As to appreciation, many of us want to show it in the form of a contribution, but Bob Dole wants to remind folks to "trust but verify" when it comes to veterans charities:
If you want to help servicemen and women in their transition to civilian life, exercise the same due diligence you’d apply to any significant purchase or investment. Don’t hesitate to kick the tires or demand the equivalent of a test drive. If you’re contacted by fundraisers, be prepared to ask some questions in return. Confirm the organization’s tax-exempt status. Find out how much of your gift will go to the intended recipient and how much to administration or fundraising.
Better yet, ask the group to put its appeal in writing and then review its financial stats and spending record on Web sites such as Charity Navigator. As Ronald Reagan said in a different context: Trust but verify. Check them out before you write a check. I can’t imagine a better way to observe Memorial Day than to support those who have worn their country’s uniform — while denying others who would enrich themselves in the service of greed.Sage advice. It's hard to believe groups would form to rip off Americans giving their hard-earned money to help wounded veterans, but evil knows no bounds. All the more reason we need the sheepdogs.