AMVETS National Service Foundation

By: Becky Fernandez and Tara Truong


AMVETS National Service Foundation is a charity that supports and assists veterans during their service and when they return from a war or battle. They provide help to veterans by teaming up with other programs and foundations like, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) which aids veterans and their family during tough situations. It is an organization founded to improve veterans’ lives especially their change back to normal lives. They keep veterans entertained during overseas services and they have volunteers at medical centers to take care of injured soldiers. This charity has helped many people and is effective in accomplishing its goals. AMVETS is a reliable charity that veterans benefit from and will continue to be in the future (AMVETS National Service Foundation).

Mission Statement

"AMVETS National Service Foundation provides support to veterans through service programs as well as providing community and youth-oriented programs designed to promote unity and patriotism. It counsels and represents veterans and their dependents before the Veterans Administration without charge." (AMVETS)

How Did the Organization Begin & Grow Into What it is Now?

The AMVETS National Service foundation was founded in 1948 and the current address is 4647 Forbes Boulevard Lanham, Maryland 26706. The purpose of AMVETS is to support returning veterans adjust back to civilian life after a war, or coming back from another country, and this is still their goal and purpose to this day. However they also expanded their purpose and they now help veterans when they are in active service and on the sea. AMVETS was started because they thought the veterans have done so much for the United States and that they should be rewarded in return. The president of the organization, Jimmy T. Smith runs all of the its activities like, the thrift store used to make money and the scholarships they give out to veterans (AMVETS National Service Foundation).

AMVETS have helped veterans in many ways, for example after major wars and battles like, World War II, the Vietnam War, and recent ones like Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Many veterans who normally are not being sent in fighting areas, are being sent, which is causing many problems that have not been seen in other previous wars or battles. One problem that they had were that they suffered from Traumatic Brain Injuries, because in the beginning of the war they were not prepared to deal with being in the battle zone. AMVETS helped them by signing a Memorandum of Understanding, that reinforces the returning veterans and their families (AMVETS National Service Foundation).

What is the Issue or Cause That Your Charity Supports?

The cause that AMVETS supports is, to help veterans that have returned after a war transition back into civilian life. Many veterans get serious injuries during war and they can no longer be in the military (Gagne 6). They also assist them when they are separated from their families and when they retire, through the Transition Assistance Program (AMVETS National Service Foundation). Another problem that AMVETS supports and helps with is, veterans are not getting good health and medical services, they also do not get sufficient employment when they returned (Tucker and Newton). This problem affects many veterans across the United States, for example people in the local National Guard, Reserve units, female soldiers, airmen, and seamen. Because more veterans are serving in or near the battle zones it caused family separation issues, financial, and emotional problems (AMVETS National Service Foundation). The veterans and their families are being affected by this problem because they are being separated from each other which affects them emotionally. Additionally, when veterans return they cannot find a job and they have health issues, as stated by Tucker and Newton.

This problem affects our world because if the veterans are coming back from wars with health issues, traumas, and disabilities (AMVETS National Service) then there would be less soldiers to defend the United States if there is an emergency. It would also affect our world because if another one of our allied countries were in a war and asked for the United States then there would also be less soldiers that could go into battle. This would also cause more soldiers to come back with health problems, disabilities, traumas, and family separation problems. AMVETS has volunteers that serve the hurt veterans in the VA Medical Centers across the United States (AMVETS National Service Foundation). If this problem is not addressed then the outcome would be, that there are less soldiers to fight and because the veterans are having trouble altering back to civilian life, they cannot find jobs, and can’t go back to college (Tucker and Newton). Most of them become homeless, most of the homeless people in America are veterans.

What Does my Charity do for the Community?

AMVETS or American veterans is a foundation that helps returning veterans adapt themselves back to their community and daily lives. This charity does this for veterans because there's a department that's assigned to help them when they return, but sadly that doesn't always work out. They provide over sea troops with entertainment by using things called task force DVDS, and even provide support for them through service programs. Something amazing they do is provide some younger veterans with college scholarships if they can't afford it almost as a reward for serving (AMVETS National Service Foundation). They promote patriotism as well ( “Veterans Day” ).

Their mission statement is “AMVETS national service foundation provides support to veterans through service programs as well as providing community and youth oriented programs designed to promote unity and patriotism. It counsels and represents veterans and their dependents before the veterans administration without charge” (AMVETS National Service Foundation). They have been serving veterans for years and have not failed to help. AMVETS has been very successful in their actions and serve all around the world. “In 2013, From July 1, 2012 through May 30, 2013, the National Service Officers have completed 66,537 claims. Of these claims, 53,177 were for disability; 5,187 were re-opened claims; 3,135 were for pension; 1,641 were death claims and 3,397 were for educational benefits.” (Guidestar)

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How Effective is this Charity at Accomplishing its Goals?

AMVETS National service is very effective in accomplishing their goals to help veterans in claiming their daily lives back. They’ve helped over 70,000 Americans and the service is rated 4 of 4 stars. They spend their money well, “72.9% goes to the programs” (Charity Navigator) where the rest goes to creating thrift stores for people who can’t spend so much money on clothes and others items (AMVETS National Service Foundation). Therefore AMVETS is not only helping veterans but the poor as well. This foundation is very trustable and lets everyone know how their spending their money as they’re Accountability and transparency is rated at 96% which means they are very honest (Charity Navigator). Amvets has been very effective in what they do and help so many people around the world who need to adapt back.

Not only do they assist veterans when they come back from service they help veterans who are out at seas or mid service. They have definitely helped them to enjoy themselves more as when you're in war it's not that enjoyable. Their goal is to make them feel happier and more if you will comfortable in rough times. They do just that with task force dvds. These videos are great because obviously in the army you don't have access to television (AMVETS National Service Foundation). They truly are a foundation you can trust to help veterans many have volunteered and helped many. Interesting fact, most of America's homeless are veterans who've lost it during wars. Foundations like these help get them off the streets.
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Call to Action

Many veterans have had a hard time adapting to their lives after service in the military, most can’t find jobs and they return with health issues due to what they have experienced in the battle field. That is why there are organizations like, the AMVETS National Service Foundation, who was founded to help veterans adapt to a civilian life. They are dedicated to helping veterans with their problems, “counseling them and representing their dependents” (Tucker and Newton). They have many programs and fundraising campaigns used to raise money for veterans, like their thrift stores. AMVETS has helped many people and most of their money goes into their programs and fundraising to help veterans. They run a volunteer service VA Voluntary Service (Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service) which is the largest volunteer service in the federal government, and has helped veterans in the VA health care facilities for over sixty years (AMVETS National Service Foundation). AMVETS is a trustworthy charity that strives to help and support the people who have been fighting and putting their lives at risk for the United States of America’s freedom and safety for many years.


"AMVETS." AMVETS National Service Foundation. AMVETS National Service Foundation, n.d. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

"AMVETS National Service Foundation." Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator, 2016. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

"AMVETS National Service Foundation." GuideStar Nonprofit Reports and Forms 990 for Donors, Grantmakers, and Businesses. GuideStar USA, 2016. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Gagne, Tammy. Helping Our Veterans. Hockessin, Delaware: Mitchell Lane, 2015. Print.

Tucker, M., and Heather Newton. "Veterans Struggle to Receive Benefits." Points of View Reference Center [EBSCO]. Great Neck Publishing, 1 Mar. 2016. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.

World Book, Inc, ed. "Veterans Day." The World Book Encyclopedia 2013. Vol. 20. Chicago, IL: Scott Fetzer, 2013. Print.