Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) Delegation Converges on Capitol Hill


by Jere Beery, Staff Writer

Last Wednesday, nineteen members of Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) began a three day quest to visit all 535 Congressional offices in Washington, DC. Each OFFE volunteer carried a cover letter from Operation Firing For Effect and a resolution for full mandatory funding of veteran’s healthcare – which was signed by then Senator Barack Obama in 2008. Their intent was to lobby Congress and the Senate on behalf of the full funding concept. By Friday afternoon the OFFE group had visited over 400 offices with their message.

Operation Firing For Effect is a veterans’ advocacy group devoted to the improvement and protection of benefits and entitlements earned by our men and women in uniform. OFFE is a subsidiary of Veterans For Veteran Connection, Inc., a registered non-profit organization headquartered in Walworth, New York.


OFFE has been at the forefront of the nationwide movement to secure healthcare funding for our veterans for the past 5 years. In that time, OFFE has received the endorsements of such celebrities as; Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels, and Bill Cosby. Both Nelson and Daniels have recorded public service announcements supporting fully funding veterans’ healthcare.

Last week’s visit to DC was merely the latest attempt by OFFE to gain support for the mandated full funding concept. OFFE’s plan was to attend pre-scheduled meetings and knock on doors of every member of Congress and the Senate. Although they were unable to visit all 535 offices, the OFFE team did accomplish more than anyone thought they could by visiting well over 400 Congressional offices. 

The all volunteer OFFE team came from many points across the United States. Veterans advocates from Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio were all in attendance. The OFFE team was motivated and focused on getting their message to as many Congressional representatives as possible, and by late Friday afternoon they had done just that. It would be safe to say that many Congressional representatives, their aides and staff are very aware of Operation Firing For Effect and our objectives.  

OFFE Washington, DC delegation; OFFE National Chairman, Gene Simes, OFFE Public Relations Director, Jere Beery, OFFE National Secretary, Barbara Wright, OFFE Security Chief, Russ Scarvelli, OFFE Treasurer, Milt Hanas, OFFE Historian, Bob Fink, OFFE Indiana Director of Operations, Lisa Wilken, OFFE Illinois Director of Operations, Millicent Bess, OFFE New Mexico Director of Operations, Ted Roybal, OFFE Texas Director of Operations, Simon Alvarado, OFFE Michigan Director of Operations, Calvin Murphy, OFFE Iowa Director of Operations, Jerry Bohr, OFFE Special Assignment Correspondents, Fred Gewjiski and John Monahan, Veterans Advocates, Thomas Were, Michael Silcox, Jacqueline Silcox, and Mike Johnson.

Jere Beery is OFFE National Public Relations Director. He can be reached at [email protected]. Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) official web site is at www.offe2008.org




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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