History

Our commitment to service traces its roots back to 1944 when veteran volunteers first began helping veterans of World War II obtain the benefits promised them by the federal government. As the number of returning veterans 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, Missouri 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.

The AMVETS organization has grown and evolved over the years to best serve each new generation of veterans and their families. Explore this website to appreciate the services, programs and public policy impact we drive every day across the United States.

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 service to God and country.

AMVETS National Constitution and Bylaws – PDF file (558 KB)

Original 1947 Congressional Charter

Original 1947 Congressional Charter


AMVETS Past National Commanders (PNC)

Year AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Sons of AMVETS Convention
1944-45 Elmo W. Keel*
1945-46 Jack W. Hardy*
1946-47 Ray Sawyer Edith G. Males* Chicago
1947-48 Edgar C. Corry, Jr.* Kathryn N. Snyder* St. Louis
1948-49 Harold A. Keats* Adeline P. Fogg* Columbus
1949-50 Harold S. Russell* Evelyn Lauritson* Chicago
1950-51 Harold S. Russell* Evelyn M. Flasco* Des Moines
1951-52 John L. Smith* Dorothy Sullivan* Cleveland
1952-53 Marshall E. Miller* Darline Gordon* Boston
1953-54 Henry J. Mahady* Beatrice F. Russell* Grand Rapids
1954-55 Rufus H. Wilson* Ruth K. Nickerson* Indianapolis
1955-56 Rudolph G. Pesata* Florence B. Stripe* Miami
1956-57 Dominick L. Strada* Gloria I. Clark Philadelphia
1957-58 Stuart J. Satullo* June L. Miller* Milwaukee
1958-59 Dr. Winston E. Burdine* Mae Boone* Boston
1959-60 Harold T. Berc* Aldean M. Sorrells* St. Louis
1960-61 Harold S. Russell* Lucia C. Russo* Grand Rapids
1961-62 Edwin F. Fifielski* Anne E. Hall* Miami Beach
1962-63 Dante E. Spagnolo* Alice Oana* Louisville
1963-64 Edmund M. Gulewicz* Leah Monasterio* New York City
1964-65 Lincoln S. Tamraz* Marie Redden* Detroit
1965-66 Ralph E. Hall* Jewel W. Fifielski* Philadelphia
1966-67 A. Leo Anderson* Ellen Bogatay* Boston
1967-68 Anthony J. Caserta* Rita Potvin Columbus
1968-69 Joseph V. Ferrino Kathleen Hengely* Hollywood
1969-70 Robert B. Gomulinski* Marie Miller* New Orleans
1970-71 Robert W. Showalter* Betty Torner* Detroit
1971-72 Joe F. Ramsey, Jr.* Dorothy M. LeRoy* New York City
1972-73 Joseph R. Sanson* Doris L. Burdine* Los Angeles
1973-74 Berge Avadanian* Dorothy J. Bussard Ruph New Orleans
1974-75 Essley B. Burdine* Grace G. Osborn* St. Louis
1975-76 Paul C. Welsh* Toni Gomulinski Hollywood
1976-77 Thomas J. McDonough, Sr.* Doris G. Shrake Des Moines
1977-78 Frank D. Ruggiero* Pearl V. Barnett* Philadelphia
1978-79 Ted Leszkiewicz* Jane Ashley* Atlantic City
1979-80 Joseph R. Koralewski* Lila B. Longworth* Milwaukee
1980-81 Ernest F. Pitochelli Anne Brown* Cleveland
1981-82 Donald R. Russell* Margaret Rummel* Dallas
1982-83 Robert Martin* Ruth Singler Louisville
1983-84 Robert L. Wilbraham* Agnes P. Kolano* Roger Damron Hollywood
1984-85 John S. Lorec* Elizabeth M. Wineland* Allan McKinney New Orleans
1985-86 Robert A. Medairos* Mary S. Barrow James R. Brown Knoxville
1986-87 Joseph T. Piening Sylvia Lipowski* John V. Creech Baltimore
1987-88 James B. King Dorothy J. Stoddard John V. Creech Cincinnati
1988-89 Jimmy T. Smith Betty J. Leisure* Daniel P. Connolly St. Louis
1989-90 Warren W. Eagles, Sr.* Jean Baxter * Richard Mooney Jr.* Albuquerque
1990-91 Vaughn L. Brown, Sr.* Nita I. Cornell* George W. Burral Grand Rapids
1991-92 James L. Singler* Dorothy R. Bull* Stanley Mellott* Atlanta
1992-93 James J. Kenney Betty S. Lawson Stephen M. Turner Louisville
1993-94 Donald M. Hearon* Barbara S. Hinsley * Charles S. Kyser Orlando
1994-95 Arthur W. Klingel, Jr.* Janet M. St. Michel* Charles S. Kyser New Orleans
1995-96 Kenneth E. Wolford Cathy S. Fishero Randy E. Greene Buffalo
1996-97 David E. Ovesen Brenda R. Kilgore Stephen M. Tuner Cincinnati
1997-98 Josephus Vandengoorbergh* Denise LaBatt Patrick G. Morgan Dallas
1998-99 Cecil R. Aultman* Janice Hapner* Jim Burleson* Orlando
1999-00 Charles L. Taylor Linda L. Johnston Rene Valley* Greensboro
2000-01 Arthur C. Stahl Beverly A. Box Ray Hutchinson Omaha
2001-02 Joseph W. Lipowski Susan Sisler* Larry E. Combs Philadelphia
2002-03 W.G. “Bill” Kilgore Sandye Aultman* David R. Helmuth Dallas
2003-04 S. John Sisler* Virginia Hays Charlie Summerall Louisville
2004-05 William A. Boettcher Carol King Bob Grose Orlando
2005-06 Edward Kemp Bonnie A. Scott* Mike Mrzlak Spokane
2006-07 Thomas C. McGriff* Barbara K. Guth Dale Byrd Kansas City
2007-08 John P. “JP” Brown III Heidi Dineen Jay Williams Reno
2008-09 John “Chad” Hapner* Charlene Kee Ben Haynes Jr Greensboro
2009-10 Duane Miskulin Patty Piening David Spencer Orlando
2010-11 Jerry Hotop Dee Kreiling Robert Hammett New Orleans
2011-12 Gary L. Fry Lynda Taylor John Barnhill Louisville
2012-13 Cleve Geer Leslie Wunderle Jon Keith St. Louis
2013-14 John Mitchell Linda McGriff Don Finnegan Reno
2014-15 Larry Via Sylvia Rowland Daniel K. Briggs Memphis
2015-16 James D. Pidgeon Kathryn M. Berning David T. Strittmather Birmingham
2016-17 Harold Chapman Evelyn McElvin Mark Serpis Reno

* Deeply missed

Donate to AMVETS Learn More About AMVETS National Scholarships Bass Pro Shops Humana USAA AT&T
AMVETS Partner