BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After CBS News first broke a story several weeks ago about the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) lavish spending, the foundation announced Thursday that the top two executives are out.
The WWP has fired their Chief Executive Officer, Steven Nardizzi, and Chief Operating Officer, Al Giordano. The CBS report exposed the spending habits for the foundation, showing only a little over half of the donations went to wounded soldiers.
“There are a lot of people tied to the cause,” said Jeff Gramlich, who served two tours in the Middle East with the Marine Corps. “There are a lot of people giving to the cause, expecting the money to go to vets in noble ways and in ways that would honor veterans.”
Since the foundation’s inception in 2003, thousands of veterans have been helped and more than billion dollars have been donated. CBS report discovered a large portion of donations were being used to fund lavish company events and retreats.
“It’s just a shame that people who have given so much kind of get caught up in this when they’re trying to use some programs for readjustment,” said Gramlich.
He joined the Marines after high school, served two tours in Afghanistan and Iraq before leaving the military. He says war memories never leave him.
“Coming home is a long journey – it’s not just something that happens over night.”
Gramlich knows several people benefiting from the Wounded Warrior Project and says he finds it upsetting that those on top of a great charity would skim the funds.
“It’s a shame there’s a mix up and vets are in the middle of this downfall,” said Gramlich. “I really would hope they would get everything turned around; get the ship sailing in the right direction to help vets in the future.”