Tom Gresham, the host of the Gun Talk radio program, said on his show that the Wounded Warrior Project declined to be on his Veterans Day program because they “will not be associated with anything related to firearms.”
In disbelief of the statement Gresham sent an email to Leslie A. Coleman, the public affairs director for the Wounded Warrior Project, according to his Facebook fan page and confirmed by Gun Talk Media staff. Ms Coleman in her email response which appears on the Gun Talk fan page wrote “While we appreciate your interest in Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) you are correct that we decline the media opportunity.”
In addition to confirmation of the declined interview request she included “WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies.” This statement also appears on the Wounded Warrior Project website.
Following up with another email to Ms Coleman, Gresham writes “Thanks for confirming that, Leslie. It was a simple opportunity to promote the WWP on a national program in an effort to send donations your way. I’ll pass along the info that you don’t want or need the help of America’s gun owners.”
Coleman responded in an email stating “This policy is not a judgment on those who own and use firearms – clearly every member of our armed forces has been trained in the use of firearms and then called on to use them in the course of their service to this country.”
“Our position regarding firearms and alcohol is in response to the struggles that many injured service members face with substance abuse and suicide and the roles those items often play in those issues.”
Gun organizations have been generous to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Kahr Arms, in a press release dated May 21, 2012 states “USA based Kahr Arms and the family of firearms that also includes Magnum Research Inc. and Auto Ordnance, recently made a $50,000 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.”
Shooting Illustrated reported on June 19, 2012 that “The Lea County Action Shooters of Hobbs, New Mexico will be holding their second annual charity 3-gun match on Saturday, June 30 to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) in a blog post dated November 8, 2012 publishes this statement by Steven Nardizzi, executive director for WWP “We want to raise the level of awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service members.”
The NSSF blog also states “Eighteen-year-old Ashley Butcher of Lockport, N.Y., is a fine example of how a person can support the WWP effort. She took it upon herself to conduct a fundraising shoot with the proceeds to benefit WWP.”
The Better Business Bureau states on their website that the WWP is one of their accredited charities and has a Plus rating in all 20 categories of their Standards for Charity Accountability.
A call to Ms. Coleman to confirm the declined offer to have a WWP representative appear on the radio show because of the show’s content and to clarify the position on accepting donations from firearm manufactures and associated activities has not been returned at the time this article was written.