Willie Nelson Supports Full Funding for Veterans Healthcare


willie-nelson-full-funding-veteransWillie Nelson Supports Full Funding for Veterans Healthcare

Willie Nelson Records Public Service Announcement for Veterans and VA Healthcare and Benefits

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Operation Firing for Effect (OFFE) and Willie Nelson have recorded a public service announcement in support of U.S. Veterans. OFFE2008.org has a long standing relationship with Willie.

During a recent Willie Nelson Concert in Finger Lake, New York, Operation Firing For Effect’s National Chairman, Gene Simes managed to get a personal package delivered to Willie Nelson after the concert. The package contained OFFE’s resolution for full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare, and OFFE T-shirt that says; ‘Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You, Ask What Is Your Country Not Doing For Your Veterans?’

Gene received the following message on his voice mail; “Gene, this is Willie, call me.”


hireveteransGene made that call, and discovered Mr. Willie Nelson was very interested in the full mandatory funding for veteran’s healthcare issue he had read about in Gene’s package. Willie wanted to know how he could help Operation Firing For Effect and help insure our veterans receive the best healthcare we can give them. Before the phone conversation had concluded, Willie agreed to do a live interview during Tuesday night’s VFVC Live radio program on Stardust Radio. Willie was in the midst of a scheduled concert in New Jersey with Merle Haggard and Ray Price, and told Gene he would be available at 11:15 PM.

At precisely 11:15 PM Willie (also a US Air Force Veteran) answered his cell phone and for the next 20 minutes he commented with much concern on the welfare of our deployed troops and the healthcare needs of our veterans. Several times during the interview Willie stated he was in 100% support of Operation Firing For Effect and full mandatory funding for veteran’s healthcare. Mr. Nelson also promoted reusable energy as a way to cut dependence of foreign sources. Willie pointed out, if we were self sufficient with renewable energy resources right here within the United States, we wouldn’t be losing American lives overseas protecting another country’s oil resources. The interview concluded with Willie pledging his full support for full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare, and a promise to help OFFE in the future.

Willie Nelson is the latest celebrity to join OFFE’s Crusade for full mandatory funding of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs healthcare system and services. In September of last year OFFE sponsored a veteran’s rally in Newark New Jersey. Well-known celebrity Bill Cosby (US Navy Veteran) addressed a group of several hundred veterans and family members. Mr. Cosby voiced his support for full mandated funding for VA healthcare in a very heart-felt speech.

Mandatory Funding for Veterans’ Healthcare Services
(Including Dental and Mental Health)
Sponsored by
Willie Nelson

Whereas, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) mission and motto is, “to care for him who has borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan”; and Whereas, President George Washington stated, “The willingness with which our
young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportionate to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country”; and Whereas, whenever the United States military has ever been called upon to send forces into harms way, including sons and daughters of our great County of
_______________, in the State of ___Texas___________ , they have proudly answered the call; and

Whereas, we, as citizens of the United States of America, have promised our troops through recruiters and recruiting brochures comprehensive quality accessible healthcare for those eligible veterans honorably discharged from The United States military past, present and future; and Whereas, the legislative bodies of our government at all levels have recognized the importance of supporting those who serve our great country, legislation itself has fallen short of meeting the healthcare needs of our veterans. The current discretionary funding mechanisms for veterans healthcare is beset by numerous flaws preventing many veterans from receiving the quality healthcare they earned and deserve; and Whereas, on March 16, 2006, the United States Senate voted down mandatory funding for veterans’ healthcare services (Ref: Stabenow Amendment No. 3141), which would have insured mandatory funding for our veterans’ healthcare needs (YEA 46 / NAY 54); and

Whereas, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report in 2005 highlighted the lack of resources experienced by the Veterans Administration and its understaffed workforce as they attempt to process an increasing backlog of our veterans claims; and Whereas, former Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi has publicly stated the Department of Veterans Affairs has been struggling to provide promised healthcare services to the rapidly rising number of veterans requiring healthcare services; Therefore be it resolved, as proud citizens of this great nation we fully support
mandated full funding for veterans’ healthcare services; and Therefore be it further resolved, the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate move to ensure that these healthcare obligations to our veterans be recognized and legislation be introduced and passed for signing by the President of the United States of America to guarantee full mandatory funding of veterans’ healthcare services; and


Author Details
Although Jere Beery only served 4 years in the U.S. Navy, he has an impressive military history. Twenty seven months of that service was in the combat waters of Vietnam. His first duty station in 1965 was aboard the USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY, (LST-1167) as a Seaman. The WESTCHESTER COUNTY was involved in many operations within the combat waters of South Vietnam and received many awards and accolades for her service. The WESTCHESTER COUNTY was the recipient of 15 Battle Stars for her 19 years of service. LST-1167 was one of only 3 ships of her type to earn 15 Battle Stars (out of over 1200 LSTs built since before WWII). Beery’s second duty station in 1967 was with the legendary PBRs of the Brown Water Navy. As a volunteer, Beery saw combat on a fairly routine basis with this elite group and their high speed patrol craft. On March 1, 1968, Beery’s patrol was ambushed by a sizeable force of NVA and Viet Cong. The boat Beery was aboard took two direct RPG hits to her starboard side badly wounding four members of the boat’s crew. Seaman Beery was the most severely wounded and not expected to live. The first RPG had exploded right where Beery was standing as he manned his 50 caliber machine gun. To this day, Beery contributes his survival to the live-saving actions of his patrol officer, LT. RICHARD GODBEHERE and his other crew members. Beery spent the next year and a half hospitalized and recovering from his wounds. THE GODBEHERE PATROL On November 1, 1968, while Jere Beery was recuperating at NAS Hospital, Jacksonville, Florida, USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY was attacked on the My Tho river. At 03:22 in the morning two very large mines were detonated on the ship’s starboard side. 25 men were killed, 17 were ship’s crew. Several of the men killed that morning were friends and former shipmates of Beery’s. This incident has gone down in history as the greatest loss of life by the U.S. Navy in a single attack during the entire Vietnam War. USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY In mid-1969, Jere Beery was medically retired from the Navy. His service record reflects 1 Bronze Star, 3 Purple Hearts, and 5 military campaigns in Vietnam. Beery was also rated totally and permanently disabled by the Veterans Administration. Over the years since Vietnam, Jere Beery has attempted to do some things many thought impossible for someone with physical injuries such as his. During the early 80s, Jere Beery, as a member of the Screen Actors Guild pursued a brief career in the motion picture business as an actor. Beery landed a few small parts in a number of movies and television programs. On several occasions, to the amazement of many, Beery even executed his own stunts. In the 1986, Jere Beery gave up his career in the movies to crusade for his fellow veterans. Since that time, veteran’s rights advocate Jere Beery has been a noted driving force in the Veteran’s Rights Movement and effort to improve services for our veterans. Beery’s efforts have been extremely well documents and many articles have been written about his quest. A few of these articles can be found on this page. You can also type the words “Jere Beery” into any search engine to find out more about Beery’s efforts. www.google.com Jere Beery’s multifaceted story is truly an amazing one. From his survival in Vietnam, to risking additional injury executing stunts in the motion pictures, to fighting to protect the benefits earned by our troops, Jere Beery has forged his own trail and continues to amaze and baffle many. – Place and Date of Birth: Orlando, Fl – 03/13/48 – Raised: St. Augustine, Fl – Place & Date Enlistment: Jacksonville, Fl – 05/20/65 – Branch of service: U.S. Navy – Highest Rate/Rank: E4/PO3/Signalman Third Class – Duty Stations: USS WESTCHESTER COUNTY, LST-1167 and TF116, River Patrol Force, River Section – 511, (PBRs), Binh Thuy, RSVN – Date of Discharge: 5/14/69 – Type of Discharge: Honorable, Medically Retired – VA Rating: 100% Totally and Permanently Disabled Military Awards and Medals: – 1 Bronze Star – w/combat “V” Citation – 3 Purple Hearts – (1/5/68, 2/14/68, 3/1/68) – Vietnam Service Medal – w/1 Silver Star – (5 military campaigns in-country, RSVN) – Republic Of Vietnam Campaign Medal – w/1960 device – Combat Action Ribbon – Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon – Presidential Unit Commendation Ribbon – National Defense Medal – Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation – Gallantry Cross Medal Color, w/Palm – Republic Of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation – Civil Actions Medal, First Class Color, w/Palm Military Training: – River Patrol Craft Training, (PBR), Mare Island, CA – Special Weapons Training, Mare Island, CA – J.E.S.T. (Jungle Environmental Survivor Training) – Cubi Point, Philippines – S.E.R.E. (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape Training) – Whidbey Island, Washington State – Vietnamese Language – Mare Island, CA.
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