After service, many American veterans have trouble reentering civilian life.
This isn’t surprising.
Finding jobs, schooling, and housing just isn’t as easy as it used to be – not to mention proper medical treatment and long-lasting healthcare.
And for a recently returned veteran, it’s even more difficult.
The ravages of military combat leave no one unaffected, and it can make reintegrating into society quite difficult. After any deployment, there will be a transition period in which you need as much help as you can get.
How do you know where to start?
It can seem as though you’re all alone. It’s important to realize that there are resources for you, and even more important to take advantage of those resources.
There are many foundations which offer help in the form of financial assistance, employment opportunities, housing, and healthcare.
But which one is right for you?
That depends on who you are, and what you need. Not every foundation for American veterans is right for every returning soldier. However, there is one which offers a comprehensive base of services which you can easily take advantage of.
That foundation is AMVETS (American Veterans). Read on to discover what exactly you can get from this foundation, and how you can go about transforming your life with their help.
AMVETS Foundation for American Veterans: What is It?
Good question. The AMVETS organization has been around since 1948, when it was formed in order to assist returning WWII veterans with reintegration back into society.
Ever since then, it has been providing numerous services to veterans and their families. The organization is a non-profit veterans’ charity, which includes a foundation for financial assistance and many programs to give aid.
AMVETS is one of the biggest congressionally-chartered organizations for veterans’ aid existing in the nation today. The organization is open to any member of the military who has served since World War II. They are open to any branch, including the National Guard and National Reserve.
Are they a legitimate organization? Charity Navigator says yes. They received top scores from Charity Navigator in the categories of transparency, accountability, and assistance. Even if you haven’t seen combat, you may be eligible for services. This makes AMVETS the most inclusive veterans’ group around. Though headquarters are based in Lanham, Maryland, vets all over America may seek assistance.
AMVETS Foundation for American Veterans: What They Offer
AMVETS offers comprehensive services for military veterans. No matter when or where you’ve served, you’re eligible for assistance. So, what sort of assistance can you receive?
1. Help with VA Claims
If you’ve had to file a claim with the VA, you know how difficult it can be to navigate the world of red tape and bureaucratical confusion. AMVETS is there to help you.
As you may or may not know, utilizing an accredited representative to help you gather evidence and information regarding your claim is a common practice.
AMVETS has accredited representatives on staff to help you. They are knowledgeable, polite, and dedicated to getting you the help you need and deserve. You’ll be assigned a service representative to talk over your case with you. If it turns out you are eligible for a claim, you’ll need to gather the evidence and keep in contact with this representative. They will help you every step of the way until you’re ready to file the claim. Remember, these services are free of charge. You do not need to be a member to take advantage of them.
2. Healthcare Advocacy
In March, AMVETS introduced a team of licensed healthcare professionals known as the HEAL Team to act as healthcare advocates for veterans. The program was created to act as a buffer between the VA and veterans as they seek mental healthcare and therapy.
If you’ve been afraid to seek help through the VA, you aren’t alone. Many vets distrust the very organization which exists to provide them with services, and there is a stigma surrounding the VA and mental healthcare which many cannot ignore.
The HEAL program can help you navigate these murky waters, and help you knock down any barriers erected by the VA between you and the healthcare you deserve. The program has been widely praised by the VA, the government, and veterans. It aims to get every veteran who needs mental healthcare enrolled in programs which provide it.
3. Training for Reintegration into Society
AMVETS offers reintegration workshops to veterans seeking a way to reconnect with society after deployment. It can be difficult to go back to life as usual, and AMVETS offers a way to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
These workshops are hosted free of charge, and they last for a couple of days. During this period of time, you’ll focus on dealing with any combat stress you may have. You’ll also get to focus on improving peer relationships and connections with loved ones.
4. Job Search
One of the most stressful parts of returning from deployment is the search for employment afterwards. No matter how recently you’ve returned from combat, you know the anxiety which comes with your first job interview.
AMVETS Career Center provides support in the job search. The team at the center contacts employers on behalf of veterans, helping place them for the jobs they want to work. They’ll help in career assessment, job searching, resume writing, and even education for careers.
AMVETS foundation for American veterans aids in educational resources as well as healthcare and employment. They offer two different types of scholarships. The first is awarded to veterans themselves, and the second is awarded to the children of veterans or active dutymen. There are six of each type of scholarship awarded each year.
The scholarships to be awarded are $4,000 each. If you end up being awarded a scholarship, you’ll receive $1,000 per year for four years to be put towards education. In order to qualify for a scholarship, you’ll need to have been honorably discharged. This does not apply for high school seniors and the children of veterans.
There is an application process to go through. As of now, the scholarship application and award cycle has been completed for 2018. The 2019 scholarship application cycle will open January 19th, and end on April 30th.
6. Programs and Foundation Services
AMVETS aims to do more for the community of future service members. Besides the programs for former and current active duty members, they provide programs for the local community to promote patriotism, love, and support for America and its service members.
They run youth and community outreach programs and conferences, which educate and inform the public of important issues related to our country. They also provide the opportunity for members of the public to volunteer and get involved in veterans’ affairs.
7. Community Consignment Shops
Much of the funding for the AMVETS foundation comes from their thrift stores. Donations of clothes, books, toys, and all sorts of items are received and shipped to these locations. The proceeds from the sale of these items goes into the foundation. It is then used to pay for the veterans’ services provided by the organization. These stores help both the local community and the veterans who have served them.
8. Legislative Work
AMVETS is committed to making sure that the proper legislative action is presented and put through congress. This action should maintain, promote, and expand government involvement and support of veterans’ affairs. AMVETS is constantly fighting to improve veterans’ lives and futures by being an advocate for new legislation in congress.
AMVETS Foundation for American Veterans: How to Get Help
You do not actually need to be a member of AMVETS to take advantage of its VA services and healthcare advocacy. In order to get started, visit the AMVETS website where you’ll find instructions on how to get in contact with an advocacy officer. There are avenues of aid in all major cities in the United States.
Though it is not required, it may be worth it to you to become a member based on other benefits available through partner organizations. These include discounts on goods and services of all types. From car rentals to laptop computer purchases to life insurance, you’ll be able to get amazing prices from companies which are eager to thank you for your service.
You may join AMVETS through their website. Any former or active service member is eligible to join. Children and spouses of veterans are also encouraged to join the organization, through the auxiliary programs.Membership dues are $30 per year, or $250 for a lifetime membership. Since much of the money for AMVETS is raised through fundraisers and private donations, they are able to keep membership costs low for actual veterans.
AMVETS Foundation for American Veterans Goes Above and Beyond for Vets
AMVETS is an action-oriented foundation for American veterans. They strive to make it as easy as possible for veterans to take advantage of their services.
All services are free of charge, and representatives will work with you to provide whichever service you need. Whether you plan on becoming a member or not, consider getting into contact today. Making a positive impact on your own life is easier when you get help through AMVETS.