The official blog of American Veteran Magazine, the national quarterly publication of AMVETS.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fall Issue of American Veteran Now Online

The latest issue of American Veteran magazine is now available online. To read the fall 2010 issue, Click Here.

In the latest issue, we sit down for an exclusive interview with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki, where the secretary shares his charge to transform VA into a 21st century institution capable of efficiently meeting the needs of veterans and their dependents which, surprisingly, still date back to the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln first commissioned his Veterans Administration.

We also discuss the 2010 AMVETS Symposium for 21st Century Veterans, which took place at the 66th annual AMVETS National Convention in Louisville last summer, bringing together 50 veterans of the current conflicts to candidly discuss issues critical to their generation. Stay tuned to American Veteran Online for updates on the imminent symposium report, highlighting this summer's findings.

This fall, we also cover the AMVETS Department of Missouri's POW/MIA Recognition Day festivities alongside one of America's most storied Major League Baseball franchises, the St. Louis Cardinals. The day's event was hosted to raise funds for Missouri's POW/MIA museum project.

In a special From the Front, American Veteran also highlights Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, who recently became the first living Medal of Honor recipient in the Global War on Terror.

This fall, we also launched two new sections we hope you will enjoy--"Forward Observer," a by-the-numbers look at critical veterans' issues and "National Archive," which delves into the 60-plus years of the National AMVET and American Veteran magazine to bring you critical stories on veterans' issues from the past, tying them into current issues facing our nation's military and veterans' communities.

We also highlight the AMVETS Department of Virginia's role in this summer's Run For The Wall, which stopped off at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., before proceeding to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In "Keeping Posted," you can also read about the great work of AMVETS in Indiana, Illinois, California, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

As always, we're eager to hear your thoughts and see the great work going on at AMVETS posts and departments around the country, so keep your letters, stories and photos coming, so we can consider them for future issues of the magazine.

(Photos: Top: VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki sits down with American Veteran magazine at his office in Washington, D.C. Photo by Luis Jimenez. Middle: AMVETS National Commander Jerry Hotop, American Ex-POWs St. Louis Chapter President Paul Dillon, and former POW Richmond P. "Red" Dillon stand for the National Anthem at Busch Stadium on National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Photo by Ryan Gallucci. Bottom: A Run for the Wall road guard directs riders at the National D-Day Memorial in Virginia, just one of the historic sites visited on the cross-country ride. Photo by Jay Agg.)

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta Presented Medal of Honor

This afternoon, Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will be presented with the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in a special ceremony at the White House. To view live video of the ceremony, Click Here.

Giunta was selected to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions on Oct. 25, 2007, while serving as a specialist with Battle Company, 2nd Battalion from the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade in Afghanistan.

Giunta is the first living Medal of Honor recipient from the Global War on Terror.

American Veteran highlights Giunta, his actions and his thoughts on the nation's highest honor for combat valor in the fall issue of American Veteran magazine, which is on its way to mailboxes across the country today.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AMVETS Hosts 24th Spirit of America Youth Conference

Last weekend AMVETS hosted its 24th annual Spirit of America Youth Conference at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. Ninety-one high school students from across the country attended the annual four-day conference, which highlights the workings of American government, the judicial system, and tenets of freedom.

The weekend's events kicked off with a seminar on the foundations of American liberty hosted by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson reenactors and a constitutional law seminar, where students learned hands-on about the rights and freedoms afforded through our nation's governing document.

Students also participated in a Medal of Honor workshop hosted by retired Army Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig and members of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

On Saturday, participants ventured into nearby Philadelphia to tour colonial landmarks such as Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Franklin Court and the Betsy Ross House. Students also visited the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center, where teams participated in a mock trial.

On Sunday morning, Junior ROTC students participating in the conference led their fellow participants in a flag ceremony.

Participants for the conference are often selected through the competitive AMVETS Americanism Essay Contest. First place department winners of the 9th grade essay contest receive an all-expense paid trip to the seminar. AMVETS posts and departments from around the country also have the opportunity to sponsor additional students between 10th and 12th grade who have exhibited exemplary conduct to participate in the conference.

(Photos: Top: Alexander Hamilton explains the founding fathers' vision to Spirit of America Youth Conference participants at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. Middle: Students apply the weekend's lessons in a mock trial at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center. Bottom: JROTC cadets lead their fellow conference participants in a flag ceremony at Freedoms Foundation. Photos by Beryl Love.)

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Monday, November 8, 2010

This Week at American Veteran: Veterans Day

This week at American Veteran, we will be preparing for Veterans Day--one of our nation's most revered holidays to our diverse veterans community. On Thursday, remember to thank a veteran (or as many veterans as you can) for their service to our nation.

Wednesday also marks the 235th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Below is the annual greeting from Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos and Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Carlton W. Kent:

AMVETS National Commander Jerry Hotop will return from his Far East trip this week and join leaders from the nation's other leading veterans' groups at the White House for a special breakfast on the Veterans Day holiday. Later in the day, AMVETS leaders will make their way to Arlington National Cemetery for a ceremony to honor America's war heroes and to lay a memorial wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

This week, AMVETS will also continue to develop its legislative agenda for 2011, highlighting issues ranging from the VA claims backlog to polytraumatic brain injuries and the unique issues facing female service members and veterans. The new legislative agenda will be available before the new Congress comes to order in January.

As AMVETS continues to develop its report from this summer's Symposium for 21st Century Veterans, several issues have been wrapped into the broader legislative agenda to better serve veterans past and present.

AMVETS posts and departments around the country will also host Veterans Day events to honor America's heroes. We encourage all posts and departments to submit any photos or stories you may have from this year's Veterans Day so that we may highlight it on this blog and in the pages of American Veteran magazine.

Speaking of American Veteran magazine, be on the look-out for the must-anticipated fall issue in your mailboxes shortly. This fall, we sit down with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki to discuss his ongoing mission to transform VA into a 21st century, veteran-centric institution.

Last weekend, AMVETS also hosted its annual weekend retreat at Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, where high school students who exemplified themselves through the AMVETS Americanism program came together to learn about American government, the founding fathers, and the principals that make our nation great. Students also had the opportunity to visit historic landmarks around nearby Philadelphia, such as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. We will bring you highlights in the coming days.

As always, we're eager to hear from you, so please feel free to comment on any of our posts and submit photos and stories that we can share on this blog.

To our fellow veterans and service members, happy Veterans Day and thank you for your sacrifices, past and present, in defense of our nation.

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