AMVETS in Action

Category: News

AMVETS Partners with The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration


Contact: Miles Migliara
National Publications Editor
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(301) 459-9600

AMVETS Partners with The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration

AMVETS National Headquarters, March 28,2017 – AMVETS (American Veterans) is proud to announce our partnership with the Vietnam War Commemoration to recognize and respect the members of our Armed Forces who served during the Vietnam war.

“Unfortunately, our military did not receive a warm welcome when they came back to the states from Vietnam. In fact, they faced hostility and conflict when it came to employment and the pursuit of The American Dream,” said AMVETS National Commander Harold Chapman. “A partnership with the Commemoration signifies a change in how perceive that era in history, and hopefully sets a precedent for how servicemen and women experience homecoming in the future.”

Being the most inclusive veteran service organization, AMVETS seeks to further support a generation of our military that was extended very little gratitude upon their arrival home. Through this collaboration, we seek to provide those veterans with the honor and appreciation earned through their undying service to their country.

If you wish to interview Commander Chapman or any AMVETS representative, please contact us through

AMVETS is the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.


Executive Dir. Chenelly named to HillVets 100

Chenelly named on HillVets 100

AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly has been named to this year’s prestigious “HillVet100 list”, recognizing him as one of the nation’s leading veterans advocates. Joe leads AMVETS National Headquarters, fighting for veterans on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

HillVets wrote: Joe Chenelly is the youngest and first OEF or OIF combat veteran to lead one of the “Big Six” veterans service organizations. A Marine, he served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, leaving active duty as a staff sergeant. He was appointed AMVETS National Executive Director last spring at just 39 years old after serving as the National Communications Director. Joe spent the past 10 years in a quiet but influential position, running DAV’s social media efforts. Drawing on his experiences as an advocate, journalist, political adviser, and combat correspondent. Before joining AMVETS, Joe was the Assistant National Director for Communications at DAV.

Joe said: “We are grateful to be included in this year’s HillVets’ HillVets100. This humbling honor belongs to the entire AMVETS family I am so privileged to work with. We are a small but highly-capable, dedicated team working hard everyday on behalf of our fellow veterans and their families, and it is fantastic that the veterans community is taking notice.”

Traditional Non-Profits

Natick AMVETS Hosts Passion Plunge for Special Olympics Cause

This weekend, our Natick charter hosted their annual “Passion Plunge,” where this year, Christine Michelson and Kathryn Seyfarth participated in the swim. Michelson and Seyfarth pledged that if their students could raise $500 for the upcoming Special Olympics of Massachusetts, they would that the plunge into the chilling waters of Lake Cochituate. The students raised over twice the goal set. To see the result, visit the link below:

AMVETS hosts 39 honorees and Secretary Shulkin at MoH Breakfast

January 19th, Washington D.C. – AMVETS National, along with several Post commanders and representatives, boasted a large turnout for a breakfast honoring Medal of Honor recipients. Our veterans enjoyed a fine breakfast at the Renaissance hotel, listened to a few words prepared by Commander Chapman, and talked with several other guest including American Legion Commander Charles Schmidt, Afghanistan Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, and newly-appointed Secretary of the VA, David Shulkin.

Message from the Commander

Ladies and Gentlemen:

We here at American Veterans National Headquarters in Lanham, Md., are shocked, outraged, and ultimately disappointed to be targeted by vandals, who’ve caused thousands of dollars in property damage to our employees in an apparent retaliation against our participation in the president’s inaugural parade.

Ever since AMVETS participated in the parade to raise awareness for veterans issues, members of our staff have been targeted with hateful and menacing e-mails, telephone calls and social media comments all expressing anger over the misperception that AMVETS’s presence in the parade was a partisan act. This off-putting vitriol toward our organization and its people were capped off this week by the repeated and deliberate distribution of hundreds of screws and nails in our parking lot, vandalism that has done damage to 10 employee vehicles and an AMVETS truck used to support veterans job centers nationwide.

Although these acts of vandalism against veterans were clearly motivated by a misguided sense of political dissatisfaction, AMVETS certainly understands that crimes targeted at veterans do not typify the values or beliefs of any political party in particular. I’d like everyone to note that AMVETS requested to participate in the parade a month before the election even took place. As a completely non-partisan organization, you can expect AMVETS to continue representing and advocating for the interests of veterans and their families to the best of our abilities, regardless of who is elected president or how many screws or nails we find in our tires.


Harold Chapman
AMVETS National Commander

Bush Hog donates $10,000 to AMVETS Foundation

By Alaina Denean Deshazo | Selma Times Journal

Pictured from left: Gerald Worthington, Ricky Pendley, Kent Clark, Jeff Plummer, Bobby Gujral, Tyrone Trawick, Vicky Scarbrough and Tony Marchese

Lawn mowing manufacturer Bush Hog recently raised $10,000 for the AMVETS National Service Foundation to give back to veterans.

Gerald Worthington, Bush Hog president, said giving back to the veterans is important and he was happy to have his company participate.

“Every year, we have a fundraising event and this year we decided to partner with AMVETS,” Worthington said. “We took one of our zero turn mowers, we painted it in a camouflage scheme, we took it around to our major farm shows starting in the spring all the way through October. We asked people if they would be willing to donate money towards the AMVETS for a chance to win that zero-turn mower at the end of the year.”

Worthington said they have a number of veterans that work there now, and have worked there in the past, so he wants to do everything he and the company can to help them.

“I think this is an important time in our country when it’s more important to recognize the people that have fought for our freedom and fought to protect you and now it’s their turn and they need us,” Worthington said. “It’s time for us to step up and help them.”

Kent Clark, executive director of AMVETS National Service Foundation said he was excited to find out about the donation.

“Today is a great day for veterans,” Clark said. “We get to come down and spend time here with Bush Hog, but also, most of our veterans come from rural America and Bush Hog is part of that. So that’s why it’s so important for us to have a partnership giving back to America.”

Clark said when he found out how much money was raised for the organization, he was excited and thankful.

“When Bush Hog told us that it was $10,000, we were very appreciative,” Clark said. “We were proud to be partners with them this year.”

» Continue the story

Original Source: Bush Hog donates $10,000 to AMVETS Foundation

AMVETS is pleasantly surprised with President-elect Trump’s nominee to lead VA

Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(301) 683-4035

American Veterans (AMVETS) is pleasantly surprised with President-elect Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“In the absence of clarity about who was to lead the VA, we grew more than a little concerned that political considerations might undermine veterans’ best interests,” said AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly. “But this wise decision by President-elect Trump validates what we’ve long known and said – that the Veterans Health Administration is on the right track despite a prolonged, concerted smear campaign aimed at dismantling and privatizing veterans care. We applaud the transition team’s diligence.”

Since the election, AMVETS has been calling for continuity in leadership to protect and sustain the crucial improvement already underway within the VA. Dr. Shulkin is a strong leader who’s been a driving force behind these modernizations and improvements.

“While our membership has been clear in its preference to have a veteran leading the VA, I am heartened by the fact that Dr. Shulkin seems to legitimately ‘get it.’ Even as the undersecretary for VHA, Dr. Shulkin has continued to personally see patients in an admirable effort to stay in touch with veterans and caregivers,” said Chenelly.

AMVETS is looking forward to the confirmation process and will be paying close attention.


AMVETS is ‘Deeply Concerned’ About VA Secretary Position

For Immediate Release
Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(301) 683-4035

AMVETS is ‘Deeply Concerned’ About VA Secretary Position

AMVETS National Headquarters, Jan. 9th, 2017 – American Veterans (AMVETS) is deeply concerned that the incoming administration, less than two weeks before President-elect Donald J. Trump’s inauguration, has yet to provide any clarity on who will lead the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) once he takes office.

“We cannot afford any lapse in leadership at the VA, especially at the Secretary level,” said AMVETS National Executive Director Joe Chenelly. “Millions of American Veterans receive necessary, earned care and benefits from the VA every day. The transition between administrations naturally brings uncertainty, but that must be minimized with a timely decision by the incoming president regarding the VA Secretary.”

“We, the veterans’ community, have been patient because we want this decision to be made wisely, with all of the facts taken into account. We realize a lot of misinformation has been spread over the past year-plus, and that takes time to cut through. We do not want to rush this, but timeliness is crucial,” Chenelly said. “A lot of important work on behalf of veterans may go to waste if the wrong decision is made or if it takes too long to decide.”

Last August, Mr. Trump addressed AMVETS’ national convention by video.

“We listened as President-elect Trump said veterans would receive the care and benefits they earned and need if he were elected. We met with his staff before the election, and we’ve twice met with his transition team after the election. We want and need President-elect Trump to make the right decisions on leadership and direction. We’ve offered our full assistance, including a standing offer to travel to New York City to meet with him. We are marching in his inauguration parade. We want him to be successful in fulfilling his promise to veterans. But we will hold him accountable if he does not,” Chenelly said.

AMVETS is among a group of the nation’s most experienced veterans’ organizations, collectively representing more than 5 million veterans. Weeks ago, they collectively requested a meeting with President-elect Trump, offering their counsel as he decides who should lead the VA moving forward. That request has gone unanswered.

Today AMVETS asks all who want what’s best for our nation’s heroes to call on President-elect Trump to meet directly with the veterans’ service organizations as soon as possible.

AMVETS is the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.