The growing ranks also illustrated the importance of having brokers with military backgrounds to serve a group that is particularly vulnerable to scams from unsavory providers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently reported that many service members, veterans and military spouses have been receiving fraudulent calls and mailers from companies claiming to be affiliated with the government, VA or their home loan servicer. “These calls or mailers often try to sway you to refinance your home, agree to a loan medication or pay your loan via purchased money orders,” the bureau wrote in an advisory. “They may also try to convince you that your home if facing foreclosure.”

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Such exploitative practices partially inspired the formation of Vetted VA, Knottingham suggested. Despite his palpable affection and respect for those who have served their country, Knottingham insisted on the no cursing rule for Vetted VA members – many of whom are fluent in the salty language often endemic to their military culture.

“So, we had two rules – no solicitations and no cussing,” he reiterated. “I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to be in another veterans group, but they tend to use very colorful language. It’s OK; it’s part of the culture. But what is colorful language other than just usually an emotional trigger? They’re trying to get someone to respond emotionally or broadcast their emotion.”

In implementing the rule, he thought of his grandmother and that of Vetted VA colleague Christopher Griffith – himself a veteran of the US Marine Corp. “I brought my grandma in, Chris brought his grandma in,” he said. “If our grandmas call and say ‘I just saw something on Facebook…’ You better believe I love my grandmother more than anyone else in this world besides my wife. So, I’m going to make sure the group stays open and careful for the community so it doesn’t ostracize somebody because of language.”