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Donations to Veterans Groups

A few times this summer, veterans dressed in obsolescent woodland camouflage uniforms were soliciting donations in front of Stop & Shop on Shore Rd. When queried by me, the solicitors said “We’re collecting donations for local vets.” I asked the vets soliciting where they were from and they stated they were from Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, etc.

I perused the ID card worn around their neck and determined it was a “Department of Veterans Affairs Patient ID card.” I can verily say that, to the best of my knowledge, local Port Washington vets receive zero funds from this group. I told these vets that they were being used by a questionable enterprise which gives these vets a “cut” of what they collect each day. I recently received a notification from the National Headquarters of the “Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States” (VFW) that VSO and similarly named groups are being investigated by several state and federal authorities.

Patriotic citizens should be on the look-out for the following indicators that they may be contributing to a questionable vets group:

- A padlocked plastic pail or box
- A loose-leaf binder for “endorsements”
- A non-local veteran soliciting
- A VA Patient ID card in a holder around the solicitors neck

If the public wants the donation to go to local vets they can donate to:

- Henderson-Marino Post 1819 Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US (VFW)
- American Legion Post 509
- Port Washington Detachment Marine Corps League

The above vets groups are local vets and your donation goes to local vets. We cannot let a few dubious groups get in the way of supporting our local veterans.

John Chalker
Commander, VFW Post 1819