Update from National HQ

Hello AMVETS leaders,

This is the latest installment in our ongoing effort to ensure you and the members in your state are aware of the progress being made at National. As ALWAYS, know that I am eager to answer your questions, hear any suggestions or address any concerns you or your constituents may have. That’s why I include my mobile phone number at the end of my emails to you.

In the News:

Story image for amvets chenelly from Atlanta Journal Constitution

AMVETS calls for suicide investigation

Atlanta Journal Constitution – Apr 11, 2019

The veterans group AMVETS called Thursday for an immediate multi-agency investigation into the suicide epidemic among veterans and service members..

“Many of these suicides appear to be protests of last resort, where healthcare systems, treatment programs, and the underlying cultures of the responsible federal agencies have failed them,” said AMVETS National Executive Director Joe Chenelly. “We can no longer accept that ‘20 suicides a day’ is the norm and approach this crisis with passive  resignation.”

Story image for amvets gillums from 11Alive.com WXIA

Veterans group urges VA to investigate suicides

11Alive.com WXIA – 17 hours ago

A veterans group wants to investigate care at Veterans Administration hospitals after multiple suicides at VA facilities in the past month.

“We’re now hearing stories about people, these veterans, who are walking into facilities and killing themselves,”  said Sherman Gillums Jr., AMVETS Chief Strategy Officer. “And to us it’s like they’re making  a statement… about how they’re being handled.”


Proposed FDA e-cigarette ban disproportionately impacts veterans

The Hill – Mar 21, 2019

According to a study performed by the American Journal of Epidemiology, the risk of suicide for military members and veterans increases significantly with the number of cigarettes smoked daily.. AMVETS is doing an switching campaign that they received a grant from JUUL. “In a perfect world, no one would smoke tobacco in any form,” Gillums said, “but the stress inherent to military service makes it virtually impossible not to at least try smoking at some point on a deployment after a firefight or to fight off hunger pangs during downtime in the field.” He continued, “now that e-cigarettes, an arguably less potent alternatives are widely available, I expect to see better health outcomes over time.”

Switch for Freedom will be in Ohio next week and Florida the week after. If you are interested in more on Switch for Freedom, check out www.switchforfreedom.com.

VA Center of Innovation

AMVETS and our partner CareSource met with the Veterans Healthcare Administration’s and VA Center of Innovation’s senior leadership last week in Washington. We proposed a groundbreaking pilot program that will put veterans truly at the center of their healthcare. The proposal was extremely well received by the VA. More details coming soon.

Coming up – POW/MIA Flag

AMVETS National Commander Rege Riley was recently approached by veterans on the United States Capitol Police force. They wanted to ensure AMVETS, known as the organization willing to stand up for patriotism, is aware that many elected members of Congress have stopped posting the POW/MIA flag outside their offices. This is unacceptable. We’ve been working on this issue behind the scenes, but we’re going public next week! Stay tuned.

National Convention

Have you made your room reservations yet for Louisville? The room block will likely sell out. The special rate of $130 per night is still available, but we expect the room block to sell out by the end of spring. Make your reservations today at https://amvets.org/amvets-national-convention/. Forms for Registration, the Silver Helmet reception and Banquet tickets are also on there. Plus, I attached those documents to this email for your convenience.

Have a great weekend,


Joe Chenelly

AMVETS National Executive Director

Mobile: (410) 357-1123

Twitter: @jchenelly

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