AMVETS History

AMVETS traces its history back to World War II whin returning servicemen began organizing independent veterans clubs throughout the country. In 1944, COLLIERS Magazine published a special Veterans Day issue to introduce the clubs and their mutual aims: 1) to promote world peace, 2) to preserve the Ameican way of life, and 3) to help the veteran to help imself. One month later, representatives of nine veterans clubs met in Kansas City, Mo., and forged a national organization known as the American Veterans of World Wa II - or AMVETS, as newspaper headline writers took to calling it. In 1946, AMVETS petitioned Congress for a federal charter that was granted and signed into law by Harry S. Truman on July 23, 1947.

Since then, the original charter has been amended several times to admit as members those who served in different eras. Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who is currently serving, or who has honorably served, in the Armed Forces of the United States - to include National Guard and Reserve components - at anytime after September 15, 1940.

AMVETS actively follows legislation on Capitol Hill and plays a key role in the enactment of all veterans legislation. It views domestic issues, national defense and foreign relations as vitally important.

AMVETS national service officers (NSOs) across the country provide free expert advice and claims assistance to veterans and their dependents. NSOs are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs and handle thousands of claims annually for veterans to obtain their entitled benefits.

AMVETS also has Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) representatives and other member volunteers who serve in VA hospitals and devote thousands of hours each year to brighten the lives of hospitalized veterans. In over 1,300 posts throughout the country, AMVETS members participate in a wide range of programs including; scouting, substance abuse awareness, and Freedoms Foundation.