OFFE Veteran’s Awareness Day


offe1Highlights of OFFE Veteran’s Awareness Day atDaley Plaza in Chicago 

On August 29th, Operation Firing For Effect hosted the first annual Veteran’s Awareness Day March & Rally at Daley Plaza. The event was designed to bring the much needed attention to veterans healthcare funding and related issues.
Among the highlights of the Rally was the public debut of 5 audio public service announcements produced by OFFE and featuring country music celebrity, Willie Nelson. 

Nelson, (U.S Air Force veteran) is national celebrity spokesperson for OFFE, and a leader in the nationwide grassroots movement for full mandatory funding of veterans healthcare and related services. The Willie Nelson public service announcements were well received and attendees of the rally were inspired by Willie’s words.

Marine Veteran activist Dirk Enger stands vigil during entire 4 hour OFFE Rally. He is also co-founder of Midwest Shelter for Midwest Homeless Veterans. In one of the Willie Nelson/OFFE public service announcements Willie appeals to all Americans to unite. Mr. Nelson states: “We have a moral and ethical obligation to our veterans to provide them quality and accessible healthcare. This is Willie Nelson asking everyone from across the nation, to unite for the common good of our veteran population. We can do so much better.” 



Among the dignitaries that spoke during the 4 hour OFFE Rally were; Illinois Lieutenant Governor, Pat Quinn, Cook County Commissioner, Anthony Perica, Chicago Alderman, Richard Mell, and Senator Barack Obama representative, Ron Gibbs. Mr. Gibbs read a letter from Senator Obama commending Operation Firing For Effect for their efforts, and reaffirming his [Obama] offe2_400commitment to full funding of the VA if he is elected. Senator Obama wrote: “Members of Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) are a group of committed patriots who represent the interest of those who have risked their lives for our great nation. Their mission reminds us of the sacred responsibility we have to those who protect us, and we cannot stand to let them down anymore.”

 Among participating organizations in the Veteran’s Awareness Day program – Veteran’s Strike Force, Marvin Gardner, Kim Driscol, Creola Alfalileh – Veterans for Unification, John Borg – Coalition of Veterans Organizations, Bruce Parry, Dave Rogers – American Airlines Veteran’s Representative Fred Gajewski, Dirk Enger- Co-founder of Midwest Shelter for Midwest Homeless Veterans.   

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County Commissioner Anthony Pericia proudly accept Certificates of Appreciation from OFFE National Chairman Gene Simes for their endorsement. The Operation Firing For Effect Rally and Walkathon were organized locally by; OFFE Illinois Director of Operations, John Monaghan, and OFFE Chicago Director of Operations, Fred Gajewski. OFFE National Chairman Gene Simes and OFFE Public Relations Director, Jere Beery traveled from New York to represent OFFE national.   Between 4 and 5 hundred supporters gather in Daley Plaza for Operation Firing For Effect Veteran’s Awareness Day Rally. 

To hear the Willie Nelson/OFFE public service announcements, visit this link; Video versions will be released within the next two week.


Jere Beery
OFFE Public Relations Director
[email protected]

 "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceived veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."  George Washington .

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. 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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