Willie Nelson speaks out for Veterans

Tuesday, April 15, 2008, Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE), will host a meeting in Room 334 of the Cannon House Building in Washington, DC. and LIVE on stardustradio.com 12PM est / 11AM cdt OFFE plans to address legislators and representatives concerning veteran’s healthcare funding. Invitations to attend OFFE’s Presentation have been delivered to all members of Congress and to all of the Presidential candidates. OFFE’s program will include several short videos, one of which features country music legend and U.S. Air Force veteran, Willie Nelson. Mr. Nelson is currently on tour overseas and unable to attend the DC meeting. The Willie Nelson video was produced by OFFE to focus light on the issue of mandatory funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Willie Nelson is national spokesperson for the OFFE group, and a strong supporter of full mandatory funding of the VA. Veteran’s advocates and civic leaders from across the country are expected to attend. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1pm, and last two hours, followed up by an open discussion by the attendees.
Over the past two years, OFFE has aggressively gathered support for the mandated veteran’s healthcare funding concept, and now they plan to fire for effect in Washington DC.

OFFE offers several factors to support their claim that they represent the voices of several million Americans.

First factor, on ‘Super Tuesday’, February 5th, registered voters in Illinois saw the following ‘yes or no’ question on their primary ballots. The ballot question was authored by OFFE Public Relations Director, Jere Beery, and appeared on primary election ballots in 23 Illinois counties.

“Shall the federal government be required to adopt full mandatory funding of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the purpose of ensuring that all eligible honorably discharged U.S. veterans receive quality and accessible healthcare and services?”

The combined county vote tabulation, not including early votes and absentee votes was; 1,137,735 YES votes, to 77,519 NO votes, or an overwhelming 93.6 percent approval.

Second important factor, in addition to the 1.1 million Illinois voter voices, OFFE has gained the support of a number of labor unions, such as; AFL/CIO Sheet Metal Workers (Local 137), AFL/CIO Sheet Metal Workers (Local 46), New York State Sheet Metal Workers Council, American Federation of Government Employees (Local 3306), Chemung/Schuyler County Labor Assembly, Rochester Building & Construction Trades Council, and Steuben/Livingston County Labor Council. All of whom have publicly endorsed and signed OFFE’s Resolution for Full Mandatory Funding of Veteran’s Healthcare.

Celebrities Willie Nelson, Bill Cosby, and NFL star Doug Craft have also voiced their support for mandated funding of veteran’s healthcare. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and New Mexico Governor, Bill Richardson has both signed OFFE’s Resolution for Full Mandatory Funding of Veteran’s Healthcare as well.

Third factor, here is a brief list of other endorsements OFFE has acquired; Senator Charles Schumer, Oregon Governor Kulongoski, New York Senator Joseph Robach, New Mexico Lt. Governor Diane Denish, New York Senator Michael Nozzolio, New York State Senate, Brighton Township New York, City of Chicago Illinois, Cook County Illinois Board of Commissioners, Monroe County New York, Philadelphia City Council, City of Canadice New York, City of Hamlin New York, City of Irondequoit New York, City of Rochester New York, City of Bosque Farms New Mexico, City of Albuquerque New Mexico, New York State Assembly, 29 Chicago Illinois Aldermen, Constitution Party of New York, DAV Roll of Honor (Chapter 120), AMVETS (Post 84), California Veterans Board, American Legion (Post 857), California Paralyzed Veterans, Huntington Beach California City Council, Department of Veterans Affairs Orange County Veterans Advocacy Group, New Mexico Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Coalition of Veterans Organizations, and over 10,000 individual signatures of support.

According to Operation Firing For Effect National Chairman Gene Simes the combined support of all these factors represents several million Americans that support full mandated funding of veteran’s healthcare. And it is these voices we will be taking to Washington DC with us next week.

OFFE’s Resolution for Full Mandatory Funding of Veteran’s Healthcare is not a new idea. The concept has been around for the past two decades. However, what is new is the focused grassroots tactics used by OFFE to capture nationwide public approval in an effort to pressure Congress into passing full mandated funding for the VA into law. Thus far, no other national veterans’ service organization has conquered as much ground or gained as much public support on the issue as Operation Firing For Effect has. And Gene Simes and the OFFE Team do not appear to be letting-up on accomplishing their objectives anytime soon.

Operation Firing For Effect is convinced that the timing of the Washington DC meeting is critical. The time to walk the walk is now! The time to stand up for the healthcare needs of our troops is here! We must send a message to our politicians and legislators that regardless of who wins the November general elections, the American people expect veteran’s healthcare funding to take priority over special interest, and the citizens of this great country demand veteran’s healthcare be fully funded and mandated.

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