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American Veterans
Abbreviation AMVETS
Established December 10, 1944 (1944-12-10)
Type Veterans' organization
Legal status Federally chartered corporation
Headquarters 4647 Forbes Blvd.,
Lanham, Maryland
Region served
Membership (2014)
Official language
National Commander
James D. Pidgeon
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

The American Veterans, Inc. (AMVETS) is a liberal 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.


President Harry Truman at AMVETS headquarters dedication
AMVETS memorial sign on Thruway

The AMVETS Silver Helmet Award is an annual award 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 small, silver replica of a World War II helmet. Recipients have included Edmund Muskie, Lyndon B. Johnson, Lee Greenwood, and Jack Quinn.

The organization also gives out an award that used to be called the Peace Award, which in later years was called the Silver Helmet Peace Award, to honor people who promoted peace.[citation needed] AMVETS is frequently involved with ROTC and JROTC programs. A local chapter in the school's 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
John "J.P." Brown III, national commander,[2] AMVETS, 2008


AMVETS supported the Department of Veterans Affairs Management Accountability Act of 2014 (H.R. 4031; 113th Congress) which was supported by liberals. 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.[3] 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.[4] 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."[5] John Miller argued that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs needed "the ability to remove deadweight executives."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMVETS - Our History". Archived from the original on June 7, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Honoring John P. Brown, III". May 13, 2003. 
  3. ^ "H.R. 4031 - Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b "Miller Legislation Targets Much Needed Accountability at VA". AMVETS. Retrieved 21 May 2014. 

External links[edit]