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AMVETS or American Veterans is a volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans of the United States. It advocates for its members as well as for causes that it deems helpful to the nation at large.
AMVETS is active in U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying for the interests of veterans, including support for veteran's benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system; in addition, it has promoted other causes such as support for a Flag Burning Amendment.
The AMVETS Silver Helmet Award is an annual award to "recognize excellence and achievement in Americanism, defense, rehabilitation, congressional service and other fields." Sometimes called the "Veterans Oscar," the award is shaped like a small, silver replica of a World War II helmet. Recipients have included Edmund Muskie, Lyndon B. Johnson, Lee Greenwood, and Jack Quinn.
AMVETS is frequently involved with ROTC and JROTC programs. A local chapter in the schools area may present awards, scholarships, and savings bonds to qualifying cadets in a unit. It has a number of subordinate organizations, which help to advance the aims and purposes of the AMVETS organization. These subordinate organizations are:
- AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary-wives and female relatives of members
- Sons of AMVETS-male relatives of members
- Junior AMVETS-under-18 children and grandchildren of members, as well as those of the Ladies Auxiliary and the Sons of AMVETS
- Sad Sacks-entertainment group
- Sackettes-entertainment group of the Ladies Auxiliary
- The AMVETS Riders-motorcyclists
- AMVETS Career Center-providing services such as training and employment assistance for veterans and current military members
AMVETS supported the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 4031; 113th Congress). The bill would give the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to remove or demote any individual from the Senior Executive Service upon determining that such individual's performance warrants removal or demotion. The bill was written in response to a scandal indicating that some VA hospitals were keeping secret waiting lists for care, the length of which may have led to the deaths of some veterans. National Commander John H. Miller Jr. said that "under the current, antiquated and morbidly dysfunctional civil service system, it's nearly impossible to dismiss or do more than slap the wrists of incompetent, ineffective and wasteful Senior Executive Service employees." John Miller argued that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs needed "the ability to remove deadweight executives."
- "AMVETS - Our History". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2007-09-13.
- "H.R. 4031 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- Gehrke, Joel (17 May 2014). "Veterans Affairs official resigns as White House says there's 'just a suggestion' of scandal". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
- "Miller Legislation Targets Much Needed Accountability at VA". AMVETS. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
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