Exclusive — Retired Marine Colonel Pete Metzger: Charities for Vets Strives to Be ‘The Consumer Reports for Veterans Charities’

A member of the military plays "Taps" for a family member during a flag ceremony at the South Florida National Cemetery on Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019, in Lake Worth, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

Retired Marine Colonel Pete Metzger, the chairman of the newly-created Charities for Veterans advisory board, spoke with Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle about how the organization is “trying to become the Consumer Reports for veterans charities.”


Metzger opened the interview highlighting the nearly $1 billion given to charities his organizations lists as “not recommended.”

“To put things in context, in the year 2021, nearly $1 billion, to be more specific, $966 million, were given to charities we would not recommend,” Metzger said. “Conversely, $330 million, or a third of that, was given to charities that we do recommend. So you can see there’s a real problem here.”

Metzger said American donors are being “hoodwinked” by military veterans charities that either sit on their money or use it to pay unusually high overhead costs.

Boyle noted that Charities for Veterans listed one charity as “not recommended” because 68.72 percent of their budget was spent on overhead costs, leaving roughly 30 percent to the veterans who need help.

Metzger provided another example of a Florida-based purported veterans charity that collected $2.7 million from donors in 2016 but only spent $13,000 on veterans.

Metzger said:

In the year 2016, a group called the healing heroes network, founded by a licensed physician in the state of Florida, collected $2.7 million from donors in support for medical care for veterans. 13,000 of that 2.7 million went to veterans. The rest went to overhead, including paying his wife a salary of $100,000 a year, the Treasurer, that would make people angry if they knew that.

“And so what we’re trying to do is through, we’re trying to become the Consumer Reports for veterans charities and leverage the accurate information we’ve gathered,” he added.

Metzger explained that Charities for Veterans analyzed IRS forms, state attorneys general reports, and other data from the top 78 purported veterans charities and ranked them “highly recommended,” “recommended,” or “not recommended.”

“And a lot of them have very evocative names, ‘wounded warriors’ or ‘canines for veterans,’ and people, again, very well meaning people, write these checks without knowing what’s really going on,” Metzger said.

Out of the top 78 veterans charities, 48 are not recommended by Charities for Veterans. Metzger said there are so many veterans charities “because what these groups do is they come up with an idea, they hire professional fundraisers, slick ads TVs, radio spots, and hope to try and create this, this tsunami of money coming towards them.”

Charities earn a “highly recommended” classification if more than three-quarters of the money goes to veterans, Metzger said. Potential donors can donate money to the charities of their choice directly from the Charities for Veterans website. On the other hand, if an organization has more than 25 percent of its annual budget going to overhead, they are “not recommended.”

Charities will also get thrown in the “not recommended” pile if they have three years or more of their annual budget in the bank or a hedge fund.

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.


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