Last weekend, AMVETS leaders from around the country convened on the Hilton Washington Dulles for the spring meeting of the AMVETS National Executive Committee.
Amid the reports from each department across AMVETS' six regional districts, AMVETS hosted a variety of guests on the floor of the NEC, including AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Humanitarian Award winner William "Mike" White and AMVETS National Spokesman Dana Bowman.
White, the founder of the wounded warrior retreat Camp Hope, took the time to thank AMVETS, AMVETS Riders and the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary for their support to his vision of Camp Hope, which was established in 2007 in memory of his son, Marine Pfc. Christopher Neal White, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.
Joining White and Ladies Auxiliary National President Patty Piening on the podium was Army Capt. Joseph Bogart, who was legally blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Bogart recounted his visit to Camp Hope and the sense of peace that his visit brought back to his day-to-day life. In spite of his injuries, Bogart was able to remain on active duty and serve a second tour in Iraq.
AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin also presented the first AMVETS/Boy Scouts of America Youth Outreach award to California AMVET Jim Blank in recognition of his sustained commitment to his scouts. The new award can be awarded to volunteer scout leaders who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to AMVETS' mission of support to expanding Boy Scouts of America, or BSA, programs.
AMVETS National Spokesman Dana Bowman also took the time to thank AMVETS for its support over the last six months and discussed upcoming appearances, where he plans to jump in the AMVETS parachute. Bowman even joked that Cmdr. Miskulin still needed to join Bowman on a tandem jump before this summer's national convention.
AMVETS National Executive Committee meets three times each year to discuss general business of the organization. At the spring meeting, each AMVETS department also announced their state conventions, which will take place over the next three months.
Photos: Top: AMVETS NEC representatives deliver their reports on the floor of the spring NEC meeting. Middle: Army Capt. Joseph Bogart shares his Camp Hope experience with the floor of the NEC, while AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary National President Patty Piening and Camp Hope founder William White look on. Middle: Jim Blank poses for a photo with Cmdr. Miskulin and AMVETS Department of California Commander John Byrum after receiving the first AMVETS/BSA Youth Outreach Award. Bottom: Dana Bowman jokes with Cmdr. Miskulin about a potential upcoming tandem jump with the new AMVETS parachute. Photos by Ryan Gallucci.)