At the center of the National League of Families’ illegal 2011 elections is Mrs. Susie Harvey. Susie’s first husband, Jeffrey Geist, had a brother who was captured in September of 1967; SSG Stephen Jonathan Geist, US Army-a strikingly handsome Special Forces soldier. For some reason, Susie has been allowed to portray herself as a family member even though her status as a legal family member was severed when her divorce to her first husband was finalized prior to 1999.
Yet, Ann Mills-Griffiths and the Board of the NLF refuse to remove Susie from her newly appointed position as an NLF Board Member and no one truly understand why. Clearly AMG can see the illegality of this situation and understands the ramifications of the Board’s inaction. From an organizational perspective, there is certainly cause for concern.
Today, Susie sits, illegally, on the Board of Directors of the NLF due to the fact that only family members are allowed voting rights and to sit on the Board. Based on NLF by-laws only blood relatives and legal family members can have family member status. Anyone who does not fit into either of these categories is to be classified as an associate member (no voting rights or ability to hold a Board seat).
We must also apologize to our readers. In past posts, we have made an error with regard to Susie and her marital status. What was our error? We stated that Susie’s present husband, Allen Harvey, was her third husband – he is actually her fourth.
Susan Lowenthal-Geist-Ragan-Stephens-Harvey was born in Maryland in November, 1959 – she would have been about two months shy of seven years old when SSG Geist entered the Army and eight years and ten months old at the time SSG Geist was shot down in 1967. We have spent some very long hours scouring the Internet looking for references to Susie and SSG Geist. We found several web pages where Susie refers to herself, as SSG Geist’s sister-in-law, even after she had married husband No. 2 (Ragan). At that point, SSG Geist would have been her ex-brother-in-law, yet, somewhat understandably, leaving off the ‘ex’ is something that we can overlook.
While overlooking the ‘ex’ we cannot over look the legal status change from family member to associate member, as all wives were treated when they remarried in the late 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. The by-laws are clear – Susie Lowenthal-Geist-Ragan-Stephens-Harvey, just as the wives who remarried lost their status; Susie lost her legal claim to being a family member when she divorced SSG Geist’s brother, Jeffrey. Her present husband, Allen Harvey, had no right to even be given family member status, but we will have more on that in a later post.
The crux of this issue is this – every action that Susie and her present husband Allen have made and will make under the guise of “family members” is illegal and, by law, needs to be stricken from the record. Every Board Meeting in which AMG allows Susie to sit is an illegal meeting and the THREE Resolutions that were passed last month in DC at the annual meetings that involved either Susie or Allen supporting a motion or seconding one (Resolutions #2, #5 and #6) are also illegal and must be stricken from the record.
A reader brought it to our attention that AMG, during the annual meetings this past July, used the argument of “once a family member, always a family member” when this issue was discussed. Well, based on the number of POW/MIA wives who contacted us and the clear distinction that Larry Echanis, son of USAF Major Joseph Echanis, made in his very poignant letter to the NLF Board on August 11, 2011; that argument is not in the by-laws and has no precedent to our knowledge. Larry’s mother was one of those women who was stripped of her family member status when she remarried. Read Larry’s letter here: NLOF Letter 08-11-2011 Echanis Letter.
Based on the handling of past family members who lost their legal status and today’s Susie situation; AMG appears to randomly decides who stays a family member and who doesn’t. What criteria is she using exactly to make these status changes? Is there a statute in the by-laws that gives her that power to make these vicarious decisions?
Unfortunately, according to information that Susie posted on the internet and in interviews with reporters after 1999, Susie suddenly began to refer to herself as SSG Geist’s sister and calling him her brother. We have over 20 internet references, some of Susie’s own making and others as newspaper articles, where Susie refers to SSG Geist as her brother and tells some tales of being a POW/MIA ‘sister.’
In Part II we will share the specifics of the professional POW/MIA Family Member life that Susie falsely orchestrated for herself over the past 12 years. There may well be a Part III and possibly a Part IV as we are still attempting to sort this all out. Some of it will simply leave you shaking your head.