Conflicts of Interest: Our View


Upholding Integrity in Support of Arizona’s Service Members, Veterans, and Their Families

The rise in the number of organizations driven by financial incentives rather than a genuine commitment to serve is an alarming trend. When conflicts of interest, namely monetary incentives, are present, there are forces at play that steer the focus of service to others toward service to self. 

Conflicts of interest, particularly those motivated by quotas or commissions, pose significant threats to the welfare of our service members and veterans. These conflicts can lead to:

  • Compromised Care Quality: When financial incentives drive organizations, the quality of care and support provided to service members and veterans may be compromised, with potentially harmful consequences.
  • Misplaced Priorities: Organizations and individuals motivated by profit may prioritize their financial goals over the actual needs of the military and veteran community, leading to inadequate and inappropriate support services.
  • Erosion of Trust: Service members, veterans, and their families need to trust that the organizations supporting them have their best interests at heart. Conflicts of interest undermine this trust, jeopardizing the effectiveness of support initiatives among all providers in this space.

The Importance of Authenticity, Trust, and Integrity

The military and veteran communities deeply value authenticity, trust, and integrity. Our service members and veterans have dedicated their lives to serving our country, often at great personal cost. They deserve support that is as sincere, transparent, and free from ulterior motives as their service has been to this nation.

Genuine care and concern should be the cornerstone of all support services for our military and veteran communities. Authenticity ensures that the services provided are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, not to meet quotas or qualify for bonuses. Trust is the foundation of any supportive relationship. Our veterans and service members must be able to trust that the organizations meant to support them are doing so with their best interests as the primary focus.

Integrity is non-negotiable. Organizations supporting our military and veteran communities must operate with the highest ethical standards, ensuring that their actions always align with the best interests of those they serve.

When people volunteer to serve the nation through military service, they take an Oath of Office, which is an oath to act in the best interests of this nation. Common to all oaths include a clause where the individual swears or affirms that they take the oath without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. This emphasizes the importance of sincerity and wholehearted commitment to the duties of military service.

As service providers to service members, veterans, and their families, we too bear a responsibility to take an oath. We willingly accept the responsibility and duty that comes with caring for our nation’s bravest and their families. We should do so from a place of genuine care and concern, driven by what is the right thing to do for them – not ourselves.

We must collectively be wary of organizations and individuals driven by financial incentives that create conflicts of interest. We should hold ourselves to a high standard, free from the pressures of quotas and commissions. Let us stand together in commitment to providing authentic, trustworthy, and high-quality support to our military and veteran communities. This is not just our duty; it is our honor.

Warm regards,
Thomas Winkel
Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families

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