Skulduggery, Fraud, Subterfuge and God Only Knows What Else is Occurring in America’s Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs)

We love our military, but we loathe military corruption. Corruption comes in all forms and is detrimental to an efficient, well-oiled military machine needed to protect America. We endeavor to find the truth, expose the corrupt within our active-duty military, but also in organizations established to support our military members past and present. This includes many government organizations such as the Veterans Administration, and also private organizations referred to as VSOs (veteran service organizations).

Sometimes VSOs “support” and “promote” themselves more than the military veterans they espouse to be helping. Consequently, we will be providing our readers with a series of articles about any and all veteran service organizations that ranges between slightly corrupt, all the way to a cesspool of corruption. Many VSOs are not being held accountable. Fraud and all manner of chicanery is going on below the surface.

In 2016, there were around 20.4 million veterans in America, this according to data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Even though the veterans in America represent less than ten percent of the total U.S. population, there are millions of veterans out there. One of the reasons people give for joining the military is a sense of belonging, a desire to join a team that is sworn to protect the American way of life.

After release from active duty, that same desire for belonging still exists. People find themselves drawn to military service organizations and are willing to pay monthly dues to be affiliated. With twenty million veterans, you can see how membership dues can add up to enormous sums of money. And that my friends, is where the corruption normally begins. When things don’t make sense, or don’t seem logical…. always follow the money.

Sometimes it’s pride and vanity which corrupts the honor of an organization. Members embellish, or just out-and-out lie about their military record to the point you would think they were all Sergeant York. Our experience tell us the people who don’t talk about their military experience are likely the individuals who saw the most action.

If you are a member of a VSO that has been compromised by corruption, we encourage you to come forward and share that information with us. You can remain as a strictly confidential source of information if you wish. We protect our sources because we know how the system can retaliate against those who blow the whistle on corruption. We have seen it more than once.


THE VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA

Our first series of articles will address the Vietnam Veterans of America, (VVA) organization which appears to be plagued with various forms of corruption throughout. The articles will document numerous improper activities that VVA leadership of the organization has conveniently chosen by its actions or inactions to either sweep under the rug or tried to bury its skeletons in a cemetery of deliberate organizational skulduggery. The most recent scandals are chronicled first and extend chronologically back for a period of 20 years or more. We do this, not because we like it, but because countless thousands of people have relied on their honor and integrity and have been betrayed.

HISTORY

In January 1978, a small group of Vietnam veteran combatants went to Washington, D.C. in search of colleagues to support the founding of an advocacy organization devoted solely to the needs of Vietnam veterans. The group was initially known as the Council of Vietnam Veterans. By the summer of 1979, the Council of Vietnam Veterans had transformed into Vietnam Veterans of America, a veterans service organization made up of and devoted exclusively to Vietnam veterans. Membership grew steadily, and for the first time VVA secured significant contributions. Interestingly, among its contributors was “Hanoi Jane” Fonda, an archenemy of Vietnam veterans, who donated $500.00 to the organization.

The VVA is the only organization Congressionally chartered to represent Vietnam veterans. Roughly three million men and women served in Vietnam from 1964 to 1975. The organization has approximately 85,000 members, most of whom are not actual veterans of the war in Vietnam, but rather Vietnam-era veterans.

This distinction is important because while all service members who actually deployed to Vietnam are also Vietnam-era veterans, those who did not deploy are by definition not veterans of that conflict. As long as they served in the Armed Forces of the United States between 1965 and 1975, however, they are eligible for VVA membership. Rule number one when creating a service organization, do not limit your membership unnecessarily, because you’ll be limiting your potential income.

The VVA membership adopted a more inclusive membership policy, as they were not attracting much support from the Vietnam veteran community. At least part of the membership dearth among that group was it being derisively characterized and stigmatized as “Jane’s Boys”, a reference to anti-war activist Jane Fonda.

A VVA life member related that if he had known of the historical association with Hanoi Jane before becoming a VVA member, much less a life member, he would have never joined. The member related he became aware of Jane Fonda being associated with VVA in 2005 or 2006 when he filed or was in the process of lodging a civil action against the governing body of VVA.

Donald McDole, a former VVA Regional Director and a retired DHS ICE Supervisory Special Agent, asserts that all sorts of corruption, skulduggery and dishonesty are ongoing at VVA. His examples of this chicanery include, but are not limited to the following:

The president of VVA, Mr. John P. Rowan, fraudulently claims to have earned the Air Force Crewmember Badge during his service in the Air Force. This is nowhere indicated in his official Air Force service records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. President Rowan was never awarded the badge as he claims, and calls into account his personal sense of honor.

The VVA Treasurer, Dr. Douglas Wayne Reynolds, also falsely claims to have served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 as a Combat Medic and a Medevac Medic. According to his official U.S. Army records, however, again obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Dr. Reynolds served with the 22nd Surgical Hospital and the 95th Evacuation Hospital in Phu Bai and Da Nang as a Pharmacy Specialist. He was awarded neither the Combat Medical Badge as a combat medic, Air Crew wings, nor Air Medals as a Medevac Medic. In large part due to their limited numbers, combat medics were not normally assigned to hospitals, but to front-line U.S. Army combat units, such as the infantry or other combat arms branches. Medevac medics likewise were not assigned to hospitals; they were assigned to Medical Aviation Units. Insofar as his combat record, Dr. Reynolds is a fraud.

Retaliation by VVA officers and the VVA Board of Directors (BOD) against At-Large Director James D. Pace for reporting the dishonesty of VVA National Treasurer, Dr. Wayne Reynolds. Evidence gathered thus far would lead a reasonable and prudent person to conclude there was collusion by VVA against Mr. Pace to discredit him for his revelations against Dr. Reynolds.

Unlawful conduct and wrongdoing by a former VVA national officer, who deceased. Instead of punishment for his misdeeds, the now-deceased member was instead elected to a national-level VVA office. Additionally, the current VVA president named the deceased member to the Vietnam Veterans Assistance Fund (VVAF), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation whose officers and BOD were entirely composed of VVA members. In the VVA, dishonesty and untruthfulness result in promotion, not demotion.

McDole further asserts the VVA has a long history of unethical and/or criminal behavior that has been ignored by the organization’s senior leadership in order to insulate their image and protect their so-called good name. It’s necessary to shore-up the organization’s basic integrity, but that can only be achieved by the resignation and/or prosecution of those who have besmirched the organization by outlandish skulduggery and blatant acts of fraud.

An old proverb says that a fish rots from the head down, is a common metaphor to argue in favor of good leadership for any organization. It means that a person in charge of an organization with little or no integrity, will end up destroying the organization. No one working or volunteering under that kind of leadership will be interested in remaining affiliated. Integrity means following a moral compass and having rock-solid ethical convictions. It means doing the right thing in all circumstances, even if no one is watching you. It means having intellectual honesty. Having integrity means you are true to yourself and would never do anything that demeans or dishonors you.

John P. Rowan is the President/CEO of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. For years, VVA President Rowan has purported to have earned his Crewman Flight Wings while serving in the Air Force in Vietnam and at Kadena AFB in Okinawa flying on RC-135s until when he was discharged in December 1967. According to his military records (obtained pursuant to a federal Freedom of Information Act request), his DD-214 (Record of Discharge from Military Service) reflects he was never awarded the “Aircrew Badge” he routinely wears to VVA meetings.

The Aircrew Badge is a qualification badge of the United States military awarded by all five branches of the military service. The award is meant to recognize meeting the training and qualification requirements of enlisted military aircraft aircrew members. While such personnel are not pilots, they must nonetheless undergo and successfully complete an advanced training process in order to measure aircrew members and receive the coveted Aircrew Badge.

Like the Army Aviator Badge, the number of flight hours and years of service in the Air Force determine the seniority of Aircrew Badge holders. According to Air Force Regulations, the initial award of aircrew badges, both enlisted and officer, occurs at completion of training. The permanent awarding of such badges occurs, however, upon 36 months of paid flying service or upon completion of 10 combat missions. The temporary badge is authorized for wear only while assigned and engaged in flight status as an aircrew member.

One can surmise Mr. Rowan did not meet these additional requirements with only two years and five months of total military service time. That is why the awarding of the Aircrew Badge is not reflected on his DD Form 214. In plain and simple terms, Rowan did not qualify for an Aircrew badge on a permanent basis. His continuing to wear the award is a violation of 18 USC 704 (a).

A review of Rowan’s military service records reflects he entered on active duty on July 14, 1965 and was released from active duty on December 9, 1967, a total of two years and five months. Interestingly, for the majority of that time, Mr. Rowan was inside job-related military training courses. His military records clearly reveal he was never a “permanent party” in Vietnam, but rather spent one 30-day temporary duty (TDY) assignment in Dan Nang. His total overseas time, including time in Vietnam, was less than five months, and for the majority of that time Mr. Rowan was safely stationed in mainland Japan and Okinawa.

Air Force Regulations stipulate the awarding of a permanent Crewman Badge contingent upon completion of 36 months in flight status as a crew member aboard Air Force aircraft or after having completed ten combat missions as a crew member. Though a temporary Crewman Badge is authorized until issuance of the permanent award, the temporary badge is not authorized for wear once the servicemen/woman has left his or her flight assignment before completing the mandatory prerequisites for issuance of the badge on a permanent basis. It is therefore difficult to believe Rowan accumulated the requisite ten combat missions during his solitary 30-day stint in Vietnam and most definitely not during the four months he spent in Japan, including Okinawa, before being discharged from the Air Force.

Wayne Reynolds

THE VVA TREASURER IS A FRAUD

The VVA National Treasurer, Mr. Wayne Reynolds, has been variously known as Douglas Wayne Reynolds, Douglas W. Reynolds, Wayne Douglas Reynolds, Dr. Wayne Reynolds, Mr. Bow-Tie, and “DOC”. He claims to have been a combat medic and a medevac medic in Vietnam. In reality, his Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was as a 91Q (Pharmacy Specialist) and he worked at the 95th Evaluation Hospital and the 22nd Surgical Hospital.

He has told many people he flew four or five medevac missions a day while in Vietnam. He claims he spent time in the area as a combat medic and was a combat soldier as well. He has also said he cared for the wounded on the field of battle.

Perhaps most tellingly, his military records do not reflect Mr. Reynolds being awarded neither a Combat Medical Badge nor an Air Medal, awards that more typical than not may have been awarded to combat medics and others involved in combat-related medical evacuations of the wounded. His military records are bereft of such accolades, but “DOC” rather cavalierly falsely claims has been a combat medic and a combat soldier to benefit financially and professionally, and possibly politically. The following links begin to tell the story…

THE NEWS COURIER – After 40 years, Vietnam memories still strong

THE NEWS COURIER – Election 2012: Athens City Council District 1 – Q&A with Wayne Reynolds

THE NEWS COURIER – Election 2012: City Council District 1 candidate Wayne Reynolds

DAILY MAIL – Americans remember Vietnam War 40 years after last US troops were pulled from bloody battlefield

BAKER HIGH SCHOOL – Bio

When confronted with discrepancies, Mr. Reynolds tried to set the record straight by saying he had been misquoted. Ironically, it is hard to say you were misquoted when the so-called misquote comes directly out of your own mouth, as he had done in the following video.

District 1 City Council candidates respond to questions at a forum held Aug. 21, 2012

A report to the VVA national leadership and its BOD detailed these facts and the corroborating evidence, evidence that conclusively shows Reynolds embellished his Vietnam service. He has been quoted in several internet articles to be a medevac medic in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969. It was the opinion of the report’s author that Reynold has and continues to lie about his military service. It is for these reasons we have launched our own investigation of Mr. Reynolds. Anyone who knows Army MOS series qualifications knows that medics who flew on so-called “Dust-Off” choppers were highly trained 91B or 91C medics. Wayne was not; he was a 91Q Pharmacy Specialist.

Wayne lists no award of the Air Medal, a decoration he likely would have received not once, but multiple times had he in fact been a medevac medic. More tellingly, the FOIA response with respect to his military records indicates he was not awarded that military. That becomes especially problematic given that most 91B and 91C medics did not receive one Air Medal during their Vietnam service; they more typically received multiple awards of the Air Medal during a normal tour of duty in Vietnam. Thus, a more pertinent question could be asked as to why “DOC” Reynolds never received even one Air Medal id he in fact had been a medevac medic. At this point, the conclusion is obvious. He was not.

A Busted-up Dustoff Helicopter in Vietnam, 1968. Hopefully the occupants were in better shape than the aircraft.

If the VVA would have done their homework and conducted proper research, the organization would have known that Reynolds was obfuscating, that is, he was jerking their chain. He disingenuously embellished his military service to the media on more than one occasion as well as on the Internet.

Wayne has for a long time been claiming he was a medevac medic in Vietnam, not only inside VVA but outside as well. Here is an article from 2012, about dishonorable discharges, in which Wayne claims to have been a medevac medic in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, and claims to suffer from PTSD as a result. There are no misquotes here; Reynolds himself asserts it, plain and simple in the links above as well as…

HAWAII NEWS NOW – Dishonorable Discharge: A WAFF 48 News Special Report

ROWAN claims to be authorized to wear the Air Crew Badge. However, his official military records do not support that. REYNOLDS, on the other hand, claims to have been a medevac medic and/or a combat medic. His military records simply do not support that. He was a pill counter and did not even have proper training to administer first aid to anyone, much less the wounded.

Some of our readers are alive today because of brave Dust-Off chopper crew members. We know some who are alive today because of men like Major Patrick Brady, and others like him. We expose the fraudsters and honor the memory of the 215 brave Dust-Off crew members who gave their lives so others could be saved. To honor the heroes, we expose the fraudsters and charlatans.

VIETNAM DUSTOFF ASSOCIATION

Helicopter pilot Patrick Brady conducted multiple evacuations of wounded soldiers in bad weather and under intense fire near Chu Lai, South Vietnam, on January 6, 1968, and received Medal of Honor on October 9, 1969

End of VVA Expose – Part 1

In VVA Part II- Will show how VVA Leadership retaliates against those who bring organizational skulduggery to their attention.