WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As President Barack Obama addressed the attendees of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) annual convention last month at the posh Hilton Orlando resort, nearly 200,000 veterans were living on the streets of America, homeless and hungry, according to Veterans for DAV Reform. What Obama was most likely unaware of was that the National Officers of the DAV have presidential incomes.
While the President of the United States is paid $400,000 annually, certain highly-compensated DAV employees have incomes rivaling and in some cases exceeding, that of the Commander-in-Chief.
The DAV, founded in 1920 for disabled veterans of the U.S. armed forces returning from World War I, is headquartered in Cold Springs, Kentucky, with 1,248,150 members for the 2012-2013 year, which makes it the largest charity of its kind. Interestingly, the DAV's membership rolls have been dropping precipitously since 2007–2008, when 1,444,866 disabled vets were members, an almost 14% decline in five years.
Although the D-rated* charity has seen its rolls diminish and its revenues plummet, even while absorbing annual donations exceeding $100 million over the past several years in the form of contributions and grants from individuals and corporations, it pays out enormous sums to its leaders.
DAV's 2012 IRS Form 990, released after a three-month extension, most-likely timed to avoid negative publicity at the convention, paints a troubling picture for the charity.
Arthur H. Wilson, the retired National Adjutant, saw his pay increase from $353,519 in 2011 to $360,004 in 2012. His 2009 income, a relatively slight $328,252, jumped to $345,077 in 2010. Wilson was being paid so much that just his deferred compensation for 2012 was nearly $70,000. Other DAV bigwigs have deferred compensation exceeding $100,000.
Curiously, Wilson's son, David, on the DAV payroll, has also seen his pay soar over those same years: 2009 - $72,388; 2010 - $75,516; 2011 - $89,684; 2012 - $96,604.