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 over 250,000 members, AMVETS (or American Veterans) 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 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.
The helping hand that AMVETS extends to veterans and their families 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.
Our Programs – AMVETS in Action
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 scoutingand organ-donor projects.
Your Voice in DC
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.
Our commitment to service traces its roots back to 1948 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.
Original 1947 Congressional CharterAs 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.