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Friday, July 6, 2012

New Group Calls On Non-Military Families To Donate To Veterans

Philip Green, pictured with his wife Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, started the Veteran Support Fund. (Courtesy IAVA)

Philip Green, pictured with his wife Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, started the Veteran Support Fund. (Courtesy IAVA)

Health care consultant Philip Green says he feels a “moral obligation” to donate money to veterans because his three kids chose not to join the military.

The 62-year-old president of PDG Consulting says he’s been spared the sleepless nights that families of deployed soldiers have felt in recent wars, so he and some friends have contributed $1 million dollars towards the Veteran Support Fund that they created.

They aim to raise $30 million to support five veterans groups, including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the first and largest non-profit, non-partisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, which will also house the fund.

Green, whose wife, Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, works at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington,  told Here & Now’s Robin Young that he isn’t donating and raising money out of a sense of guilt, but out of gratitude.

“Our family owes a special debt to those people who are serving, and those families who have kids, who are serving,” Green said.

Green hopes that ultimately the fund will become an umbrella fundraising organization for thousands of struggling veteran groups.

Guest:

  • Philip Green, founder of the Veterans’ Support Fund

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  • Vincent Fx

    Philip Green & co. have the best of intentions, but since when are soldiers beholden to charity?  This is a third-world model of society — the megarich, getting megaricher and paying miniscule taxes, showering crumbs down on charities for soldiers, when that was always the Constitutional role government.  Philip Green is half right: if there was selective service, we probably wouldn’t have invaded Iraq and then his charity wouldn’t be needed.  And if we can kick out the neocons once and for all, our country will take care of its veterans the way every other rich industrialized country does.

  • Rena Marrocco

    I must really take issue with Mr. Green’s comment that the government is “doing all it can” for these families. The government spends billions of dollars with private military organizations and so very little on our enlisted personnel and veterans. There shouldn’t need to be a need for an organization such as his. Instead of raising money to pay for things that our government should be providing for these people, he should be raising awareness and lobbying for our government to fulfill its moral obligation to them.
    I think Mr. Green is sincere about his intentions, but my tax dollars went to fund these wars and I would like to see those corporations who profited from the blood of these soldiers and civilians be the ones to clean up their own mess. That is where the real moral obligation lies.

  • KLS

    I have long thought that reinstituting the draft would prevent the US from declaring any future wars.  The majority of citizens feel that by putting a magnetic Support Our Troops decal on their cars they have contributed to the effort and can tune back into reality TV and 24 hours news gasbags with self righteousness and a clear conscience. Until a few years ago network TV would post the names and photos of those who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan once a week after the nightly news broadcast – not so anymore. Too much of a downer apparently. Shame on all of us.

  • homebuilding

    I will continue to support any organization that helps 20 yr olds resist the belllicose macho dreams of 50 and 60 yr olds (the world over) who continue to believe (they are of course, common to all historical eras) that killing the children of foreigners (whom they’ll never meet) will solve anything.

    And I’m ‘full on’ against the morphing of every national holiday into some soldier worship event.

    Freedom can  be sold and defended by means other than the barrel of a gun.

    Not considering alternatives is breaking our bank, and growing numbers realize it.

  • Zerosontheloose

     “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the
    citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their
    persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to
    march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary
    to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of
    idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country
    and representatives to sell it.”

    Rousseau The Social Contract Book III Ch 15

    I do not like sending mercenaries (private contractors) to do our dirty work This proposal is no different – we are paying others to do our dirty work. If we have an debt, then it must be because the military adventures are justifiable. And if they are justifiable, we should be sending our own kids. My problem is that we have been sending kids off to foreign wars for nothing.. The Iraq fiasco was wholly unjustifiable. Much of the Afghan occupation is likewise. Not my wars. No debt.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CSW35L5PWLP3RSWA5OQCR62IPQ John

    I completely disagree with this man.  As someone who follows a generally pacifist worldview, I think it’s a horrible idea to show the children of these soldiers that the society at large supports them.  They need to realize the horrors of war, so they won’t go on to fight their own wars.   Also, why should I spend money supporting the government sanctioned murderers that I dislike on a personal level?  It’s not even like they were keeping me safe.  We have not been in a war since perhaps WW2 that required military action to keep our citizens safe.  We are the instigators, always picking the fights.

  • BHA in Vermont

    Let’s ask Romney that question. He managed to duck the draft for 5 and a half years. Two of those pushing his religion in France. None of his 5 kids joined the service either.

  • Gwojty

    I was just listening to him…He said,”‘what parent wouldn’t give $100,000 to have their son/daughter come home safely from a war?”   I wish him the best and wish I had the money to give.

  • John Christopher

    I am a member of Mr. Green’s generation, except I was born in another country (where they still have the draft). I left that country in ’71 and eventually became a US citizen in’87.  Growing up in that other country, I was all gung ho about joining the military until… the military, in a coup, took over the  government of that country a couple of years before it was my turn to be drafted.  This forced me to reconsider the issues until I eventually adopted what is still now my position on military service and war in general; it also helped solidify my decision to leave that country.  

    The only philosophical position relevant to war that makes sense to me now, is what I call being a “Conscientious participant” (as opposed to “objector”).  As a conscientious participant I will participate in any war where my conscience tells me that the cause is just and that it justifies potentially killing other human beings or being killed myself.  

    But in order for me to be able to make that decision according to my own conscience, instead of being coerced to write a “blank check”  against my life and blood, and handing it over to politicians or generals to use as they wish, I must stay out of the military to begin with.  Otherwise the potential would always be there for me to be ordered into any action that others may see fit, and whether or not I agree with their judgment. Accordingly I also oppose the existence of a peace-time standing army whether it is made up of draftees or “volunteers”.

    To come to Mr. Green’s campaign…  I feel for the children who made the decision to join the military and are having difficulty re-entering civilian society, and I would support any funds which could be used to help rehabilitate these young people.  At the same time, I would also want to see the funding of full disclosure practices, to counter the glossy DOD recruitment campaigns.

    Instead of overselling the glamor and adventure of being a member of the armed forces, we must also make these young people aware of the statistics; the death rates, the “collateral damage,” the suicides, the PTSD, the difficulties in readjusting to civilian society, the very issues that Mr. Green’s campaign aims to remedy.  Most of all we must make them aware that once they’re in the military, they could be ordered into action whether they agree with that action or not, and the consequences of refusing deployment orders.

    We must have full disclosure before these kids sign on the dotted line.  Only then can we say that the members of our armed forces are indeed ‘volunteers’ instead of (effectively) coerced mercenaries, at the beck and call of any politician or general who might want to pursue his favorite geopolitical adventure.  And there is no way to guarantee that the government in power will always be duly elected and/or representative of a significant majority of the people.

  • Guest

    I don’t believe we have had a legal or moral war since WWII, so I am not donating anything to anyone who fights. Go to College or join the Peace Corp or do something positive and trains you for a future.

    NO, I will NOT support any war effort and I have plans to leave this country if they continue to do stupid stuff. Obey the constitution.  Cleanup at home.

  • Sveltropsr

    I FIND IT VERY INTERESTING OUR PEOPLE.  WITH MORE MONEY THAN THEY
    KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH. HAS THE TIME, ENERGY, AND STUPIDITY TO TELL
    ME HOW I SHOULD SPEND, GIVE, DONATE, PAY FOR SOMEONE ELES’S ISSUES.

    OVER THE LAST THIRTY TWO YEARS. I HAVE PAID OVER THREE MILLION U.S.
    DOLLARS IN FEDERAL TAXS. AND NOW I HAVE SOME WEALTHY BASTARD
    INVADEING MY HOME BY WAY OF NEWSPRINT AND INTERNET. TELLING ME
    BECAUSE THERE WASAN’T ANY COUNTRY AT THE TIME MY SON WAS OF AGE.
    TO TRAVEL TOO AND KILL PEOPLE. I AND HE SHOULD FEEL GUILTY AND PAY
    FOR AN EMOTIONAL PHILIP GREEN’S PAST HAUTS AND FEARS.

    THIS ID ON THE SAME LEVEL AS THIS GUY OBAMA TELLING THE AMERICAN
    PEOPLE AND TROOPS. THAT THEY SHOULD PAY FOR THERE OWN MEDICAL
    INSURANCE. TO PAY FOR ANY WOUNDS THAT MAY ACCURE DURING THEIR
    MILATARY SERVICE. BECAUSE ( QUOTE ) THEY NEW WHAT THEY WERE SIGNING
    UP FOR.

    WHAT A COUPLE OF FOOLS. SOUNDS LIKE THEY OR ANY BODIES DOG THAT WILL
    HUNT THEM.

    • tele

       Lol, try using spell check and basic grammar before posting next time. The Green/Cobb household is lovely family that has worked closely with Veterans for years and is donating their time and money to those that have served this country. Try your hand at philanthropy–it’ll reduce your blood pressure.

  • Brigitte Moon

    I think it is a great idea and I support that they have taken the time and made the effort. I being a female veteran know how hard it is to adapt back to the civilian side of life. 
    Sometimes alittle help is all it takes to change the lives of others.
    Like $100,000.00 is not much, for some who have so much and that is all I need to help me get over my money issue.
    I  would definitely repay it but these are what veterans need help with.
    I live in Calif.
    Brigitte Moon

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