Why We Exist
We are oftentimes asked by clients why the Foundation exists. The answer is multi-faceted: we exist because we believe in a cause, because we see gaps in justice that need remedy, we exist because we recognize the importance of a strong military corps not degraded by immorality and dysfunction.
We have had hundreds of exchanges with clients during the past inaugural year and their expressions of appreciation kept us more than fueled. But there are some exchanges that are so moving, they deserve reciprocal appreciation.
I am not active on social media. Occasionally I post updates from the Foundation, but I typically fly under the radar on most online sites. Last week was an exception. I was reading an article about how Whistleblowers in the SEC were being lauded for their courage in bringing an end to fraud and mismanagement of funds in the economic sector. I don’t envy the position these Whistleblowers are in, but they do enjoy one advantage over their DoD peers: money. Victims of reprisal in the economic sector stand to gain financially from reprisal lawsuits…and, more saliently, so do their legal representatives. That is unequivocally not the case in the military. The military member who is a victim of reprisal not only suffers potentially career-ending setbacks, they also, 99 times out of 100, are forced to pay for their own legal counsel if they choose to seek recompense.
The tagline of the SEC Whistleblower article was “It’s not all about the money,” meaning: those who whistleblow and those who represent them in lawsuits are also interested in altruistic aims, such as justice.
While law firms may find reprisal suits in the civil sector appealing, the military member is almost always left to fend for themselves as nearly no law firm will represent military victims on a pro bono or contingency basis, a major factor explaining why so many reprisals are carried out with impunity in the DoD. To make sure the National Whistleblower Center, the poster of the article, didn’t begin to high five each other and declare “mission accomplished,” I reminded them of the affliction plaguing our near-million-person Department of Defense.
But this post is less about the moneyball game of reprisal cases; this is about our motivations. And the response I saw to my post was incredibly moving to me:
It’s moments like these that remind me of why I’m here, fueling me to keep fighting for what is right and just.
To Bobbie and all supporters of the Foundation: thank you for your support! So long as you are out there, we will be here.