Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is AMVETS?
AMVETS is one of the nation’s foremost veterans service organizations (VSOs). It stands as a strong and influential advocate for America’s veterans on important issues such as employment and training, mandatory funding for government-provided health care and other benefits to which they are entitled. AMVETS is a 501(c) 19 organization.
2. What sets AMVETS apart from other VSOs?
Unlike the other organizations, membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who is currently serving, or has honorably served, in the U.S. Armed Forces from World War II to present, to include those in the National Guard and Reserves.
3. How many veterans are members of AMVETS?
Aprroximately 180,000. The organization also boasts of 39 state departments and more than 1,150 posts nationally.
4. When was AMVETS formed?
In December 1944. At that time, it was known as the American Veterans of World War II. President Truman signed the organization’s congressional charter in 1947. Since then, the charter has been amended several times to broaden membership eligibility and to change the AMVETS name to simply American Veterans to reflect this universality.
5. Who is AMVETS’ National Commander?
Commander Gary L. Fry, click for bio
6. Where is AMVETS located?
AMVETS National Headquarters is based in Lanham, Maryland.
7. What is AMVETS mission?
AMVETS is dedicated to supporting veterans and active military, providing community services and preserving freedom.
8. What kinds of services does AMVETS provide?
AMVETS national service officers, accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), provide free claims assistance to veterans, their dependents and survivors. AMVETS members also donate countless hours to brighten the lives of hospitalized veterans and promote quality-of-life programs such as Special olympics or scouting.
9. Does AMVETS provide financial support to initiatives outside
Yes. Over the years, the organization has helped to fund the construction and/or the renovation of such national momuments as the USS Arizona Memorial and the Statue of Liberty.
10. Does AMVETS offer educational scholarships?
Yes. Each year AMVETS awards scholarships totaling $40,000 to high school seniors, ROTC students and veterans pursuing higher education.
11. What issues are important to AMVETS?
Of particular interest are issues related to veteran’s health care and other entitlements, POW/MIA accountability, national defense and flag protection.
12. Where does AMVETS stand on mandatory funding for VA?
Unlike other federal programs such as Medicare and food stamps, VA must annually request an appropriation. Aa a result, funding shortfalls over the years have left veterans to wonder whether the promises made to them under Title 38 of the U.S. Code would be kept. AMVETS wants to eliminate that uncertaintly and make funding of veterans health care mandatory. With our co-authors of The Independant Budget, we’re also working to protect each veterans’s benefits in other areas as well.
13. What is the best way for me to contact AMVETS?
AMVETS offers many ways for you to reach us. Contact info for most AMVETS officers and staff can be found here.
14. Where do I get copies of business documents such as tax exempt information and filings for the National Headquarters?
From our Download Forms Page or from the reference CD which is sent out annually. You may also contact the headquarters finance department via e-mail to secure this information if time is of the essence.
15. What is the annual reference CD and who gets it?
The reference CD is provides key information pertinent to AMVETS for business, programs, communications, membership, etc. While only a limited surplus is printed, when available, members at large can get a disc by contacting the National Headquarters. You can also download individual files in our Download Forms Page.
16. Are their fundraising programs offered by National Headquarters?
Yes, these programs, through individual and corporate support, generate income for the AMVETS mission. For further information, please contact Stewart Hickey via the National Headquarters.
17. Does AMVETS collect monetary donations from phone calls?
AMVETS has contracted with XENTEL., a paid professional fundraiser, to solicit funds on their behalf with full understanding that Xentel Inc. will employ citizens who may otherwise have been unemployed, provide training for them, provide them with office accommodations, pay them wages and benefits, provide them with competent supervision and computerized telephonic equipment, all on AMVETS’s behalf. They collect most donations by check or credit card which are run as Community Ventures Corporation. The collections are most often sent to PO Boxes in the state to be collected and sent to us in one amount. AMVETS understands that all costs must be paid in connection with this charitable appeal made on their behalf, including the cost of all printing material and postage which are expenses of the appeal also. In this fashion, AMVETS like many companies and charities these days has outsourced these responsibilities because they don’t have the expertise internally, nor do they want the financial liability, but are nonetheless, sorely in need of funds. That said, much of what is told to consumers in the solicitation and follow-up printed material disseminated and many of the other services provided by Xentel directly benefits our veteran members and veterans in general.
Per our most current IRS form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service, 81% of all funds collected in this process goes to veterans service programs provided by AMVETS, while XENTEL averages 7-8% of collected revenues as their profit margin leaving approximately 10-11% going to AMVETS overhead. This process has been filling a large need in AMVETS’ annual budget, keeping it in the private sector without it costing the government.
We have representatives in VA offices in almost every state to help veterans with the VA claim process and to advocate their cases. We have many programs from essential kits and DVD’s for the troops, scholarships for education, and more. Please browse our web-site for more information about AMVETS programs that assist all American Veterans and the general public and again, thank you for reaching out to us. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to requests such as yours.
You can also leave comments for the editorial staff of American Veteran Magazine on the magazine’s blog, http://americanveteranmagazine.blogspot.com, or you can subscribe to the official AMVETS group on Facebook. As online social media evolves, you will see AMVETS pop up in a variety of new places.