March Gains Steady Momentum
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AGAINST A HONORABLE COMBAT VETERAN
By Staff Writer: Rick Townsend
February 24, 2006
A grassroots group of former military
personnel and their families are on a mission to bring much needed attention to problems facing this country’s veterans.
Operation Firing For Effect - The Veteran’s
March 2006 is the collaboration of two combat tested
military veterans, Gene Simes and James North. Simes is a Vietnam Marine veteran who served 2 tours in country. North is a
combat Marine veteran from Gulf War One, who retired after 21 years of distinguished service. Last year Simes and North teamed
up on a project to unit veterans nationwide in a common cause.
On April 25th of this
year, veterans from many points across the country will be traveling to Washington, DC to attend The Veteran’s March 2006 and Rally to be held on the West Front of the U.S.
Operation Firing For Effect has a simple objective; provide veterans and their families a voice in Washington, DC.
Gene Simes and James North set out to do just that. North went to work on setting up a web site, while Simes applied for the
necessary permits and drummed up support for their idea. It wasn't long before veteran’s advocates took notice and jumped
in to help. Committees were formed, artwork donated and a logo created.
That was last year. Now, the project
has gained steady momentum and many volunteers have gotten involved in Operation Firing
For Effect. In a recent telephone interview, Gene Simes said he was extremely pleased with the response
the project has stimulated. “Most of the veterans I have spoken with agree the timing of this March is crucial to the
future of veteran’s affairs in this country. We are going to take our message straight to the steps of the U.S. Capitol,”
James North agrees with Simes. “The
problems facing this country’s former military personnel are many and vast in scope. From retired military health care,
to VA health care, to homeless veterans, to returning disabled soldiers, we are creating a program that will address many
issues under one banner,” North stated.
Veteran’s rights advocate
and Vietnam combat veteran Jere Beery of Jefferson, Ohio joined the team last month as Public Affairs Officer. Beery served with the U.S. Navy during
5 military campaigns in Vietnam. Beery is also a noted crusader for veteran’s rights and benefits. “After talking
to Simes and North several times, I was convinced their objectives were achievable. I am very secure in Gene Simes and James
North’s ability to provide an all-inclusive and dignified event,” Beery said. “I’m extremely proud
to be a part of this project, and I am very confident it will be a huge success,” he added.
Operation Firing For Effect –
The Veteran’s March has sent invitations to
all national veterans’ service organizations to attend this event and help unite this country’s former
military personnel and their families. In addition, the Department of Defense has received and acknowledged the receipt of
a formal request for a guest speaker for the event. “We asked the DOD to provide a guest speaker to explain the proposed
increases in TriCare, and address the adverse affects BRAC has had on retired military families,” Beery said.
According to Jere Beery the request is pending approval.
James North is confident also. “We
are providing an opportunity for all veterans to meet on neutral ground to discuss the future of veterans’ affairs in
this country. Now, it’s up to the American people to take advantage of the opportunity we are creating,” North
To give everyone some idea how big this
event will be, 4000 chairs will be setup, 80 portable toilets are planned, and emergency medical services will be on sight.
“On April 25th, many Shadow Rallies will occur simultaneously with our primary Rally in DC. “This project
is merely the starting-point of the much bigger nationwide movement to protect the benefits, compensation, and services earned
by our troops,” Gene Simes stated.
To date, event organizers have
released two Public Relations Releases. You can view these releases at this link > http://jerebeery.com/VetMarchPR1.htm
To view the invitation to attend
that was sent to the NVSOs, visit this link > http://jerebeery.com/NVSO_Invitation.htm
For a list of State Coordinators
and Financial Report, visit the main link at > http://www.vetmarch2006.com/
Operation Firing For Effect provided the follow list of contacts:
Gene Simes (Chairman) - firstname.lastname@example.org,
James North (Co-Chairman) - Jim.North@cambridge-na.com,
Russ Scarvelli (Master at Arms)
Jere Beery (Public Relations) - email@example.com ,
Barbara Wright (Research) - firstname.lastname@example.org,
Barb Cragnotti (Communications) – email@example.com
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 perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.
debt to those who would fight for her defense doesn't end the day the uniform comes off. For the security of our nation, it
must not end.