OFFE Issues Warning to Returning Troops of Ambush

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OFFE Issues Warning to Returning Troops of Ambush

by Jere Beery, OFFE National Public Relations Director

Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) is a veteran’s advocacy group devoted to the improvement and protection of benefits and entitlements earned by our men and women in uniform. According to OFFE National Chairman Gene Simes military personnel returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan are in danger of unjustly losing their earned disability compensation to elements and non-military individuals outside the Department of Veterans Affairs.

United States Code, Title 38, Veteran’s Benefits, is the governing document created by the U.S. Congress for the administration and protection of benefits, entitlements, and healthcare services earned by persons honorably discharged from the U.S. military, spouses, dependents, and widows of former military personnel. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the sole agency responsible for enforcement and interpretation of the contents of USC, Title 38. According to the Department of Justice, the ultimate responsibility for all actions taken/or not taken under USC, Title 38 falls squarely on the shoulders of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

One of the primary functions of USC, Title 38 is to insure persons not eligible for veterans’ benefits, entitlements, compensation, and/or medical services are not granted access to such, and veterans receiving benefits, entitlements, compensation, and/or medical services are qualified and eligible to receive said benefits. 

     

cartoon1_400In the case of veteran’s disability compensation, these funds are paid solely to the disabled veteran for injuries incurred in the line of duty. Disability compensation is tax-exempt and not classified as ‘income’ by the IRS.  VA disability compensation is also protected from seizure, attachment, garnishment, or levy under any legal process whatsoever. 

USC, Title 38, Section 5301(a) – 1) Payments of benefits due or to become due under any law administered by the Secretary shall not be assignable except to the extent specifically authorized by law, and such payments made to, or on account of, a beneficiary shall be exempt from taxation, shall be exempt from the claim of creditors, and shall not be liable to attachment, levy, or seizure by or under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary.





http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode38/usc_sec_38_00005301—-000-.html 

In spite of this VERY focused and explicate language, every day in civil court rooms across the country disabled veterans are being forced to use their earned disability compensation as a divisible asset in a divorce settlement, or go to jail for contempt. In a blatant violation of USC, Title 38, most family court attorneys and civil court judges have wrongly concluded that the federal law does not apply to them or their court proceedings. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Contrary to the opinions of some, there is no gray area here. When the federal law states; ‘under any legal or equitable process whatever, either before or after receipt by the beneficiary’, that means exactly that. USC, Title 38 makes NO exception for civil court rulings. You don’t have to be a law school graduate to understand plain and simple English. 

Operation Firing For Effect is currently monitoring over 40 cases nationwide where severely disabled veterans are being ordered to use their earned disability compensation to pay alimony or spousal support to a non-military able body ex-spouse. In a number of these cases the disabled veteran has spent months in jail for refusing to give up their disability compensation to a third party. 

Although USC, Title 38 is extremely clear about the protection of disability compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs refuses to enforce the laws outlined in Title 38. This inaction by the VA leaves the veteran with no other recourse but to pay the court order or go to jail.  

Operation Firing For Effect is currently warning active duty personnel (man, or woman) of the waiting ambush they face if they should fall victim to an ugly divorce upon returning home. OFFE is recommending all military personnel consider filing a premarital/prenuptial agreement designed specifically to protect veterans’ benefits from consideration as a divisible asset in a divorce. OFFE is also exploring the possibility of filing a class-action suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs for failure to enforce the federal statues that protect veteran’s benefits from third party awards. The Department of Veterans Affairs has an obligation to our veterans to protect their benefits and entitlements from abuse and theft. OFFE has an obligation to our veterans to insure the VA does just that.   

For more information on this issue, visit; http://jerebeery.com/5301%20Club.htm


View Calvin Murphy’s video on this subject


 

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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