The original charter has been amended several times to admit as members those who served in different eras. Today, membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who is currently serving, or who has honorably served, in the U.S. Armed Forces from World War II to the present, to include the National Guard and Reserves.
As a volunteer-led organization, we annually elect and/or appoint officers at the national, district, department and post levels. Each August, representatives from these levels attend the AMVETS national convention to make decisions on issues affecting veterans and the organization.
Over the years, AMVETS has been in the forefront of public-policy related to national defense, services for homeless veterans, adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, concurrent receipt of retirement pay and disability compensation by disabled military retirees, veterans employment and training, POW/MIA accountability and flag protection.
In addition to the work of our national service officers, other AMVETS members, as well as those in the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary, will devote as many as 250,000 hours of free time a year to brighten the lives of hospitalized veterans. Here, something as simple as playing cards with the lonely or watching television with the disabled can make a world of difference.