Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
What Happens When A Veterans Charity Gets Political With Trump For Money?
When representatives from various veteran service organizations joined Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a Jan. 28 rally in Iowa, they faced a mix of backlash and support. However, in the end, at least one got what it wanted out of it: funding.
In an editorial for The Hill published April 7, Cliff Sosamon, the executive director of Honor Courage Commitment, Inc., responded to criticism his organization and its subsidiary, 22KILL, received funding after appearing alongside the Republican frontrunner. The group aims to raise awareness about veteran suicides.
According to Sosamon, the organization’s presence at the rally was a means to an end and did not indicate that they in fact supported Trump’s policies.
“What those individuals fail to realize is that first and foremost, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we cannot, and will not, support any candidate running for elected office. It is a violation of IRS rules and regulations, not to mention our own code of conduct,” he writes.
Shortly after the segment aired, the organization’s website crashed from a flood of traffic, which Sosamon argues was the whole point of appearing alongside the candidate. As a direct result of their appearance at the Trump rally, the organization received $200,000.
In a phone interview with Task & Purpose Sosamon explained that the funds came from the Stewart J. Rahr Foundation and were given to 22KILL at the direct request of Trump.
By Sosamon’s own admittance, the group needed to raise more money and leveraged its appearance alongside Trump to gain exposure.
“The second thing those people fail to realize is that running a nonprofit organization and providing services for our nation's veterans takes money,” writes Sosamon. “From an organizational standpoint, we are happy to accept funds from any individual or group willing to support our mission and benefit veterans.”
However, the increased traffic wasn’t entirely positive, and the organization faced backlash from those who criticized its support of Trump.
“Almost immediately, we began to receive emails and social media replies both supporting the mission and also asking why we would support Trump, or why we would consider accepting funds from his rally.”
According to Sosaman, the organization will accept funding from any group that support veterans. “We do not care if the funds come from the left or the right, from Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals … All their money is the same.”
22Kill was one of 22 veterans organizations named a beneficiary of the Iowa rally; however, it is unclear how many of the groups actually received money as a result of the event.
“It’s not a political issue, it’s not a left or a right issue, it’s a veteran’s issue,” Sosamon told Task & Purpose.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.