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January 29, 2008


Illinois Expecting Record Turnout of Military Families
for February 5th Primary Election

 On Tuesday, February 5th, millions of registered voters in Illinois will see the following ‘yes or no’ question on their ballots;

“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 ballot question was authored by OFFE Public Relations Director, [Name Omitted], which in June of last year was passed as an advisory referendum to be placed on the primary election ballot by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Since that time, over two dozen additional Illinois counties have joined Cook County and will place the same question on their primary ballots.

In early 2006, U.S. Air Force veteran and OFFE Committee Member, approached Cook County Commissioner Anthony J. Peraica with OFFE’s full mandatory funding resolution and the idea of placing the mandatory funding question on the county-wide ballot for Cook County residents to voice their opinion on. Shortly there after, Commissioner Peraica instructed Cook County Board of Commissioners Administrative Analyst Georgiann Callaway, USN(Ret.) to put together the necessary documentation for presentation to the Board of Commissioners for their consideration and support. Callaway enlisted the pen of [Name Omitted] to write the proposed ballot question. The Cook County Board of Commissioners passed Peraica’s resolution and his referendum placing the veteran’s healthcare funding question on the primary election ballot slated for February 5, 2008.

The Coalition of Veterans Organizations, (CVO), based in Chicago Illinois, represents an impressive group of veteran service organizations in their state, to include; AMVETS - (Chicago Chapter), Filipino American Veterans of Illinois, Korean War Veterans of America, Montford Point Marine Assoc. - (Chicago Chapter), National Women Veterans United, Veterans for Unification, Veterans Strike Force, just to name a few. To view the entire coalition, visit;

Over the past 7 months, CVO has concentrated their collective resources towards educating Illinois voters about the full mandatory funding issue, and the importance of their vote.

According to CVO Chairman, Bruce Parry, the response from the general public has been overwhelmingly positive and this issue has inspired many veterans to register to vote that have never voted before now. Parry said that this is a historic opportunity for the people of Illinois to send a clear message to the next administration, regardless of political affiliation, that we will provide mandated funding to insure quality and accessible healthcare for our men and women in uniform.

For more information, contact Bruce Parry at; 773-395-3559

In addition to the Illinois effort, Operation Firing For Effect has inspired a growing number of politicians and civic organizations to adopt the full mandated funding concept. Three weeks ago, the New York State Senate unanimously passed a resolution based on OFFE’s original resolution calling for full mandated funding of the VA. The OFFE Crusade has also gained the endorsement of well-known celebrities, Willie Nelson and Bill Cosby, both veterans of U.S. military service. The Great State of New Mexico has embraced the OFFE concept as well. Governor, Bill Richardson, Lieutenant Governor, Diane Denish, and Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Affairs, John Garcia have all endorsed OFFE’s Crusade for full funding of veteran’s healthcare and services. 

OFFE is currently collecting signatures in California on a statewide petition which would place the same VA funding question on their statewide November general election ballot. OFFE needs to collect 500,000 signatures before the April 30th deadline. If you live in California, and wish to help us collect the necessary signatures, contact California, Director of Operations, Rusty Rustan at; 949-705-7009.

Together, we will make 2008 the ‘Year of the Veteran.’

[Name Omitted]
National Public Relations Director
Operation Firing For Effect



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