Thousands of American Veterans (AMVETS) from across the country flooded into Norfolk, Va., August 6-13 for the veterans’ service organization’s 73rd annual convention.
Delegates to the convention elected new national officers for the coming year and propose, weighed and vote upon resolutions dealing with the AMVETS organization and its legislative agenda on Capitol Hill in support of veterans and their families.
Former national 1st Vice Commander Marion Polk of Louisiana was elected national commander at the convention and began his duties September 1. In the coming year, Commander Polk will focus on growing the AMVETS organization and advocating for the interests of all veterans and their families.
As part of its advocacy efforts, AMVETS passed a number of organizational resolutions at the convention that it will take to Capitol Hill in the coming year. Among these are resolutions for the continued use and expansion of special Veteran Treatment Courts across the country and a resolutions calling upon the Department of Veterans Affairs to expend eligibility for family caregiver assistance to veterans of all eras.
Many veterans and veterans advocates attended the convention to participate and show support for AMVETS. U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin will provided a keynote address to the convention’s Joint Opening Ceremony August 9 and laid out the VA’s plan for transformation and reform over the coming years.
Other notable guests, speakers and dignitaries included Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States Dr. Hamdullah Mohib, Taiwan Deputy Minister for Veterans Affairs Lee Wen-Chung, and U.S. Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs for Health Administration Dr. Poonam Alaigh.
Col. Thomas Moe (USAF, retired), a former prisoner of war, addressed the convention about the establishment of a National Veterans Memorial and Museum, and two-time NFL Super Bowl champion quarterback Jim McMahon attended the convention to talk about his work with veterans.
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 and guardsmen. AMVETS has been a non-partisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.