, aside from the joint investigation between BBC Newsnight and The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Although this issue is located in Britain, it is relevant to the United States because service personnel and veterans also struggle with receiving the proper care they need after they have served in the war. Charities spring up for various reasons and causes and not all of them are spending the money on the service members that they claim to be supporting. More oversight and regulation is needed to ensure that our veterans and service members have access to the mental and physical healthcare they need and deserve.
Title: Help for Heroes criticized by injured troops
Author: Angus Stickler
Source: TheBureauInvestigates.com, August 09, 2012
Student Researcher: Evan Jefferies, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: Andy Lee Roth, Sonoma State University