Department of Florida March 2016
1st Vice Commanders,
I have just returned from the National Executive Committee Meeting in Washington, DC.
I spent the first two days Storming the Hill with the Sons of AMVETS. We visited every Congressman and
Senator's office and spoke with them or their Veteran's Representative. We handed out the AMVETS 2016
Legislative Priorities. The concentration was on three major issues: Government Reform specifically the VA,
Toxic Wounds both combat related and non combat related, and last and most important is the veteran's
suicide - 22 per day. The success of our visits came early as the Elected Officials began contacting Diane Zumatto,
AMVETS Legislative Director almost immediately after our visits.
The Membership Round table was informative. There are two major items that we need to work on to get our
National Membership Roster more accurate. When inputting new membership we MUST ensure we indicate male or female.
Our National Headquarters uses this to track the entire AMVETS Organization to provide support and numbers in our
legislative priorities. For example, when we request support for Women Veterans and Service Members they can tell
the elected officials exactly how many women we have in AMVETS. The other critical information is the month/year
the veteran joined the military and the month/year the veteran was honorably discharged. This is an IRS requirement
that has been accepted in lieu of a DD-214, NGB Form 22 or other proof of honorable military service. Download your
Post roster from amvets.org and see how many members you need to get this critical information in the National Roster.
You can enter the information by logging in with the specific members ID, go to "My Information, click on edit and
add the information. When complete click on "save". The information will show on the National Roster the next day.
Harry Neal, National Membership Director, published a "Timeline Coming Up". Here it is:
March - final renewal notice email then mail. This is the invoice that goes out to 2015 members
who have not paid their 2016 dues.
April - National orders the 2017 membership cards
May - Memorial Day, (plan and support); Post elections
June - New members that join after 1 June will have expire date of 31 August 2017. You do NOT have to hold their
membership application, this will be automatic.
July - Delegate Strength list for Convention
July 15th - Pull all current names for cards and send to the printer. This will be all 2016 member's names that
go to the membership card manufacture.
July 15th - Revalidation Due at National. This is a requirement of the Department to have the Post information
sent to National. The Post requirement for revalidation is identified in Article XVI. In short, election of
officers shall be held annually between May 1st and May 14th, installed and assume office not later than June 1st
thereafter. Your Post CBL may set earlier dates for assuming responsibility of the elected or appointed office.
However, within 7 days after the annual meeting the paperwork must be forwarded to the Department. I hope you all
consider running for 1st Vice Commanders, we need your expertise!
August 1st - National applies new invoices to members
August 1st - 2017 Membership Cards arrive at the Departments, separated and mailed to the Posts.
August 7th - Invoices go to the printer for mailing (2017 renewal dues due)
August 15th - Invoices arrive at members home address of record
August 31st - End of the Membership year
September 1st - New membership year begins
One of the most impressive awards ceremonies I have ever seen was the AMVETS Silver Helmet Awards.
Below is a list of the awardees:
Edmund J. Veator - National Aid and Support Award
Gary Maddock - Americanism Award
John A. Scocos - Civil Servant of the Year Award
Heather French Henry - Rehabilitation Award (former Miss America 2000 and now Commissioner of the
Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs)
Congressman Jeff Miller - Congressional Service Award (Our own Florida Congressman)
Lynda Carter - Humanitarian Award (Yes, she is best known as "Wonder Woman" and an accomplished singer)
Beryl Love - AMVET of the Year Award (AMVETS National Program Director)
Montel Williams - Defense Award (22 year veteran of the Marine Corp and then the Navy,
graduate of the Naval Academy and now a daytime talk show host)
Getting closer to home, here is where our Department stands this morning. We have 2,016 members who did not renew their membership for 2015. These members will be deleted from the National Roster in August of this year. They are low hanging fruit for recruiting. Next, are the 2,897 members who have not renewed this year. This is another easy recruiting list. Get a committee together and divide the lists and make some phone calls. Let's get them back in. Finally, our active list shows 16,892 total members in good standing. Of these there are 6,852 annual members for 2016, 876 annual members with a 2017 membership expire date, 3 with a 2018 membership expire date and 9,160 life members. We are only 584 members short of the 2015 membership level and 2,332 short of our overall goal of a 10% increase. Remember, "R&R" is not Rest & Relaxation it is "RECRUITING & RETENTION". Let me know if there is anything I can do to support your recruiting and retention program.
Thank you for the job you all do as 1st Vice Commanders. AMVETS is a Congressionally Chartered Membership Organization - you lead the charge in your post!
Terry Corson, 1st Vice Commander
AMVETS Department of Florida