This comment was left on my blog today....
As a fellow wounded warrior wife who has been on this journey quite a bit longer than you it's really upsetting to think you believe your family sets the bar for the wounded. you have an entire brand and charity that you created for your own family and are constantly marketing yourselves for profit. (Which I think is so wrong considering we both now how well the Army takes care of us.) You are so willing to share every single aspect of your journey I don't think it's fair to criticize those who have questions. The boundaries for "Team Allen" are extremely blurry and you can't expect civilians to understand where you draw the line. We do lead an interesting life and without trying to financially profit I want to share my story so civilans can understand this life can be a bitch! I'm proud of the injuries my husband has endured and survived so damn straight I'm more than proud to share with complete strangers the survivor he is! You and your family thrive for the lime light so honestly even as a fellow wounded family it's hard for us to even think there are any boundaries for "Team Allen." My advice to Team Allen is to take a more modest route. If you want to lead a private life then don't have a public blog. Best of luck!
Here's what I say to you, Anonymous, in our defense. First I do not think we set the bar for anything. If you think that then it is your own judgement that brought you to that point. I know people have left comments to that effect on here and on Team Allen, but for you to assume that's how I feel or think is quite inconsiderate. I am just sharing our journey and what I have learned since January 22. I have had others ask me to share and I am sharing what I am comfortable with sharing. What I chose to share is my business and has nothing to do with my level of pride for my husband's injuries, but instead it is out of respect for him that I do not share all. There are some things that are no one's business and I will always strongly believe that. My blog posts come from spouses, moms, dads, siblings, friends, etc who ask me, "Hey can you do a blog about this or that?" Which is exactly where the blog post you commented on came from. So you can see first hand now, I entertain all ideas for blog posts, even those that attack our family and our efforts.
As for the "brand and charity," Chaz and I didn't create anything, a group of friends did. Before we knew it Team Allen took on a life of its own. We are very proud of Team Allen. We have been able to help so many families thanks to our friends' idea. Team Allen came from a group of friends who love us so much they wanted to share our journey with others. Team Allen is a product of social networking at its best, our friends shared it with their friends and so on. We are not a charity of any sort and we are not profiting from anything. Our friends did have an approved fundraiser to help us raise funds to build a new home to suit Chaz's needs. Those funds are sitting in a separate bank account and have not been touched for anything for our family. I wrote one check to help pay for the funeral expenses for a family in Clarksville who didn't have enough money to bury their own child. A cause that Chaz, I and the person who oversees the fund agreed was more than worthy. The rest of the money just sits there waiting to build a house for Chaz. I am so thankful that our community of friends decided to take all this on. But your statements are only unfounded assertions and you cannot back them up with any type of fact and if you can I welcome the challenge.
And just so you and everyone else knows we will be turning any and all Team Allen funds over to builder that will build a house to suit Chaz's needs, so I am not sure how that can be misconstrued as being as a for profit action. Even with the VA adaptive grant of $64,000 (that every service member with similar injuries is entitled to) to help build Chaz a home and the money raised will not get close to paying for the contruction of Chaz's house so hopefully we will have a non-profit help us with that. The Team Allen funds will either go to that builder, the non-profit who helps us build our house or we will donate to another non-profit. We have been very open about the purpose of the Team Allen funds which is why they remain in a separate account and will not be touched until we build Chaz's house or someone else from the community who needs our support. To be "for profit" means we use the money for personal benefit. Constructing a house to suit Chaz's needs is not a personal benefit, rather it is a necessity.
I would truly love to know how you see us as "constantly marketing ourselves for profit." Chaz and I have not collected a dime in "profit" from his injuries. Did we accept a van from Help Our Military Heroes? Heck yes. Chaz needed a fully handicap accessible vehicle so he could drive it. The van cost was high and we signed over our VA adaptability grant of $18,000 (once again all persons with similar injuries are entitled) and HOMH settled the rest. The Army knew about and approved this transaction. We prayed for an easy button to help get Chaz behind the wheel and God blessed us with HOMH. I have never hidden the facts about the van nor that Veterans Airlift Command and Hero Miles have provided air transportation for our family for free. We stayed for free at WRAMC's Fisher House from March until August. Our Military Kids provided our girls with grants that paid for their gymnastic lessons. Ipads for Soldiers gave Chaz an ipad while he was an inpatient. Every Friday night that we can, we join Aleethia Foundation for a Friday night dinner with our fellow wounded families. Just so you know, we have not received anything above and beyond what any other families are entitled to. The only difference is I brag on these awesome non-profits so others can know about them. I have shared any and all of my contacts for the non-profits on Team Allen so others can also benefit from these amazing organizations. So exactly how is being public about the benefits that any of our families can receive turns to being misconstrued as "for profit." Also constant means that we are doing something on a regular basis. I just don't remember asking anyone for anything on a regular basis in the hopes of collecting a profit. But I do know we constantly talk about what awesome works are going on around us and other families.
As for the Army taking care of us, I have never said other wise except for my blog attack in regards to the WTB, which at WRAMC was a total mess. I have bragged repetitively about Chaz's medical care. But the truth is the Army cannot help us with everything. The Army has limits to what even it can do, which is why these non-profits step up to help. I am damn proud of all of these non-profits and I will sing their praises any chance I get. I have never once hidden that we have benefited from them and as stated above, I shared those resources on Team Allen all the time. Sharing information is definitely a constant on Team Allen. Once again I question your assertion that we are profiting.
As for the lime light, the opportunities we have been blessed with have fallen into our laps. We have not actively sought after them. Yes I do blog posts and share pictures of them because I want people to know there is so much to be thankful even when life deals you a big blow. It is tragic if you feel otherwise. We are just celebrating life and foster resiliency over here rather than fostering resentment.
I do not expect civilians to understand everything we go through hence why I blog about the things others have suggested to me, some of which were civilians. Come to think of it, it was a civilian who asked me to blog about my views on the topic you commented on. This person also thanked me for the blog and said it was perfect. I am sure there are many more things that I will blog about later on that you will disagree with.
Thank goodness we live in a country where everyone has their right to their own opinion. But I believe your opinions are based on false assertions and conclusions. I do feel it is absolutely tragic that you think so horribly about my family and how I share our journey. I think what we have done is just the opposite of what you stated. I think our journey shows how beautiful life can be after tragedy strikes and it shows the true American spirit and how hope, faith and love can help you conquer all. I appreciate your advice but even if you choose to have a public life, you are still privileged to your privacy.