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OFFE Looks at Ways to Assist Veterans with Military Honors


By Staff Writer: Rick Townsend


December 19, 2006


Operation Firing For Effect (OFFE) is developing a simple cost-effective solution that will aid family members of a deceased veteran who are unable to acquire military honors.


Some estimates put the number of WWII veterans dying at over one thousand-a-day, 300,000 a month. These great Americans were extremely proud of their military service and carried that pride with them throughout their lives. Most veterans feel their service to their country is the most significant thing that they have accomplished in life.


According to Congressional legislation, all honorably discharged veterans have the right to the presence of two active duty personnel at their funeral to fold and present the American flag to surviving family members. Over the decades, funding and personnel shortages has made it next to impossible for a family to receive military honors at their loved one’s funeral. These facts combined with base closures are yet another promised benefit that is being denied.


Some national veterans service organizations (i.e., VFW, DAV, American Legion) have organized local Honor Guard details and will provide military-type honors for deceased veterans if requested. However, it is impossible for these NVSOs to respect the last wishes of all fallen veterans.


There are also civilian organizations like ‘Bugles Across America’ which provide volunteer buglers to play TAPS at a veteran’s farewell service at no charge. Even with this heartfelt gesture of respect and goodwill, we continue to fall short of our pledge to Honor our Hero’s last wishes.  


OFFE National Chairman Gene Simes told the FBN they are exploring ways to minimize this problem by providing military honors for deceased veterans. “It is logistically impossible to provide active duty personnel at every veteran’s funeral that deserves such honors. However, it would be very simple to provide military honors on a CD for any deceased veteran,” Simes said.   


Simes described the CD concept this way; “We are proposing the production of an audio CD specifically for families of deceased veterans. The CD would contain a rendition of TAPS and all five service songs and military hymns (i.e., The Navy Hymn, Marine Corp Hymn). All of the music would be preformed by active duty military bands. The CD would be distributed to funeral homes nationwide and given free to any family requesting it,” Simes said.  “With this CD, family members could play honors at their veteran’s grave site, anywhere, anytime, and as many times as they wish. Some families may wish to play the CD at the grave site on Memorial Day, Veterans Day, or any special occasion. In our opinion, this CD needs to be produced and certified by the Department of Defense. This way the honors are coming directly from the U.S. Government,” Simes added.


[Name Omitted] is the OFFE Public Relations Director. “Our objective is to publicly introduce new ways to service our former military personnel and their families. We are counting on the American people to insist that their elected official include these ideas in their agendas,” [Name Omitted] said. “That is what ‘firing for effect’ means, we are ‘firing for effect’ with our voices, votes, and ideas,” [Name Omitted] added. 


Both Simes and [Name Omitted] feel it is essential to the future survival to our all volunteer military that ‘veterans affairs’ be addressed by the 2008 political candidates during their current campaigns.


Operation Firing For Effect is a subsidiary of Veterans For Veteran Connect, Inc., a registered 5013c organization devoted to protecting and improving the benefits and services earned by our former military personnel.


To learn more about Operation Firing For Effect, visit; WWW.OFFE2008.ORG


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