Jeremy Feldbusch was blinded by an explosion during his service as an Army Ranger in Iraq. He has been honored on the White House website as a “champion of change” for serving his country and for afterward serving as the first national spokesman for the Wounder Warrior Project.
That hasn’t stopped the Department of Veterans Affairs officials from revoking his company’s access to government contracts that are reserved for companies owned by service-disabled veterans.
“We’re being monetarily impacted, our business is right now,” Feldbusch told Fox and Friends this morning. “And, we really have — I don’t want to say there is no time to wait — but we have to re-certify for verification, which can take 60-90 days.”
Feldbusch’s company, NEIE Medical Waste Services, lost its status as a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business — and the government contracts provided by that status — when it reorganized its ownership group after the death of founder and Vietnam veteran James Coleson.
“The company was originally verified in 2010, but it’s eligibility expired,” the VA said in a statement read on Fox and Friends. “When the law was enacted, the verification process changed to require examination of a number of required business documents; that is where the Center for Veteran Enterprises found that the company’s business structure was not in compliance.”
Feldbusch’s co-owner, Navy veteran Dean Hohman, blamed the VA for the compliance issues. “At least 51 percent of the ownership has to be service-disabled, veteran-owned,” he explained. “We had reached out to the CVE since dating back to August of last year asking for guidance, asking for support, and we received no support whatsoever. Our emails were not returned, our phone calls were not returned.”
Hohman told The Washington Examiner that the company meets that requirement. “[Feldbusch] is 25 percent owner; Theresa Vonburg — she is 26 percent [owner] and she is service-connected disabled as well,” Hohman said. “They have already been verified service-disabled by the Center for Veterans Enterprises and both obviously have their service-connected disabled letters from the VA.”
He explained that CVE disqualified their company because of “a technicality” in how they described themselves on company documents. “All of the owners were known as managing members,” he told The Examiner. “The CVE said ‘well, you can’t do that, you’re going to come up with titles for these folks and basically come up with a pecking order.’”
Hohman said that the company will apply again for certification tomorrow.