Is it really veteran-owned?

July 29, 2011
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Too many small-business owners are claiming status as veterans or disabled vets, the Army Times reports, so the Veterans Affairs Department is investigating.

The problem is big. More than three-quarters of businesses claiming the status were problematic, the government said, with an initial check suggesting at least 1,400 businesses falsely received more than $500 million in contracts set aside for vets.

The main problem is contracts subbed out to non-veterans. But other issues were uncovered, like a “disabled” vet who was discharged from the Marines after being injured in a football game. He served for a mere five weeks.

New verification systems might be helping, but the department won’t know more until it digs deeper.

How do you feel about set-aside policies like veteran-owned companies, or minority- and women-owned companies? Are fraud or even simply misunderstandings as rampant as the Veteran Affairs probe suggests?

  • Indiana is NOT Veteran Friendly
    I don't doubt that there's a problem - especially with so many Federal contracts in the works. However, we don't have legislation in Indiana that builds a preference to Veteran-owned businesses. It's so bad, in fact, that Vetrepreneur magazine has called Indiana 'totally vetrepreneur-unfriendly'. I would encourage businesses to verify the business through NaVOBA ( And I'd encourage IBJ to do a story on how Indiana doesn't give any preference to Veteran-owned small businesses.
    • Gov't contract for DAVs
      Can you tell me where to sign up for small business DAV contracts for services I offer.

      Thank you,
    • an actual vet
      I am a vet currently in Iraq I have been looking for jobs that are vet friendly in Indianapolis for weeks now and I can't find one. I feel ashamed that the city I love can't even help me get a job in the country myself and my wife protected in war torn counrties more then once.
    • Wife of veteran-business owner
      As a wife of a veteran who owns his own security company here in Indianapolis, it saddens me that people would actually claim their business was veteran-owned when that is not necessarily case. My husband was in the US Marines for 8 years, and once his contract was up he was honorably discharged with one Iraq tour under his belt. Since he was trained in electronics and had experience overseas, he felt a calling to continue protecting his fellow America’s on the home front, which lead to starting Morrison Fire & Security. In his third year of business providing residential and commercial security systems, camera systems, etc to all of greater Indiana- he finds his main competition being the larger national companies. To hear that his competition becomes even more difficult because some people are falsely claiming their business is vet-owned, is shameful. I say this not only because of the dishonesty, but more because it’s a disgrace to those who have nobly served years in the military and put themselves in harm’s way while overseas. I hope that a system is created to rectify this situation of falsely listed businesses because I know that my husband is one of those veteran’s whose businesses is affected by those committing fraud by falsely listing their business as veteran-owned.

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    1. Now if he'd just stay there...

    2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

    3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

    4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

    5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.