All Eyes on Walker’s Lies: Walker Lied About His Connection to Two For-Profit Programs That “Preyed Upon” And “Targeted” Veterans and Service Members

August 23, 2022

Associated Press: “[Walker] overstated his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.” 

The American Independent: “Walker has been under fire for misrepresenting his work for a for-profit company accused of exploiting veterans and service members.”

Two bombshell reports released by the Associated Press and The American Independent found that Herschel Walker was involved in two for-profit programs that preyed on veterans and service members. The Associated Press detailed Walker’s involvement in a program called “Patriot Support,” a private hospital chain’s for-profit program that “preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.” The American Independent reported that Walker was involved in yet another company that “may also have targeted veterans in a multilevel marketing scheme.

Walker’s involvement in programs targeting veterans and servicemembers are just some of the many lies, scandals, and bizarre statements that have dogged the Trump-tapped candidate. Walker has also lied about his business record, lied about his involvement in law enforcement, and lied about his academic achievements

Read more about the reports below: 

Associated Press: Herschel Walker’s ties to veterans program face scrutiny

Brian Slodysko, 5/21/22

  • In interviews and campaign appearances, the former Dallas Cowboy and Heisman Trophy winner takes credit for founding, co-founding and sometimes operating a program called Patriot Support. The program, he says, has taken him to military bases all over the world.
  • “About fifteen years ago, I started a program called Patriot Support,” Walker said in an interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt last October. “People need to know I started a military program, a military program that treats (thousands) of soldiers a year,” he told Savannah TV station WTGS in February.
  • But corporate documents, court records and Senate disclosures reviewed by The Associated Press tell a more complicated story. Together they present a portrait of a celebrity spokesman who overstated his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.
  • The revelation marks the latest example of a far more complex reality that lies beneath the carefully curated autobiography Walker has pitched to voters.
  • At a campaign stop Saturday, Walker said the allegations against the program were a “concern” but added that he wasn’t sure they were true. Then he changed the subject.
  • Even before entering the race, Walker drew attention for his past mental health struggles, including allegations that he threatened his ex-wife’s life. He’s dramatically inflated his record as a businessman, as the AP previously reported. And his claim that he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Georgia, where he led the Bulldogs to a 1980 championship, was also untrue. He didn’t graduate, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported.
  • Patriot Support is not a charity. It’s a for-profit program specifically marketed to veterans that is offered by Universal Health Services, one of the largest hospital chains in the U.S. Walker wasn’t the program’s founder, either. It was created 11 years before Universal Health Services says it hired Walker as a spokesman, which paid him a salary of $331,000 last year.
  • Court documents, meanwhile, offer a far more troubling picture of its care for veterans and service members.
  • A sprawling civil case brought against Universal Health Services by the Department of Justice and nearly two dozen states alleges that Patriot Support was part of a broader effort by the company to defraud the government.
  • Prosecutors allege Universal Health Services and its affiliates aggressively pushed those with government-sponsored insurance into inpatient mental health care to drive revenue. That’s because, unlike typical private insurers, government plans do not limit the duration of hospital stays for psychiatric care so long as specific criteria are met, making such patients more profitable, the government alleged.
  • To achieve this end, the company pushed staff at its mental health facilities to misdiagnose patients and falsify documents in order to hospitalize those who did not require it, according to court records. In other cases, they failed to discharge those who no longer needed hospitalization, according to the DOJ.
  • A lengthy 2016 investigation by the website BuzzFeed included interviews with former patients, including a veteran, who said they went to Universal Health Services seeking a consultation or counseling only to find themselves held in inpatient care, sometimes against their will.
  • Veterans and service members were a specific focus, according to court documents.
  • The company hired “military liaisons” to visit bases and develop relationships with military medical staff, treatment facility commanders and clinicians, court documents state.
  • “To maximize the flow of military patients, UHS engaged in an aggressive campaign … to market its ‘Patriot Support program,’” a company whistleblower who ran the admissions program at a Utah hospital stated in a 2014 court document.
  • As a celebrity spokesman, Walker was part of the public relations blitz.
  • The company reached a $122 million settlement in 2020 with the Department of Justice and the coalition of states.
  • The company declined to renew his contract this year and a detailed biography of Walker was removed from the Patriot Support website.
  • Walker acknowledged on Saturday that he didn’t create Patriot Support. But he told reporters that he did start Ascend Health’s Freedom Care program in 2007.
  • But government filings show Freedom Care was developed by the company in 2006, a year before Walker claimed to have created it. Meanwhile, an archived company website lists Walker as a spokesman. And a U.S. military news release about the program says Walker didn’t join until 2008 — two years after it was developed.

The American Independent: Herschel Walker in paid partnership with marketing company accused of preying on veterans

Josh Israel, 8/16/22

  • Republican Georgia Senate nominee Herschel Walker has been under fire for misrepresenting his work for a for-profit company accused of exploiting veterans and service members. But it appears that another controversial company for which he worked may also have targeted veterans in a multilevel marketing scheme.
  • He has repeatedly been caught lying and exaggerating about his past: overstating his work on the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition; lying about having graduated from college; and significantly exaggerating his achievements in business and the number of employees he hired.
  • Walker has frequently presented himself as having worked to help members of the armed services and assist them with mental health challenges. He has touted his work with a program called Patriot Support, which he claimed to have created to provide treatment for thousands of soldiers annually.
  • But an AP investigation in May found that Patriot Support, which was founded 11 years before Walker was hired to be its spokesperson, is actually a for-profit program created and offered by the hospital chain Universal Health Services. The program has been accused of fraud and of exploiting veterans and service members.
  • The company paid Walker $331,000 in 2021 alone.
  • A spokesperson for Walker’s campaign did not respond to an inquiry for this story. However, in response to an ad released by the Warnock campaign criticizing Walker’s involvement with Universal Health Services, the campaign said in a statement: “The accusations levied in the ad were brought against Universal Health Services. Herschel Walker played zero role in the founding of Universal Health Services, and the allegations against the company had absolutely nothing to do with Herschel.”
  • In July, CNN broke the story that, starting in 2012, Walker worked as a “partner” and “spokesman” for Momentis, which was then a multilevel marketing subsidiary of an energy company called Just Energy.
  • The report noted that Just Energy had been accused by regulators and state governments of deceptive practices, including tricking older customers and people who are not fluent in English into signing long-term contracts.
  • In 2014, Mother Jones included Just Energy on its list of “6 Shady Power Providers,” noting that it and its predecessor had been fined by states for deceiving and misleading customers.
  • While Walker was working for Momentis in 2012, it launched “Project Hope,” a “veterans business development program” targeting military families and veterans.
  • “US Military Veterans and their spouses need opportunities for income both during and after serving in the US Military,” reads the description accompanying a YouTube ad for “Momentis for Veterans.” “Momentis has designed a program, in fact are the only company to date that has created a Military marketing program allowing military families to participate as a business owner.”
  • Walker will face incumbent Sen. Warnock in the November general election. Warnock was elected in a January 2021 special election runoff against appointed Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler to fill the final two years of the term of the late Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson. He is now running for a full six-year term.
  • During his year and a half in office, Warnock has backed legislation to expand health care for veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving and introduced S. 4561, the Increasing Home Ownership for Servicemembers Act, and S. 4563, the Building More Housing for Servicemembers Act. 


Other News from DPG

Questions? Tips? Call anytime.

Georgia Voter Protection Line


Democratic Party of Georgia

Help us elect Democrats in Georgia.