AMVETS History

AMVETS or American Veterans is a volunteer-led organization formed by World War II veterans which accepts honorably discharged veterans as members. AMVETS is one of the most respected volunteer-led organizations in the country that provides, not only support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, but also community services that enhance the quality of life for this nation’s citizens.
The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.

Background

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,” according to “AMVETS – Our History“.  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 and Lee Greenwood.

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.

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.

AMVETS 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 – composed of the wives, daughters, granddaughters, adopted daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers of members of AMVETS.

  • Sons of AMVETS – composed of the sons, grandsons, adopted sons, stepsons, brothers, fathers, grandfathers and husbands of members of AMVETS.
  • Junior AMVETS – composed of the under-18 children and grandchildren of members of AMVETS, Ladies Auxiliary and Sons of AMVETS AMVETS Riders
  • Sad Sacks – The Fun & Honor group of the AMVETS
  • Sackettes – The Fun & Honor group of the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary
  • The AMVETS Riders – composed of any member including subordinate with a motorcycle and the desire to promote the good and welfare of the AMVETS mission.
  • AMVETS Career Center– a nonprofit corporation that provides services such as training and employment assistance for veterans, and active duty service members, who have served honorably or are currently serving.