|Established||December 10, 1944|
|Legal status||Federally chartered corporation|
|Headquarters||4647 Forbes Blvd.,
|American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam|
The American Veterans, Inc. (AMVETS) 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. The group holds a Federal charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. It is a 501(c)19 organization. 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.
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.
- 1 Background
- 2 Mission Statement
- 3 Partnerships
- 4 Programs
- 5 Call of Duty Endowment/Career Centers
- 6 Warrior Transition Workshops (WTW)
- 7 White Clover
- 8 National Service Foundation
- 9 Publication(s)
- 10 Awards
- 11 Legislation
- 12 2016 Legislative Priorities 
- 12.1 Federal Government Reform 
- 12.2 Toxic Wounds – Recognition & Treatment 
- 12.3 Veteran Unemployment 
- 12.4 VA/DoD Health Care & Mental Health 
- 12.5 Veterans/Family Benefits 
- 12.6 Women Veterans & Service Members 
- 12.7 POW/MIA Recovery/Identification & Cemetery Affairs 
- 12.8 Honor/Support/Recognition 
- 13 Veteran Employment Initiative
- 14 Scholarships
- 15 PSAs
- 16 Member Benefits
- 17 Controversy
- 18 See also
- 19 References
- 20 External links
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 group has been known to take a backseat to many legislative issues, preferring to support proposals prepared by other lobbying organizations.
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.
National Programs Department Mission Statement: To provide department and post level support that will culminate in vibrant and effective programs serving veterans and this nation’s citizens.
AMVETS local and national programs are how we deliver on our promise of preserving freedoms secured by America’s armed forces and enhancing the quality of life for veterans and all citizens.
Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service
Founded in 1946 to provide for veterans in VA healthcare facilities, the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) is the largest volunteer program in the Federal government, with more than 350 national and community organizations involved in support of their mission. Volunteers assist patients by augmenting staff in such settings as end-of-life care programs, foster care, community-based volunteer programs, hospital wards, nursing homes and veteran outreach centers. AMVETS serves as one of the 60 major veteran, civic and service organizations that comprise the VAVS National Advisory Committee.
In the last fiscal year ending September 2013, (2,057) AMVETS, AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of AMVETS provided a total of (158,218) hours of service. (89%) of those hours were “regularly scheduled” hours. Based on the current Independent Sector formula for calculating the value of volunteer hours, the AMVETS family provided $3,502,947 dollars worth of service.
AMVETS Americanism Program
AMVETS Americanism Program is a patriotic program for schools and youth orgs that helps teach K-12 children about American heritage, civics and citizenship.
AMVETS Agaisnt Drug & Alcohol Abuse
The AADAA program encourages local posts to provide resources to local schools and youth groups to help educate youth about drug and alcohol abuse.
AMVETS Healing Heroes is a program providing assistance to the families of wounded warriors as they recuperate. One hundred percent of all donations, every penny, goes toward grants to help families pay for travel, lodging, child care and other costs necessary to allow families to be at the bedsides of their wounded warriors — right where they belong.
"Every day our brave young men and women–over 52,000 to date–are returning home from Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the world having been severely wounded in combat. They and their loved ones face months of physical, emotional and financial challenges ahead of them. AMVETS’ motto, “Veterans Helping Veterans” truly demonstrates the spirit of our Healing Heroes Program.
The government provides for all of the medical expenses for treating our wounded warriors and provides limited support for the spouse or parent of a single serviceman or woman. However, many spend months recuperating and receiving therapy in polytrauma centers far from their homes. Financial assistance to help their entire family unit spend some precious time together just does not exist. AMVETS’ Healing Heroes Program will address this very real need. Requests for assistance are facilitated by DoD Federal Recovery Coordinators and/or VA Polytrauma Case Workers." 
Call of Duty Endowment/Career Centers
AMVETS Call of Duty Endowment Career Centers provide free of charge career training and employment assistance for veterans, active duty service members, National Guard & Reserve, and their spouses. AMVETS Career Centers are staffed by volunteers, who will reach out to the local community to find veterans in need of jobs and match them up with veteran-friendly employers.
Services Include: 
- Claims and benefits assistance
- Training and educational options that will help the veteran develop work-related skills employers want
- Help obtain licensing and certification assistance to help veterans document work-related skills
- Interview skills that help veterans know what to expect during employment interviews
- Resume writing to help veterans market themselves to employers – Job search assistance to help veterans maximize their job search effectiveness
- Support services to help veterans find employment with veteran friendly employers
- Interview clothing that will be provided for veterans who need wardrobe assistance
The AMVETS Career Centers powered by Call of Duty Endowment provides free of charge career training and employment assistance for veterans, active duty service members, national guard and reserve plus spouses. The Call of Duty Endowment will be giving AMVETS $350,000 in 2016 for 450 veteran placements and has set an ambitious goal of getting 25,000 vets back to work by the end of 2017.
Warrior Transition Workshops (WTW)
A preliminary scientific evaluation conducted by Freedom and Honor under the direction of the American Institutes for Research® (AIR) show statistically significant results of AMVETS Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition Workshops (WTW) in addressing Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and reintegration-related challenges. AMVETS Warrior Transition Workshops are post-deployment training programs for personnel of the U.S. military, with a focus on those struggling with combat stress (PTS) and readjustment issues resulting from one or more deployments. The program is a 3-day hands-on; de-Boot Camp, reintegration training program. The Workshops are provided at no cost to the veteran.
AMVETS Warrior Transition Workshops integrate a peer-to-peer approach to help veterans learn how to re-establish connections with their friends, families, occupations, and society as well as to reduce the impact of combat trauma. The Workshops are not mental health programs; but post-deployment training programs. These programs are not designed to replace such services but provide additional support mechanism as well as provide an alternative route for those who do not want to see a mental health counselor. The Workshops are open to active duty, veterans, Guard and Reserve regardless of rank or conflict. AMVETS partners with Freedom&Honor.org (Providence Management & Communications Corp.) to provide the Workshops, which have demonstrated statistically significant outcomes in reduction of Sleep Disturbance, Anger, Anxiety and Social Isolation.
Since 1946, AMVETS throughout America have brought the White Clover into their communities to benefit and assist the needy-both veterans and the general public. The White Clover program is an excellent project to raise funds that will benefit veteran’s service activities. Ideal times for this traditional project are around Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. Be sure to obtain permission and acquire permits where required by law. Most communities will give full support for charitable activities such as a White Clover drive, because the proceeds are used locally. White clovers are available through the AMVETS National Quartermaster.
White Clover Medal?
The White Clover Medal is a National award that was developed and approved a number of years ago. It is recognition for an AMVETS member who exemplifies service to veterans, most often service to our hospitalized veterans. There is not one specific set of criteria; in fact various Departments have differing criteria. However, it is frequently used to recognize a Post Service Officer or an individual who has performed some special task(s) in the line of service to hospitalized veterans. Some departments/posts award it to the person leading the most successful “White Clover Drive” since the money raised is frequently used for the benefit of patients at the Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Some department/posts award it to the person who represents their “AMVET of the Year,” again based on individuals impressive accomplishments in service to veterans. Typically, departments/posts using this recognition make one award per year.
The White Clover Princess Program
A few AMVETS departments also conduct a program where they select a young lady to represent AMVETS and promote the White Clover Program throughout the year at various AMVETS and public venues as a way to showcase the campaign and bring attention to what is being done on behalf of veterans with the funds secured through the program.
National Service Foundation
The AMVETS National Service Foundation is national 501(c)(3) organization. AMVETS National Service Foundation provides support to veterans through service programs as well as providing community and youth-oriented programs designed to promote unity and patriotism. It counsels and represents veterans and their dependents before the Veterans Administration without charge. The AMVETS National Service Foundation was created in 1948, with the goal of assisting our returning veterans from World War II by aiding in their readjustment back into civilian life. This goal has continued to this date.
As in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, new generations of veterans with unique physical and mental disabilities returned to an antiquated benefits and disability system overloaded with claims. It is the same for our veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Our National Guard and Reserve Forces have been utilized and called to active duty in far greater numbers than ever before. Today female soldiers, seamen and airmen, are serving in or near combat zones in ever increasing numbers, thereby creating unique family separation problems not encountered in other wars and conflicts. Financial, family and emotional problems as well as Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) have surfaced in such large numbers that the local National Guard and Reserve units were not prepared to deal with them in the early stages of the war.
AMVETS National Service Foundation again responded to this unique challenge. AMVETS signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with the National Guard to provide direct support to our deploying and returning personnel and their families, providing this assistance in their local armories and home units. To facilitate this we assigned a full-time Guard Liaison Officer to the Family Support Staff at the National Guard Bureau and Walter Reed Army Medical Center to assist in the Physical Evaluation Boards (PEBs) and Department of Veterans Affairs claims processing. These additional commitments have strengthened efforts to assist returning veterans at the time of separation, retirement or release from active federal service through the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
AMVETS National Service Foundation has continued its important work as we continue to witness further erosion in veterans’ services. To turn this tide in favor of our veterans, AMVETS National Service Officers (NSOs) work heroically on their behalf. Today, using state-of-the-art computer technology, our NSOs are even more effective as they work directly “online” with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Our NSOs labor diligently, even on weekends, helping the members of the National Guard and Reserves cut through the maze of red tape and logjams to obtain all VA benefits due to them under the current law for service-related conditions. Between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010, our NSOs have presented 233 briefings to 24,700 National Guard/Reserve members, veterans or surviving family members and taken 367 claims at the conclusion of the briefing session. All this activity has a value $74,628 for the services provided to the Guard and Reserves.
For more than half a century the AMVETS National Service Foundation volunteers have served veterans in VA Medical Centers across America. Their extraordinary efforts have been the only thing standing between effective patient care and many hospitals ceasing to function.
Donations to AMVETS NSF are tax-deductible. The National Service Foundation owns and operates a selection of thrift stores across the United States and benefits from profits of owner-operator agreements with alternative stores under separate branding.
American Veteran Magazine
American Veteran is a hybrid model publication produced by the Communications Department at AMVETS National Headquarters. First published in June 1946, the AMVETS’ magazine has evolved and changed. While offered for $0.25 in 1946, we are able to provide complimentary copies to today’s members and reduced subscription rates to members of the National Ladies Auxiliary, National Sons of AMVETS, and AMVETS Riders. "Always featuring issues affecting both active duty members and veterans, American Veteran magazine is committed to provide you with a voice."
AMVETS currently produces a hybrid model publication, the bi-annual print magazine, "American Veteran Magazine," with four digital issues in-between. The circulation is estimated at 300,000 issues and is described as, "The Official Magazine of Veterans." Many high profile subjects have been featured in the publication over recent years and the magazine has won several Folio: Ozzie and Eddie awards to include Honorable Mention for "Best Re-design" in 2014, Honorable Mention for "Best App," in 2015, and 1st Place for "Best Use of Digital Imagery," beating AARP in 2015. Current Editor, Brittany Slay, was featured as one of Folio: Magazine's "30 Under 30" in 2015. The magazine currently features digital issues in an iOS and Android App entitled American Veteran Magazine.
Nonmember domestic subscriptions: $20 one-year; $34 two-year;
$48 three-year. Foreign subscribers should add $1 to these prices.
Subscriptions are available by calling (877) 726-8387.
In addition to its lobbying efforts, AMVETS hosts an annual awards gala to present the Silver Helmet Award, or the "Veterans Oscar" as it is sometimes referred to. The Silver Helmet was founded to "recognize excellence and achievement in Americanism, defense, rehabilitation, congressional service and other fields." The award is shaped like a small, silver replica of a World War II helmet and is created in the same format and location as the Grammy. Recipients have included Edmund Muskie, Lyndon B. Johnson, Henry Kissinger, George W. Bush, Lee Greenwood, Montel Williams, Colin Powell, Pope Paul VI, and Jack Quinn. In 2016, co-hosts Steve and Cokie Roberts will lead the award ceremony.
The organization also gives out an award formally known as the "Peace Award," which in later years was renamed the "Silver Helmet Peace Award," to honor recipients who promoted peace. 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 Career Center - providing services such as training and employment assistance for veterans and current military members
- AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary - wives and female relatives of members
- AMVETS Riders - motorcyclists
- 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
- Sons of AMVETS - male relatives of 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."
- Extend Advanced Appropriations to all Remaining Discretionary & Mandatory Programs
- Strengthen Accountability & Ease VA Hiring Protocols
- Implement Whistleblower Protections
- Ensure Adequate Investment in VA Capital Infrastructure
- Improve & Modernize VA/DoD Information Technology Systems
- Toxic Exposure of Fort McClellan Veterans
- Recognition of Gulf War Illnesses and the Need for Continued Research
- Compensation for Gulf War Veterans Veteran Unemployment
- Veteran Anti-Discrimination
- Civilian Credentials for Military Training & Experience
- Veterans Priority of Service in Employment & Training Programs
- Eliminate Over-Medication & Improve Access to Alternative Treatments
- Combine & Leverage Purchased Care Programs
- Traumatic Brain Injury & Post Traumatic Stress Research & Treatments
- Continued Cutting Edge Sensory Aids/Prosthetics Research & Development
- Tinnitus & Hearing Loss Presumptive Service Connection
- Expand VA Caregiver Benefits & Program
- Repeal Survivor Benefits Plan/Dependency & Indemnity Offset
- Eliminate Military Sexual Trauma (MST)/Sexual Harassment
- Ensure Availability of Safe Housing for Homeless Veterans with Dependent Children
- Improve Access to Gender-Specific Health Services & Prosthetics
- Continuing Oversight of DPAA (Recovery/Identification) & National Cemetery Operations
- Increase Veterans Burial Benefits
- Creation of POW/MIA Forever Stamp
- Support of the States of Israel & Taiwan
- Recognize Contribution of LAO/HMONG Special Forces
- Support Federal Court Ruling for the National Old Soldiers Home at WLA
- Support for a Congressional Gold Medal for ‘Dust Off’ Crews
- Creation of an AMVETS 75th Anniversary Stamp
Veteran Employment Initiative
AMVETS is seeking protected status for all American veterans to give them every advantage in finding gainful employment. This nearly cost-neutral initiative would enhance veteran access and equity in employment opportunities by making employers more aware of the value of actively hiring veterans and providing legal recourse to veterans experiencing employment discrimination. Employment discrimination is the most important area in which veterans are at a disadvantage when compared to non-veterans.
The anti-discrimination initiative will:
- Raise awareness among employers who are already required to complete monthly EEOC reports;
- Give veterans experiencing employer/housing discrimination legal recourse to pursue their claim;
- Ensure that an individual’s military or veteran status will not be used against them in seeking employment, housing, or educational opportunities; no one who has served and sacrificed for this country should be penalized for it.
The anti-discrimination initiative WILL NOT:
- Create employment quotas (quotas are not legal in the U.S.);
- ‘Give’ jobs or promotions to unqualified veterans;
- Provide any form of monetary stipend (this is not a ‘welfare’ program);
- Pit vets against anyone currently protected under the anti-discrimination law.
What scholarships are available?
- Four specific to Veterans, Active Duty, Guard/Reserves
- Two specific to children/grandchildren of Veterans, Active Duty, Guard/Reserves* What type of educational programs may the AMVETS National Scholarships be used for?
- Part time or full time undergraduate courses
- Graduate courses
- Accredited degree or certificate programs
- Online educational programs ***For information on scholarship cycles and award amounts, call 877.726.8387 and ask for the Programs Department ext. 4031
AMVETS produces 30-second audio files that highlight AMVETS’ participation in the VA Voluntary Service program, free VA claims assistance from AMVETS National Service Officers, and AMVETS’ Task Force DVD donation program.
AMVETS posts and departments are encouraged to share the PSAs with local radio stations for use in public service airspace, or to post on their AMVETS family Web sites. They can be found at http://www.amvets.org/press-room/download-radio-psas/
- AMVETS USAA Rewards™ World MasterCard©. USAA Bank makes a contribution to AMVETS when you open an AMVETS credit card account, and you begin accruing rewards points with every purchase.
- Choice Hotels International, a benefits partner with AMVETS for almost 10 years, provides a 20% discount to all AMVETS and AMVETS subsidiary members.
- AGIA Hospital Income Plan, gives cash benefits regardless of any benefits from medical insurance or any other coverage.
- AMVETS Emergency Assistance Plus Program, includes Emergency Medical Evacuation, Transportation Home, Travel Assistance, Personal Security Services and many other benefits.
- TNT Vacations, travel planning assistance and discounts.
- Discounted Disney World tickets and vacation packages.
- Prescription discount card that offers savings on over 50,000 prescription medications.
AMVETS National Service Foundation, the parent fundraising element of AMVETS, was the subject of a Charlotte, NC investigative report by the local Channel 9 Newscast in which it was discovered that AMVETS may engage in deceptive fundraising practices through its thrift stores. Channel 9 followed the donation trail to the Community Thrift Store on Freedom Drive in Charlotte, NC where the manager showed Eyewitness News anchor Erica Bryant around AMVETS and the Community Thrift Store. The store has a contract to buy donations in bulk from AMVETS. When trucks are at the store, the signs must display "Community Thrift." “This is a for-profit thrift store so it's not a charity. We buy the items, AMVETS doesn't want people who shop here to think the goods are going to AMVETS." For the full report, click here. No further public research has been conducted.
AMVETS has 1000+ local posts in the United States and a large portion are in possession of gambling and liquor licenses. Some controversy in the media has surrounded posts who operate as non-profit locations and participate in gambling fundraiser events. Charity bingo was created to benefit non-profit groups, but many states do not have rules that say exactly how much a charity should get.
AMVETS NSF was heavily criticized in 2013 by The Center for Public Integrity during an article in the National Security subsection of the online publication. Though many charities offered needed help, others spent much of their money — sometimes most of it — on the organization’s overhead expenses, rather than services promised to veterans. Between 2001-2011, AMVETS NSF reported the following numbers:
|Public Contributions $120,977,825 --||Total Revenue $122,719,458 --||Total Expenses $116,932,816 ---||Fundraising Expenses $9,756,499 --||Program Expenses $96,700,929|
AMVETS National Service Foundation was the center of an "F" Rating in 2008 from the American Institute of Philanthropy. The organization was vocal about its disagreement with the rating in the media. Jay Agg, then AMVETS National Communications Director criticized AIP, including calling our rating system “bogus” in a December 2007 posting on the organization's web site. "After reviewing the finances of AMVETS, we found that it earned the same F rating as ANSF. AMVETS' poor rating is largely due to a contract with Xentel, a fundraising company that receives 87% of the funds raised, according to AMVETS fiscal 2007 audit." In a 2001 issue of Worth Magazine, AMVETS is listed one of the 12 to avoid because "AMVETS reported that more than half of it's 19.6 million in revenue for the fiscal year ended August 2000 was spent on fund raising. But 66 percent of the money spent on programs for veterans was for combined educational and fund-raising efforts."
- "Warrior Reintegration Platform - AMVETS". AMVETS. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "AMVETS Freedom and Honor Warrior Transition Workshops (WTW) Evaluation" (PDF).
- "AMVETS White Clover Program". AMVETS. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "AMVETS National Service Foundation". amvetsnsf.org. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "History - AMVETS National Service Foundation". amvetsnsf.org. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "American Veteran Magazine - AMVETS". AMVETS. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "2015 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Winners - Folio:". Folio:. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- "Folio: 30 Under 30 Awards Luncheon - Folio:". Folio:. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
- "AMVETS - Our History". Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2007.
- "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.
- "Legislative Action Center, AMVETS". AMVETS. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "9 Investigates: Are veterans receiving your donations?". www.wsoctv.com. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "I-Team Uncovers Charity Bingo Doesn’t Always Benefit Charities". Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "Some charities claiming to support veterans spend heavily on overhead instead". Center for Public Integrity. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
- "Charity Ratings | America's Most Independent, Assertive Charity Watchdog | CharityWatch". www.charitywatch.org. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
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