AMVETS, which is also known as American Veterans, is the largest and oldest veterans service organization that is open to and fights for all veterans and their families.
AMVETS Mission Statement: To enhance and safeguard the entitlements for all American Veterans who have served honorably and to improve the quality of life for them, their families, and the communities where they live through leadership, advocacy and services.
As one of America’s leading veterans service organizations with more than 250,000 members, AMVETS has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who honorably served, or currently serving, in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves.
We are Veterans Serving Veterans! The helping hand that AMVETS extends takes many forms:
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 50 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 74,000 claims,
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 1 million 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.
Over the years, AMVETS has been at 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.
Apart from these initiatives, the organization has monetarily supported national monuments such 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.
AMVETS National Headquarters is located in Lanham, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C. AMVETS’ operations worldwide are administered through the Office of the National Commander and six departments: administrative, finance, human resources, legislative, membership, programs, communications and service. The bulk of the organization’s work with veterans and communities is focused in three of these—legislative, programs and service. We also have our posts and departments organized by state with websites and e-mail addresses listed for those that have them. Finally, listed below are our affiliate organizations. Not all of them have websites, but those that do, we invite you to visit.
The National Service Foundation (oftentimes referred to as simply “the Foundation”) is the fund-raising arm of AMVETS. A corporate subsidiary of the parent organization, it funds a variety of programs benefiting America’s veterans and their communities. Among them is the National Service Officer Program, the Memorial Carillon Program, the Americanism Program, AMVETS scholarships, youth programs and hospital projects.
The Ladies Auxiliary is a subordinate national organization of AMVETS whose members (female veterans or relatives of AMVETS) provide a range of services and support to veterans, communities and other nonprofit organizations such as Paws With a Cause, the John Tracy Clinic and Freedoms Foundation.
The Sons of AMVETS, as its name implies, is a nationwide organization comprised of the sons of American veterans who are members of AMVETS. The Sons play an active role in promoting AMVETS’ legislative agenda, providing services to hospitalized veterans and supporting charitable initiatives.
The AMVETS RIDERS are a dedicated and patriotic group of motorcycle riders who hold true to an unwavering respect for our Nation, our Flag, and our Military… past, present and future. The Riders are committed to the freedom of this Nation, to provide community service and fellowship, and to preserve and support the aims and goals of the AMVETS National Organization.
Junior AMVETS are the sons and daughters (under age 18) of AMVETS members. As a nationwide organization, “the Juniors” (as they are sometimes called) undertake projects—such as visiting a homeless shelter—that benefit veterans and communities alike.
A fun-making and honor organization comprised of AMVETS members, the Sad Sacks (who derive their name from the famous cartoon character of World War II) provide, as their chief community service project, scholarships for nurses.
The Ladies Auxiliary counterpart to the Sad Sacks, the Sackettes also raise funds for nurses’ scholarships.