The Air Force Vet Who Raised $20 Million For The Wall Is Fighting GoFundMe's Decision To Issue Refunds

news
From the "We The People Will Build the Wall" GoFundMe campaign page.

A triple-amputee Air Force veteran who raised more than $20 million toward building a wall on the U.S./Mexico border is trying to circumvent efforts by the fundraising site GoFundMe to return the donations to more than 325,000 donors.

Brian Kolfage, who was severely wounded while serving in the Iraq, began accepting donations in December, but on Jan. 11 he announced that he would use the money raised to create an organization that would build the wall itself rather than giving it to the government.


Once Kolfage changed the purpose of what the funds would be used for, GoFundMe announced that all donors would get a refund, unless they wanted their money to go toward a new organization. That is exactly what Kolfage wants people to do.

On his GoFundMe campaign page, which is still active, he is urging people who donated before Jan. 11 to "opt in" by clicking a link that sends the following message to GoFundMe:

"By submitting this request, I am confirming that I would like my donation(s) to go to WeBuildTheWall Inc., the new 501(c)(4) organization created to manage the money raised on Brian Kolfage's campaign: https://www.gofundme.com/TheTrumpWall."

Brian Kolfage was wounded in Iraq in 2004 while serving with the Air Force.Courtesy of Facebook.

Kolfage reportedly has a history of pushing conspiracy theories and other fake news on Facebook for money. When he spoke to Breitbart News radio on Jan. 12, Kolfage encouraged people to opt in by claiming the "liberal media" was trying to scare people into believing that all the money raised for the original purpose of funding the border wall would be returned to donors.

"The fake news is saying that the money can't go to the wall," he said. "The money is all being refunded – it's done; it's over. They're trying to discourage everybody. But that's not the case at all. We're still raising money on that GoFundMe. That GoFundMe has not stopped. It's still picking up. We raised almost $200,000 since the announcement."

However, a spokesman for GoFundMe told Task & Purpose that nothing had changed since the company announced all donors would get their money back.

"If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization," Bobby Whithorne said in an email. "If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund.

"All donors have been contacted by GoFundMe via email and they can also find the donor form directly on the campaign page."

Dustin Stockton, vice president of strategy and marketing for the "We Build The Wall" campaign, said Kolfage is not trying to do an end run around GoFundMe's decision to refund the $20 million.

The campaign has been negotiating with GoFundMe to communicate with people who donated before Jan. 11 on how they can repurpose their contributions toward the new organization that will build the wall, Stockton told Task & Purpose.

"We have worked closely with GoFundMe for weeks," Stockton said. "We remain in good standing with GoFundMe. We're still actively taking contributions with GoFundMe on the page that are not subject to the opt-in process."

SEE ALSO: 'Relax,' US Troops On The Border Are Not There To Shoot Migrants, Mattis Says

WATCH NEXT: Footage of Smuggler From Aerostat, McAllen, TX

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.

"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'

"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"

Read More Show Less

At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.

A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.

Read More Show Less

In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."

A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

Read More Show Less