(Editor’s Note: This is a reprint of a letter to the editor, which was written by Jack Sellards in 2006. He asked that we run it again as it is as appropriate now as it was 14 years ago.)
More and more solicitors are appearing at Wal-Mart and supermarkets that are questionable in purpose. Each instance I’ve checked these people, and they do not represent honorable veterans, such as American Legion, VFW, AmVets, DAV, or any true veteran organizations.
For example, in 2005, a woman was in front of Kroger on the north side of U.S. 25E and she held a large sign, which read “Help the Veterans.” I asked her base support and she replied, “Paintsville, Kentucky.” When I called the Paintsville police and Johnson County Sheriff’s Department , neither knew her and one asked what she was doing all the way in Corbin.
On Nov. 2, 2006, a different lady was at Wal-Mart in Corbin with a large “Help Veterans” sign selling buttons, flags and sub-standard veteran’s caps on each service branch. When I questioned her, I learned she was from Zanesville, Ohio, but was helping Kentucky veterans. When I asked how she helped them, she couldn’t give an example.
On Nov. 4, 2006, a man stood in front of Kroger on north U.S. 25E in Corbin wearing a Korean War cap. When I sked where he was from, he replied Zanesville, Ohio. I asked which branch he served in Korea and he replied, ‘the Army.” I then asked when and he replied 1952 and 1953. When I finally asked him where he served in Korea, he became nervous and tried to talk to someone else. When I came back out of the store, people were giving him money. Since he displayed a sign that read “Help Veterans,” I asked him how he helped but he refused to answer. He did say, “Have a good day, sir,” and turned his back to me.
Once I received a call from the Fraternal Order of Police to request a donation be sent to a certain address. I responded to let him know that I was a member of the FOP (which I am) and he immediately hung up the phone.
It is obvious that well intentioned, compassionate givers are being duped into giving to a deceptive cause.
U.S.M.C. Korean War