Supporters are hoping to heal the wound opened between two local veterans organizations.
Jeremy Staat was removed from the board of the Wounded Heroes Fund over a nasty e-mail exchange over how the non-profit spends its money.
The rift has grown from a war of words online to chatter on local talk radio.
Board members from the Wounded Heroes Fund chatted with KNZR's Jaz McKay Wednesday afternoon, hoping to douse the controversy swirling around the non-profit and local veteran Jeremy Staat.
"My priorities are my veterans, our youth and our community. And, when you have an organizations such as them always raising funds and the funds aren't going anywhere, that hurts our veteran population," Staat told 17 News.
Staat was voted off the board of the Wounded Heroes Fund this summer amid a flurry of contentious e-mails. In his messages, Staat questioned why the fund had $300,000 in the bank and wasn't doing more for veterans of all wars.
But, board members say they need that money because they've promised to build a wheelchair-accessible house for double amputee Jeremiah Thein. And, they have committed to modify a home for amputee Josh Brubaker, who is still recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center.
"They are making this possible. I mean, we would do whatever we had to do to make it a home, to make it easy for my son to come back to your home and be functional," said Bill Brubaker.
Staat says his own foundation spent $140,000 on a cross-country advocacy ride.
That price tag raises a red flag for local attorney Randy Dickow who brought the issue to the media.
"We're not making any accusations of wrongdoing. There are no accusations of wrongdoing. There are just questions of management and oversight," said Dickow.
Dickow is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. "And, is this really a good use of the finite number of dollars that are available, that people donate? I mean people in this community are very good about donating to vets," he said.
"The fact they think education isn't a worthwhile cause to give to, well tell that to the millions of people we educated about veterans suicide and the rate of veteran suicide," said Staat.
Both Staat and the Wounded Heroes Fund expressed hope that the controversy won't hurt the ones they intend to serve.
"Everybody out there helping that population, we're all on the same side, and we all need to work together," said Wendy Porter, Wounded Heroes Fund.