One of the most visible is our network of trained national service officers (NSOs) accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Funded by the AMVETS National Service Foundation, these dedicated men and women can be found in close to 40 states, providing sound advice and prompt action on compensation claims at no charge to the veteran.
In one recent year alone, AMVETS national service officers processed more than 24,000 claims that resulted in veterans receiving some $400 million in compensation. This commitment to service traces its roots back to 1948, when our NSOs first began helping veterans of World War II to obtain the benefits promised them by the federal government.
Coincidentally, it was these returning veterans who provided the impetus for forming AMVETS in the first place. At the time, many of them belonged to veterans clubs on college campuses. As the number of returnees swelled into the millions, it was evident that some sort of nationally organized assistance for them would be needed. The older established national groups wouldn’t do; the leaders of this new generation of veterans wanted their own organization.
With that in mind, eighteen of them, representing nine veterans clubs, met in Kansas City, Mo., and founded The American Veterans of World War II on Dec. 10, 1944. Less than three years later, on July 23, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 216, making AMVETS the first World War II organization to be chartered by Congress.
Since then, the original charter has been amended several times to admit as members those who served in different eras. Today, membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who is currently serving, or who has honorably served, in the U.S. Armed Forces from World War II to the present, to include the National Guard and Reserves. As a volunteer-led organization, we annually elect and/or appoint officers at the national, district, department and post levels. Each August, representatives from these levels attend the AMVETS national convention to make decisions on issues affecting veterans and the organization.
Over the years, AMVETS has been in the forefront of public-policy related to national defense, services for homeless veterans, adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, concurrent receipt of retirement pay and disability compensation by disabled military retirees, veterans employment and training, POW/MIA accountability and flag protection.
In addition to the work of our national service officers, other AMVETS members, as well as those in the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, will devote as many as 250,000 hours of free time a year to brighten the lives of hospitalized veterans. Here, something as simple as playing cards with the lonely or watching television with the disabled can make a world of difference.
So can the assistance we give those who want to finish their education. Each year AMVETS awards scholarships totaling $40,000 to deserving high school seniors, ROTC students and veterans pursuing higher education. But helping others is not limited to our fellow veterans. AMVETS members in more than 1,400 posts nationwide also promote and support “quality of life” community-service programs ranging from Special Olympics and ROTC to scouting and organ-donor projects.
Apart from these initiatives, the organization has thrown its monetary support behind work on such national monuments as the USS. Arizona, the Statue of Liberty and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It also sponsors its own carillon program to honor America’s deceased servicemen and women. Since 1949, when President Truman dedicated the first carillon at Arlington National Cemetery, this program has grown to encompass more than 60 sites in the United States and overseas.
Another tribute unique to AMVETS is the Silver Helmet Award, often referred to as the Veterans Oscar. A replica of the World War II GI helmet, this prestigious award is presented annually to recognize excellence and achievement in Americanism, defense, rehabilitation, congressional service and other fields.
As the organization moves further into the 21st century, it does so with the conviction that its focus on preserving freedom, supporting America’s defenders and serving her communities remains a clear blueprint for continued.
Please assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world. Many of the injuries are traumatic amputations, gunshot wounds, burns and blast injuries that will retire these brave warriors from military service.
Assets of one severely injured soldier helping another, like the one depicted above, are inspirational. They remind us that even severely injured, these brave men and women have the courage, strength and determination to help themselves and each other through this trying time in their lives.
Left blind and brain-damaged in Iraq, Army Ranger Jeremy Feldbusch returns home to Pennsylvania into the care of his parents; he faces an uncertain and depressingly sedentary future, but does link up with other vets to lobby Congress for the “Wounded Warrior” bill. Richard Hankin’s poker-faced documentary is conventional in its outlines, but it’s alarmingly valuable as a working sketch of the pro-war heartland circa now.
- Legislative Priorities
- Legislative Agenda
- AMVETS National Constitution & ByLaws
- AMVETS Department of Hawaii Constitution & ByLaws
- Original 1947 Congressional
- Preamble to AMVETS Constitution
- AMVETS Officers Manual
- AMVETS Member Benefits
- Uncle Sam Wants You Poster
- ROTC/JROTC Press Release
PO Box 2865
Ewa Beach, Hawaii (USA) 96706
Help us Help others!
Click the “donate” button below to make a donation, today.
Over 90% of all donations received will directly fund our ROTC/JROTC Medals and Awards program, Hawaii Public Schools Essay Contests, the preservations of Ewa Battlefield, and other Memorials and Hawaii Historic sites. And will also help fund our annual commemoration ceremonies: Ewa Battlefield Pearl Harbor Commemoration, Battle of Midway Commemoration, Veteran’s Day Commemoration ceremony, and other events.
And most of all, your support will support our program initiatives to benefit our Veterans, transitioning Service members, and their families with needed assistance and advocacy.
AMVETS Charities, Inc. participates in the Combined Federal Campaign through the Military, Veterans and Patriotic Services Organizations of America federation. Our Combined Federal number is of the 50,000 charities that participate in the CFC, only about 1500 – the members of Independent Charities of America and Local Independent Charities of America – will have the opportunity to display the “Best In America” seal of approval. AMVETS Charities, Inc. is proud to be one of those chosen few. This seal of approval is a service mark of Independent Charities of America and is used under license. AMVETS NSF is responsible for the content of any materials in which the Service Mark is used.
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