A new group called Veteran Service Corps (VSCorps) claims to be a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization “registered in the state of California, made up of Veterans and Civilian ally volunteers.” Its website says that the “founding members, board of directors and executive leadership are the original leadership team of the December 2016 Veterans Stand for Standing Rock”. They have a typical activist Facebook page and #OPEagle hashtag, making claims about having huge amounts of land capable of supporting up to more than 20,000 protesters on a long term basis, and they are raising funds to build a sustainable camp.
We have identified at least five GoFundMe accounts by the group, raising varying amounts of money for one purpose or another. We also discovered an Amazon wish list with a number of odd items on it including several playground objects (one costing almost $1,500), a long list of food items that might support a few people in a small camp for a couple of weeks at the most, and some really odd objects…like an industrial grade plasma cutter. You know, the kind used by others to sabotage pipelines or cut through barriers. We haven’t been able to figure out why they would need one of those to build a camp, but we are sure one of our readers can figure it out.
The problem here (or at least one of the big ones) is that, at the time of this writing, Veteran Service Corps is fraudulently raising money as a non-profit organization. While they were organized in 2009 (which raises questions about their claimed link to Veterans Stand), their non-profit status was suspended by the State of California. We spoke to a representative of the Secretary of State’s office about their status and they told us that there were “issues” with the State Franchise Tax Board that were “unresolved” and as such, their non-profit status, and the legal entity that is their organization, has been suspended.
One wonders about the relationship to Veterans Stand, Clark and Woods, the unaccounted for monies, and of course, the motivations of the current group. Are they for real, or are they more misguided individuals trying to leverage their status as vets and the anti-pipeline cause to scam more people out of donations?
We have not been able to reach a representative of Veteran Service Corps for comment.
In late 2016, two co-hosts from The Young Turks, Wesley Clark Jr. and Michael Woods Jr. collaborated with others from the network to create “Veterans Stand” a group intended to rally vets to the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which was protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. They started a GoFundMe account, raised nearly $1.5M dollars, and convinced almost 4,000 vets to drop everything and head to Standing Rock reservation in the dead of winter in December 2016.
The whole thing was an unmitigated disaster. Not only was it poorly organized, it lacked leadership and fooled many vets into believing that food, shelter and reimbursements were provided. The whole event was a sham to begin with. Clark and Woods enjoyed some press and the limelight before disappearing, and many vets got to see firsthand the truth of what was going on in the camps. Women and children were not being brutalized by law enforcement, TigerSwan workers were nowhere to be seen, and there was a tremendous amount of far-left radicals clamoring for direct action, violence, and sabotage. This was a one-sided fight, and the activists had co-opted the Tribe. They were the aggressors, and law enforcement the defenders, trying to maintain peace and protect private property from the same hoodlums that terrorized locals in Bismarck and Mandan, vandalized small businesses, and desecrated a WWII memorial. Most of the vets went home in disgust and many questions arose…particularly where the money went. To this day, the “wheresthemoneywes hashtag has gone unanswered, Clark ran as far as he could from the event, and Woods hasn’t really been seen since either. More than one million dollars is still unaccounted for.
Months later, the camps have been cleared (at the wishes of the Standing Rock Tribe), activists have gone on to other camps (still clinging to the indigenous rhetoric about poisoned water, genocide, and police brutality, all of which are notions and dreams of victim-hood to justify far left agendas), and the oil is flowing smoothly in the Dakota Access Pipeline. But the story continues.