While I feel for the people who are complaining, I can't help but see a pattern of Marines that feel scorned. It has always been my understanding that brothers in arms, regardless of the branch are brothers. With this each should be glad that one of their own is getting help.
I have been a volunteer for a major benefit to raise money for our combat veterans going on three years now, not the branch, but the individual. I have had the opportunity to meet several of these veterans, not all wounds visible because some are traumatic wounds they carry in their minds and their hearts. I have heard their stories and I have seen the difference that the Combat Marine Outdoors organization has made in their lives. I have seen some of these broken men breath new life and have now become volunteers to help others, so when they are out with the group, they may be there as helpers and handlers, not as the combat veteran.
This is an organization of brothers helping brothers and to see people trying to tear it down is upsetting. No, I am not a veteran, I am a spouse who has lived with a combat veteran and I know how hard it is everyday for these soldiers.
Don't let pettiness hurt your fellow brothers from getting the help they need.
I am a ranch owner who has hosted vets from Combat Marines Outdoors and will do so in the future.
All my experiences have been positive. The Marines enjoy themselves and get away from the hospital for a break. I have gotten to be friends with two of the CMO leaders; Master Guns and Rusty. I have watched them work with the vets and seen their energy and compassion in action. It is an honor for me to be associated with the Marines and CMO.
Review from Guidestar
I cant believe this organization supports animal cruelty like donkey roping and spearing hogs while they're trapped in cage
It saddens me to see this organization put down. Each individual that has negative comments was given something by CMO, for free. Some got trips throughout the country, some got to go to another country and hunt. The members that work for CMO put in countless hours to ensure each Warrior, regardless of which branch is given every opportunity to enjoy hunting, fishing, sporting events, etc. How can you feel used or pushed aside because new faces appear?! There are thousands of Warriors across this country that also deserves a trip of a lifetime as well. Everyone should be thankful for the opportunities they were given and be humble, wanting others to go an experience what they have. Instead of a Thank you and I hope you can give every Warrior an opportunity like you gave me, some want more or only themselves to enjoy it. Wounded men and women come back every day and there are thousands at home right now, be thankful that CMO was able to do something for you; a lot of vets were never given anything!
I wily like to start with the fact that CMO has a very good group of volunteers. That said, there are a few problems with how things are done. When I was first starting to work with CMO, I was singled out from the crowd most of the time without regard to whether or not I wished it, just to make the point that I wasn't a Marine. I solved this problem after having a couple talks with the persons responsible, but saw the same behavior towards other individuals. Also, there is a problem with pushing away other marines just to pull in newer faces to try and get more donations. Having experienced this personally, it makes you feel as if you're just being used and discarded for a newer model. I have had a few great adventures with CMO, and understand a lot of what and why they do certain things, but when the majority of people get pushed aside and a select few get to go on almost every outing or event that is planned, that seems unfair.
Alorr would be right in his review if this was 2010 but unfortunately he has been rather distant from this organization while living several states away. I agree with his point that all service members should have a chance to go on the trips and receive the benefits this organization provides but not when the men this organization was created to help start feeling left behind in favor of newer faces just because that draws in more money. Alorr also doesn't see on a day to day basis the actions of the current men running the organization. I hope that he can move closer to the charity and begin to see that what these other men have been posting is closer to the reality of cmo than what he remembers when he moved away. I cared greatly for this charity until it seemed that the donors and the donations became more important than the men and women that they were trying to help. I personally experienced this treatment on several occasions until I found that I couldn't continue to watch an organization I cared for turn into another corporate monster dedicated to getting as much as it can at any cost to the people it was supposed to be helping. I have felt many emotions about this organization and the people involved with it including anger and happiness but now all I am left with is a profound sense of disappointment and sadness at what it has become. I hope Alorr that you can right the ship and reconnect with all the men that have been hurt by this organization but until that day I fear that the policy will continue to be what can I get and not how can I help.
The financial records of this organization are a matter of public record, and not a secret.
95% of all funds donated go directly to help the service members that they serve. I can't believe that a few immature individuals would make unsubstantiated, ignorant, fraudulent claims in a public domain with such slanderous text. They should be ashamed of themselves. CMO helps almost 400 service members every year and has been operating since 2005.
In 2010, the organization had gained sufficient backing to begin helping wounded, I'll, and injured service members from all services, and not just the Marine Corps...because we could, and IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO.
CMO has only two (2) paid staff members, both of whom make less than a Marine SSgt. Those two men work tirelessly to continue to provide as many opportunities for our nation's heroes as possible.
While this organization means well it is failing to do the one thing it is supposed to, support Marines and Navy corpsman.
The organization is too concerned about public relations and getting donors to put money in their pockets, often they will only take those with obvious visible injuries and have photos taken of them to publish in a news paper or on a tv show. They are more concerned about filling their pockets than truly supporting combat wounded marines and sailors.
They have often been filling their trips with all Army members and not having a single Marine or Sailor on the trip.
Rusty Hicks is a drunk hypocrite that has made a fool of himself and made those on trips feel very embarrassed about his behavior.
While the organization means well it shall never be able to truly be a good non profit while Rusty any role with in it.
I was a part of this organization until I said I did not want to go on a certain trip. I was then not contacted for another trip for several months and when I was it was because other people backed out and they could not find anyone else. The organization started out great until the leaders realized they could harvest trophy animals and could get paid well enough to quit their jobs. It became more about trying to grow as fast as they could to make as much money as they could. They will only take guys with missing limbs or that are burnt so bad that they have no face. It was all about the pictures and trying to put a guilt trip on rich ranch owners or important people so they would donate money or animals. A few of the marines I know including myself would tell private things about their past or something that happened to them while deployed and the members would tell anyone they thought could benefit them. It started out with Marines and Navy Docs, now it's all army because they said that ranchers were tired of seeing the same faces. They very rarely take out a retired guy because "it's for active duty only". Once a marine or someone that is a part of the organization starts to ask questions about why the main leaders are making so much or about why they are doing things a certain way that person is cut off from hunts and anything else that has to do with the organization. They use ranchers to get money, animals, or anything that has value. They treat the new guys like gold so they will put up with all the pictures and questions. When that service man starts to say no or question something he is treated like crap. This organization started out for the good but is seriously corrupt now. I feel bad for all the ranchers and the new ranchers that are and will be associated with this organization because they are being used horribly. DO NOT help this organization out. If you want a good organization Semper Fi Fund helps marines and their families out more than any other organization I know. God bless and Semper Fi.
1: This org does not, currently, report to the public what their employees are paid. (The info may be available in technical files on rating sites, however, people are lead to believe that it is all volunteers.)
2: Unprofessional, regarding, record keeping, event coordination, and communication.
3: Apathetic leadership and lacking understanding regarding the individual wounded service member's issues(especially in regards to PTSD).
4: Extreme lack of honesty regarding what and the amount, of programs provided.
5: Pictures, pictures, pictures. They care more about taking pictures than the patient's enjoyment at the event or trip.
6: Very aggressive towards other non for profit organizations that, They, feel compete with them for donations and publicity.
7: Although they do have positive impact for some, the majority are left feeling used and are less likely to work with other Veteran organizations because of their personal experience with Combat Marine Outdoors.
8: Private information about the individual wounded service members that interact with C.M.O. is often disclosed to potential donors, without the knowing or consent of the individual.
9: This org was originally created to help a specific branch of service members. Namely Marines and Navy Corpsmen(and Army or other, that individually worked with Marines). The purpose of this specification, was that there was no, recovery oriented, organization that helped these specific service members. Over time this specification began to disappear. Now they take majority Army. Marines/Navy Corpsmen are rarely even offered the opportunity to go on a trip.
10: The leaders of this organization often benefit from trips themselves. They often get to hunt and shoot trophy animals, at little or no expense, on trips for the wounded they are escorting.
There are a lot of negative aspects to this organization. The point is, please don't assume these guys, and other Veteran Charity Leaders are Angels. They are not doing this from the Heart. Maybe that's how it started but now its about the money and making themselves look good.