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~VERPA~
"Veterans For Equal Justice Under Law"         

VERPA's NEWSLETTER


THE ETHICAL REVIEWER

The Official Newsletter of VERPA!
Special Edition

June 2001

We are getting noticed! We are gaining credibility!

The Cox Commission Report

As many of our supporters know, on April 13, 2001, we appeared at the Cox Commission's historical hearing on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ.)   The hearing took place at the George Washington School of Law in Washington, D.C. It was sponsored by National Institute for Military Justice.

Although, the "Feres Doctrine" was not a hearing issue item, we made it one!  We are please to announce that our presentation led to the doctrine being address in the Commission's report released to the Congress and DOD in May 2001.  The following is an excerpt addressing the doctrine:

"C. Feres Doctrine. The Commission was not chartered with the idea that our study would include matters such as the Feres Doctrine. However, given that it was articulated the same year that the UCMJ was adopted, and that many former servicemembers have been frustrated by its constraints on their ability to pursue apparently legitimate claims against the armed forces, many of which bear little if any relation to the performance of military duties or obedience to orders on their merits, the Commission believes that a study of this doctrine is warranted. An examination of the claims that have been barred by the doctrine, and a comparison of servicemembers’ rights to those of other citizens, could reform military legal doctrine in light of present day realities and modern tort practice. Revisiting the Feres Doctrine would also signal to servicemembers that the United States government is committed to promoting fairness and justice in resolving military personnel matters."

The Cox Commission's review of the UCMJ was a historic event that did not receive the national exposure it deserved. Although, we thank Judge Cox and all the Commission members for addressing the "Feres Doctrine" issue for the good of the nation, it is the American public that must get involved. Hence, we believe a quick e-mail to C-Span requesting the hearing be aired would further our cause. Here is the link:   
http://www.c-span.org

At this time in our history, the door is open to potential reform, not only in the DOD but also the VA.   The goal to achieve a congressional hearing to address the doctrine has arrived sooner than we ever believed.  Hence, we hope this information will convince you to sign our petition!  To  remain silent at this important juncture of the fight to reform the doctrine without question, will lead to continued abuses in the system and continued destruction of American families.

We in the veterans’ community could be “powerful voice” in our government if we work together as a “team.” Strength is in numbers and until those who administer our government see us pulling together to address all issues important to our families and children’s future, then, without question the “status quo” will always prevail.

Imagine this!  If every veteran or American Citizen concerned for those who defend their rights, donated $1.00 per month in a general fund, the funding base would be astronomical!    Please remember, those in government who abuse servicemembers' and veterans rights are being defended with taxpayers' money!

We at VERPA, along with countless other independent veterans' organizations have the knowledge and determination to bring about reform, however, we cannot do it with the funding necessary.

Very truly yours,
Jeffrey A. Trueman
Founder, VERPA/VERPAP

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