AMVETS or American Veterans is a 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 congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code; it is a 501(c)19 organization.
As one of America’s veterans service organizations, AMVETS (or American Veterans) has a proud history of assisting veterans and sponsoring numerous programs that serve our country and its citizens. The helping hand that AMVETS extends to veterans and their families takes many forms.
One of the most visible is our network of trained national service officers (NSOs) accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Funded by the AMVETS National Service Foundation, these dedicated men and women can be found in close to 50 states, providing sound advice and prompt action on compensation claims at no charge to the veteran.
In one recent year alone, AMVETS national service officers processed more than 24,000 claims that resulted in veterans receiving some $400 million in compensation. This commitment to service traces its roots back to 1948, when our NSOs first began helping veterans of World War II to obtain the benefits promised them by the federal government.
Coincidentally, it was these returning veterans who provided the impetus for forming AMVETS in the first place. At the time, many of them belonged to veterans clubs on college campuses. As the number of returnees swelled into the millions, it was evident that some sort of nationally organized assistance for them would be needed. The older established national groups wouldn’t do; the leaders of this new generation of veterans wanted their own organization.
With that in mind, eighteen of them, representing nine veterans clubs, met in Kansas City, Mo., and founded The American Veterans of World War II on Dec. 10, 1944. Less than three years later, on July 23, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed Public Law 216, making AMVETS the first World War II organization to be chartered by Congress.