Veterans Service Organization / Rebuttal of past posted complaints
I recently came across this complaint site while simply researching information and history of the group of men and women I am proud to say I am a member of. The Veterans Service Organization.
First of all I question why this " Complaints Board" has no link for anyone to post a rebuttal such as I am doing here. I am under the impression and of the opinion that any public service, such as this, should offer as much opportunity to post a positive opinion as well as a negative one. Are they afraid their credibility may be tarnished?
With that said I would like to voice my opinion and put fourth some theories, as to the reasons for, some of the complaints posted.
Granted, I have only been a member of the VSO since November of 2009, but I have witnessed lives being turned around here at the central/ north Florida chapter of the VSO. Case in point myself. I am a USAF Viet Nam veteran who has been out of work since September of 2008. I have been diligently seeking employment in my chosen career (property maintenance) for all this time. I receive food stamps and VA medical benefits but have exhausted my first two tiers of Florida Unemployment and have filed for emergency third tier funds.
In November of 2009 I was relating my concerns about not being able to make my rent, electricity, or gas payments to my social worker at the Daytona Beach VA Clinic. Without missing a beat, she presented me with a pamphlet and application for assistance to the VSO and told me that they may be able to help. I filled out the application and within two days I met with Bryant Kisbert, the executive director of the central/north Florida chapter of the VSO. Bryant, a veteran himself, assured me that all would be put right and that I would not be put out onto the street and that my utilities would not be cut off. Within days I was notified that a cash grant had been issued to my land lord and utility companies, Please note that the operative words here are CASH GRANT!
At the time of my meeting with Bryant, the mention of a work program was mentioned in passing. I decided to explore this opportunity and found that I could be hired as an independent contractor to solicit funds for the VSO. I decided to explore this path and have been working ever since four days or more a week and though I am not living in the lap of luxury, I no longer need to worry about being cold, wet and homeless.
The story has been the same for several other men and women who have joined since I have. And in the course of my soliciting donations, I have distributed literature to hundreds of men and women who were in the same situation as I and several of these people have taken the initiative, as I did and have been helped and put to work and are now on their way to productive lives and are off the unemployment rolls.
Most of the complaints that I have read have been from members of other, so called, "veterans organizations" who's main objective is to maintain their drinking establishments and social halls. Walk into anyone of them and you will find that their drink prices are far lower than any other non veteran bar. So where does the money come from to offer liquor for pennies on the dollar? In my opinion this only furthers the alcoholism and suicide rates of the men and women they claim to be helping. Are they afraid that we are getting some of the much needed monies that are collected to help stop this vicious circle.
In addition many of the complaints are issued from "former employees" of the VSO. First of all why are these people former employees. From my short experience, I have seen that they have been caught stealing from our buckets, soliciting donations on their own time and pocketing ALL of the proceeds, or some other violation of a strict code of rules and regulations we agree to follow when hired. From what I have seen, not a one of them has had the guts to say why they are former employees. The only words that come to mind are SOUR GRAPES or ### THIEF with a VENDETTA.
In closing I cannot be anyone's conscience but I do recommend that you do investigate, on your own, the facts and allegations I have presented in this piece before you condemn any organization who is truly making a difference ONE DONATION AT A TIME.
Paul J. Dupuis