-----Original Message-----
From: JEREBEERY@aol.com
Sent: Sat, 7 Apr 2007 1:31 PM
Subject: Open letter to Larry Bailey from Rick Townsend


April 7, 2007

Chairman, GOE

Mr. Bailey,

Here is the Firebase Network's current statement in regards to enlistment in the U.S. military.

Because of the failure of Congress to fully fund
Veterans’ health care. Because of the adversarial attitude of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
And because of the inability of the VA to safeguard the
Personal records of our Veterans: The Firebase Network advises anyone considering enlisting in the military to be
Fully aware of the risks and the hardships involved not only in serving your country, but afterwards trying to acquire benefits earned as a Veteran.

At one time there was a "Quote" from Jere Beery on the Firebase web site recommending our sons and daughters not to enlist. There is also a recruitment brochure from 1992 promising "FREE health care for life" if you serve long enough to earn a Federal pension. Col. Bud Day won a lawsuit about this, but the Politician that ran on "A promise made is a promise kept" had it overturned in the Appeals Court. Weather you realize it or not, Mr. Bailey, a large number of fathers and grand fathers in this country are giving their children the very same advice. It saddens me to think that this ‘truth’ disqualifies me and the Firebase Network members from participating as a future sponsor of GOES, but apparently our ‘methodology’ is undesirable, and just what "Methodology" are you referring to?

When the Firebase Network logo was added to the GOE web site as a sponsor, there were only 4 other logos posted on the site. Apparently, this enlistment issue was not a problem at that time, and our support was welcomed. When I wrote a letter of endorsement for the GOE project, this issue never came up. Starting some 8 weeks prior to the GOE rally in DC, I mentioned the GOE on every broadcast of our weekly FBN radio program, ‘The Firebase Network's Veterans Hour’. Again, not once did anyone from GOE question FBN policy. You have appeared on the Veterans Hour many times from the "Operation street corner," Vietnam Vets against Kerry," "Boot Murtha" and "Gathering of Eagles" at no time was the Firebase Network's stand on enlistment an issue. When I personally attended the GOE rally in DC on the 17th of March, not one person approached me about the FBN’s position on enlistment. Now, apparently, it’s a big deal.

Mr. Baily, what happened in DC on the 17th was just short of a modern day miracle. The Veterans of this Country came together and did our Country proud The call was sent out and for the first time in decades the Veterans responded in high order. You simply can’t capture that kind of magic in a box, or a jar. Magic like that defies definition and boundaries. That kind of power belongs solely to the people. If the people don’t believe in you, there is no magic. If the Veterans of this Country are ever to get the EARNED benefits they deserve it will only be because of the Veterans standing together and forcing the detached elitist in DC to "KEEP THE PROMISE."

The last thing I want to say is that you have had my e-mail address and phone number since 2004, but I hear about your displeasure with the Firebase Network through forwarded e-mails from other groups.

Rick Townsend
National Director
Firebase Network