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American Veterans
EstablishedDecember 10, 1944 (1944-12-10)
TypeVeterans' organization
Legal statusFederally chartered corporation
Headquarters4647 Forbes Blvd.,
Lanham, Maryland
Region served
Membership (2016)
Executive Director
Joseph Chenelly
National Commander
Jan Brown (2019-2020)
Main organ
National Convention
  • AMVETS National Service Foundation
  • AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary
  • Sons of AMVETS
  • Junior AMVETS
  • AMVETS Riders
  • ″Sad Sacks″
  • ″Sackettes″
Formerly called
American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam

American Veterans (AMVETS) is a non-partisan, volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans of the United States military. It advocates for its members as well as for causes that its members deem 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.


President Harry Truman at AMVETS headquarters dedication
AMVETS memorial sign on the New York State Thruway

AMVETS, which is also known as American Veterans, is one of America’s leading veterans service organizations for more than 75 years with a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens.

With more than 250,000 members, AMVETS exists to enhance the quality of life for all veterans, their families and survivors. Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who honorably served or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves.

AMVETS presents its annual Silver Helmet Awards to "recognize excellence and achievement in Americanism, defense, rehabilitation, congressional service and other fields."[1] Sometimes called the "Veterans Oscar," the award is shaped like a silver replica of a World War II helmet. Recipients have included Edmund Muskie, Lyndon B. Johnson, Lee Greenwood, and Jack Quinn.

John "J.P." Brown III, national commander,[2] AMVETS, 2008


AMVETS is a resolution-based member organization, meaning the organization's membership passes resolutions at annual National Conventions. Those resolutions make up AMVETS's national legislative agenda. AMVETS advocates legislatively for improvements in health care and benefits that affect all veterans, those currently serving, and their families.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMVETS - Our History". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved September 13, 2007.
  2. ^ "Honoring John P. Brown, III". May 13, 2003. Archived from the original on 2014-04-26. Retrieved 2014-04-26.

External links[edit]