McCain Snubs Fellow Veterans in RNC Acceptance Speech

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McCain Snubs Fellow Veterans in RNC Acceptance Speech

by Jere Beery

If you are a disabled veteran and were expecting Senator John McCain to address issues of importance to you and your family in his acceptance speech, you were probably very disappointed. Senator John McCain managed to deliver his 55 minute speech without using the word ‘veteran’. In fact, the word ‘veteran’ was not uttered by any Republican during the entire 5 day Republican National Convention.

You might think someone with the extensive military background that Senator McCain has would take the primetime opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to insure his fellow veterans receive quality and accessible healthcare. Evidently, the Senator is not concerned with the problems facing this country’s disabled veterans. At no time did Senator McCain assure our retired military families that he would do everything he could to keep TriCare co-payment and deductible increases low. Senator McCain never referred to the backlog of 600,000 VA disability claims, or how he would rectify that situation. Although Senator McCain chose a woman as his running mate, he never assured our female veterans that he was aware of their special healthcare needs. He never referenced the Walter Reed scandal; much less assure that a similar situation would never happen again if he were elected. Senator McCain’s acceptance speech was short on substance and long on self-serving political rhetoric. 

     

For those of us that have followed Senator McCain’s career over the years this is nothing new. McCain has a dismal voting record on veteran’s affairs and most recently he voted against the new GI Bill. McCain claimed the legislation was too generous. 

Apparently, the Republican Party doesn’t think 120 veterans a week committing suicide is a problem worthy of mentioning. They obviously don’t think the growing number of homeless veterans is something to be concerned about either.

If you were one of the many VSO representatives who attended the convention (apparent by the number of VSO caps), you were probably insulted by McCain’s avoidance of veteran’s issues. Senator McCain made no reference to the breach of the VA which resulted in 26.5 million personal medical records being lost. There was no assurance given that this would not happen again.





During the entire RNC speaker after speaker made reference to John McCain the war hero. If one didn’t know better you would think John McCain was the only hero to come out of the military. McCain made comments about how ‘the surge’ was working and how he voted for sending more troops to Iraq, but he never made mention of the future healthcare needs of those very same troops. 

It is very naive for anyone to think because Senator John McCain is a disabled veteran himself he would be sensitive to issues of importance to our former military personnel and their families. His words and voting record prove otherwise. Senator McCain does not use the VA for his healthcare needs. Nor does he use TriCare. His healthcare insurance is provided to him because he is a member of the Senate. John McCain enjoys better healthcare coverage than any veteran enrolled in the VA.  

In short, Senator John McCain’s acceptance speech was very self-centered and disappointing. It is very apparent that Senator McCain is out of touch with the needs of his fellow veterans. In sharp contrast, fully funding veteran’s healthcare was mentioned several times during the Democratic National Convention.

Operation Firing For Effect is a non-profit bi-partisan Veterans’ Advocacy Group devoted to the protection and improvement of benefits and services earned by our men and women in uniform. OFFE is also the leader in the nationwide grassroots movement for full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare and services. Four years ago, OFFE authored a resolution calling for full mandatory funding of the VA. To date, several Presidential candidates have signed the OFFE resolution to include; Bill Richardson, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards. However, Senator John McCain has refused to sign the OFFE resolution or even discuss the issue. 

To view a list of supporters of full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare, visit; http://www.offe2008.org/public_html/resolution.htm


Aoubt Author: Jere Berry is teh Director of Public Relations for Operation Firing for Effect (OFFE).  OFFE does not endorse political candidates running for office. OFFE does report on issues of importance to our former military personnel and their families and that includes ‘News’ from both sides of the aisle. OFFE will grant equal time to any candidate (regardless of political affiliation) who wishes to share and explain their position(s) on ‘Veterans’ Affairs’. OFFE reserves the right to scrutinize any/all political candidates and/or their voting record.

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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