Under the Radar

Sound Off: Should Veterans Charities Accept Funds From Political Campaigns?

When Republican candidate Donald J. Trump boycotted the Fox News debate last Thursday night, he held a competing event that he organized as a benefit for wounded troops and claims to have raised $6 million.

On Saturday night in Davenport, IA, he gave a check for $100,000 to the Puppy Jake Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to veterans.

On the other hand, Paul Rieckhoff from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America announced on Twitter that IAVA would decline any donations from the Trump event.


There are certainly plenty of military charities who can use a share of that $6 million. For all the talk in civilian America about "supporting the troops," most veteran organizations are woefully underfunded. Yet Rieckhoff makes an important point: in an America where emotions run so high during a political campaign (proof: your Facebook feed), should any organization that aims to help veterans as a group allow itself to be aligned with any individual candidate?

Trump, Hillary, Ted, Bernie, Ben, Martin: they all have detractors who worked up to a fever pitch whenever their names are mentioned (well, let's be fair: Martin O'Malley probably doesn't).

Is Trump using veterans charities for political gain? Should the charities care? Would a veterans charity that accepted donations from a candidate you hate change your decision about whether to support that charity? Sound off!


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