AMVETS in Action

Tag: AMVETS

2017 Memorial Day Sweepstakes Winners

LANHAM, MD — AMVETS leaders congratulate AMVETS 2017 Memorial Day Weekend Sweepstakes grand prize winner Frederick L. Delcamp. AMVETS National Commander Harold Chapman personally offered Mr. Delcamp his congratulations on winning the $10,000 sweepstakes grand prize.

AMVETS selected the 10 lucky sweepstakes winners from over 100,000 entries from around the country for prizes ranging from $500 to the $10,000 grand prize. The drawing took place at the AMVETS National Headquarters in Lanham, MD.

Proceeds from the sweepstakes will help support AMVETS’ continuing mission to deliver quality of life programs for veterans and their families.

  • $10,000.00 Frederick L. Delcamp
  • $5,000.00 Mr. Charles A. Kraus
  • $2,500.00 Charles A. Burmeister
  • $1,000.00 Marialana W. Branch
  • $500.00 Joseph D. Carty
  • $500.00 Ian Ronald Erickson
  • $500.00 Hoyd O. Sanders
  • $500.00 Gary E. Haines
  • $500.00 Mr. Andy Sharpe
  • $500.00 Mr. & Mrs. John Chakos

About AMVETS:
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation’s citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans’ service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit www.amvets.org.

VA Secretary, Lawmakers Swayed by AMVETS’ Campaign Against Cuts to VA Disability Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(703) 628-9621
jhoellwarth@amvets.org

AMVETS National Headquarters, June 14, 2017 – Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin backed away Wednesday from a proposal to cut Individual Unemployability benefits for disabled veterans during a Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing that followed weeks of efforts by AMVETS to kill the measure in its crib.

“As I began to listen to veterans and their concerns and [Veterans Service Organizations] in particular, it became clear that this would be hurting some veterans. This would be a takeaway from veterans who can’t afford to have those benefits taken away,” Shulkin told the Senate committee. “I am not going to be supporting policies that hurt veterans, so I would look forward to figuring out how we can do things better.”

Shulkin’s testimony directly follows an entire day during which AMVETS leadership visited all 100 Senate offices to advocate against the cuts and a letter signed by 57 members of Congress sent to Shulkin Monday citing and underscoring AMVETS’s concerns about rescinding benefits to 225,000 of our nation’s most vulnerable veterans.

The VA’s initial budget recommendation proposed to eliminate the Individual Employability benefit for veterans aged 65 and older. This benefit currently pays 60- to 90-percent disabled veterans at the 100 percent disabled rate if their service-connected disability prevents them from working. The justification for this proposal has been that veterans 65 are eligible for Social Security instead. But the veterans receiving this benefit are precisely those who have been unable to work because of their service-connected disability and are therefore able to collect very little from Social Security, if anything at all.

As a result of AMVETS’s advocacy and as of the end of Wednesday’s hearing, this change now seems unlikely to ever become law.

In conversation with Veterans Service Organization representatives toward the end of the hearing, Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Sen. Johnny Isakson referred to the proposed cuts to Individual Unemployability benefits as “a non-starter” and acknowledged that “anyone else will pretty much tell you it’s a non-starter, too.”

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. amvets.org

###

AMVETS’ Statement to US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

AMVETS (American Veterans) Executive Director, Joseph R. Chenelly’s June 14, 2017 Statement for the Record to US Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Mr. Chairman Isakson, Ranking Member Tester and Members of the Committee:

As the largest veterans service organization open to all veterans who served honorably, regardless of when or where they served, it is a pleasure to present our views on the fiscal year 2018 budget for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

On behalf of AMVETS National Commander Harold Chapman, we are proud to fully support the requests for funding as outlined in The Independent Budget (IB). It is crucial that the VA Secretary has all the resources needed to successfully, efficiently and responsibly run the many facets of the Department.

One area of great concern that AMVETS wants addressed immediately is the White House’s proposed cut to Individual Unemployability (IU) compensation for veterans eligible for Social Security.

AMVETS National Headquarters has received thousands of emails, calls and messages over the past two weeks from veterans decrying the proposal to steal 225,000 Social Security eligible aged veterans the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ IU compensation program if they have paid into Social Security at any point during their life.

Individual Unemployability is a VA program for veterans who cannot work because of their service-connected disabilities. These veterans are rated below 100 percent per the VA rating schedule. But each recipient of IU has been through an exhaustive verification process to ensure they are unable to earn wages above federal poverty guidelines because of their wounds, injuries or illness.

Cutting this earned and needed benefit would “save” $3.2 billion in 2018 and $41 billion over the next decade, which is slated to go toward an expanded VA Choice program, which has yet to be fully developed. We feel if President Trump knew of the serious repercussions, he would have not included this in his budget request.

These veterans earned a lifetime disability benefit for their service to this nation. They did not ask to become disabled or to become unemployable as a result of their injuries or wounds. Our nation owes it to them to keep its promise, so they may continue to make ends meet.

If veterans lose their IU, it would trigger the loss of:

  • Civilian Health & Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA)
  • Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
  • Chapter 35 Educational Benefits for the family
  • Commissary privileges
  • Property tax relief
  • VA Dental & Vision Care
  • Vehicle exemption fees

We firmly believe that if this measure of the budget passes, that it would put the lives of these veterans at serious risk. VA’s most recent report on suicide notes that about 65% of all veterans who died from suicide were aged 50 years or older.

We urge your committee to reject this dangerous part of the President’s budget and not include any cuts to IU in your budget. Eve-ry day those who would be affected are growing more distressed. They deserve to keep this earned benefit and live their senior years with some peace of mind knowing that the country they served is not deserting them in the time of their greatest need.

AMVETS is grateful for the Committee’s hard work to provide oversight and the resources necessary for our federal government to keep its promises to veterans, their families and survivors. Any questions or need for additional information may be addressed to AMVETS National Legislative Adviser Ms. Amy Webb at (301) 683-4015 or awebb@amvets.org.

Silver Helmet Award Submissions Needed

The Silver Helmet Awards are coming soon, and we need your submissions! The deadline is Friday, July 7, 2017. Please submit your nominations for the following categories:

Civil Servant of the Year: Recognition of a career employee, at any level of government, for outstanding public service.

Rehabilitation Award: Recognition of a person who has, within the past year, made exceptional contributions in the field of rehabilitation of disabled persons.

Defense Award: Recognition of a person who has made exceptional contributions to the defense of the United States and the Free World.

Peace Award: Recognition of a person who has, within the past year, made exceptional contributions to the cause of world peace.

Americanism Award: Recognition of an American who has made the most outstanding contributions to strengthen Americanism.

Congressional Service Award: Awarded as warranted in recognition of a member of Congress for exceptional service to the American people, principally veterans.

AMVET of the Year: Recognition of the AMVET who has contributed most to the welfare of the organization nationwide.

Nominations for the Silver Helmet Awards originate with individual AMVETS members and AMVETS posts. All properly completed Silver Helmet nominations will be submitted to the AMVETS National Honors & Awards Committee for their deliberation at the annual convention. The Honors and Awards Committee‚ composed of all past national commanders and the last five “AMVET-of-the-Year” awardees‚ reviews the nominations, selects the winners and announces them to the convention delegates. By vote, the convention delegates ratify the H&A committee’s recommendations.

Nomination Form

AMVETS Deeply Concerned by President’s Proposed Cuts to Veteran Benefits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(703) 628-9621
jhoellwarth@amvets.org

AMVETS Deeply Concerned by President’s Proposed Cuts to Veteran Benefits

AMVETS National Headquarters, May 24, 2017 – While AMVETS (American Veterans) is thankful for President Trump’s proposed 6 percent increase in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ fiscal year 2018 discretionary budget, AMVETS leadership is deeply concerned by the proposed cuts to earned benefits for perhaps the most vulnerable segment of the veterans population.

The Trump administration’s budget proposal contains a provision to cut Individual Unemployability (IU) benefits for seriously service connected disabled veterans aged 65 and older. This would steal a large percentage of a wounded, injured or ill veteran’s compensation.

The argument for this cut is that these senior citizens would be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits at age 65. That argument is flawed because these veterans have largely been disabled, out of the work force and not paying into Social Security for many years before reaching 65. Many have been severely disabled as a result of their military service and unable to work since the day of their discharge.

Such a misguided move would wrongly take away about $1,200 a month from a single veteran rated at 90 percent disabled and already determined to be unable to work because or his or her military service. The monetary loss rapidly increases for veterans with lower disability ratings. In all, this proposal threatens to strip benefits from more than 225,000 senior citizen veterans who’ve been seriously disabled as a result of their military service.

AMVETS strongly opposes this proposed cut and calls for its immediate withdrawal.

This cut, along with cuts to Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for veterans, is being used to assure funding for a “choice” program that has yet to be adequately developed, let alone tested and proven.

About AMVETS
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.
amvets.org

###

AMVETS Reacts To President Trump’s Executive Order on VA Accountability

For Immediate Release

Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(703) 628-9621
jhoellwarth@amvets.org

AMVETS Reacts To President Trump’s Executive Order on VA Accountability

AMVETS National Headquarters, April 27, 2017 – The executive order President Donald Trump signed today directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to establish a VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection is a welcomed and necessary move toward encouraging whistleblowers and eliminating problem employees within the department, AMVETS (American Veterans) National Executive Director Joe Chenelly announced today.

“The VA has some of the most dedicated people in the American workforce, but the agency has been plagued by legal inability to hold accountable a very small number of bad actors disgracing the agency. AMVETS hopes this new effort finally gives leadership the resources and authority it needs to rid the VA of those who are doing veterans harm. In the same vein, we hope this enables Secretary Shulkin and his team to recruit and retain the very best,” Chenelly said. “We are encouraged that this effort focuses on protecting and supporting brave whistleblowers who step up when they see something wrong. Hopefully this is real reform that rewards courage and integrity while stomping out whistleblower reprisal.”

About AMVETS
AMVETS is the largest and oldest Congressionally chartered veterans service organization open to and fighting for all veterans who have honorably served in the United States armed forces, including the Reserve and National Guard.

Media interested in speaking with Chenelly may contact AMVETS Communications Director John Hoellwarth at the phone number and e-mail address listed above.

###

AMVETS Partners with The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Miles Migliara
National Publications Editor
AMVETS (American Veterans)
(301) 459-9600
media@amvets.org

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 media@amvets.org.

About AMVETS
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. amvets.org

###

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.

Respectfully,

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