Spring is finally upon us and as we keep on charging through 2012, AMVETS continues to gain momentum. We successfully have made headway in our push for Affirmative Action for veterans on Capitol Hill and with the Capitol Hill Press Corps. By adding our veterans to the list of current Affirmative Action laws, we will help fight discrimination against our veterans in the workplace. While there are current laws to protect certain groups of veterans, the entire veteran community is not defended against stereotypes and prejudice in employment. If any group in the United States deserves our help to secure lasting, meaningful careers in these challenging economic times, it is our veterans. Our goal is to see Congress enact legislation that would cover all veterans.
The spring season also brought our annual Silver Helmet Award banquet. Congressman John Kline was presented a Silver Helmet Award for his leadership on Capitol Hill in defending veterans’ rights. Alfred Meadows was recognized as AMVET of the Year for his efforts in assisting wounded American veterans and their families through Operation Gift Cards. Judge Robert Milich, presented with the Silver Helmet Award for AMVETS Civil Servant of the Year, provided a model veterans treatment court program to his community and continues to contribute to local veterans in Ohio. In addition to the Silver Helmet Award, the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary presented its Humanitarian of the Year Award to Peter Trovato for founding the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, which provides educational grants to children of fallen solders, and the Sons of AMVETS presented its National Aid and Service Award to Tim Tuttle for his many years of dedication at the post and community level. I would like to congratulate all of these individuals and thank them for their outstanding accomplishments in their various fields of service to our veterans.
As the end of the school year is in sight, AMVETS is proud to present annual JROTC and ROTC awards to recognize both leadership and academic achievement by cadets at the high school and college level. By promoting patriotism and leadership among our youth, this program helps to mold young men and women into responsible, dedicated and respectful leaders who may one day serve in the Armed Forces and join our AMVETS community.
Before I close, I would like to thank the officers and members of your department and post for continued devotion to our veterans’ community. I wish you productive and successful conventions in your states, and I look forward to seeing you at the AMVETS National Convention in August. I would also like to thank everyone for supporting my national project, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. This program delivers educational programs centered on citizenship to children of all ages. Donations can continue to be made through August on our website, www.amvets.org/commanders-project.