On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, Sonoma officially gained a new veteran’s organization: AMVETS Hap Arnold Post 55.
AMVETS, which is also known as American Veterans, is the most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization open to representing the interests of 20 million veterans and their families. We are veterans serving veterans since 1944.
Founded in 1944 and chartered by an act of Congress, the AMVETS organization has more than 250,000 members nationwide. AMVETS exists to enhance the quality of life for all veterans, their families and survivors. Membership in AMVETS is open to anyone who honorably served or is currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves.
AMVETS has made a long-term economic impact by providing assistance, jobs, and services to veterans and their communities for more than 70 years.
The new AMVETS post is named after General Henry “Hap” Arnold who retired in Sonoma. General Arnold was a 5-star general in both the U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force; this is why the post number is 55.
The post activation ceremony took place at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building, 126 1st Street West. The post’s charter was signed and post officers were sworn in by AMVETS California Department Commander Enrique Rudino.
Officers of the new post are:
Terrence P. Leen Commander
Gary Magnani 1st Vice Commander
Bill O’Neal 2nd Vice Commander
Steve Proell 3rd Vice Commander
Gordon Steadman Adjutant/Financial Officer
Leslie Fuller Provost Marshall
Robert K. Leonard Public Relations
Robert D. Kinsey Judge Advocate
James W. Poore Service Officer
“AMVETS is the youngest of the nation’s Big-3 veterans organizations,” says Terry Leen, Commander of the new AMVETS Post. “Veterans of Foreign Wars was established in 1899 by veterans of the Spanish-American War, American Legion was founded in 1919 by veterans of the First World War, and AMVETS was founded by the GI’s who came back from World War II.”
“What makes AMVETS different is its inclusiveness,” adds Leen. “It is the only veterans organization open to anyone who is currently serving, or who has honorably served, in the U.S. Armed Forces from World War II to the present, during peacetime or wartime, including the National Guard and Reserves.”
As a leading veterans service organization with over 250,000 members AMVETS has a proud history of assisting veterans. For example, in the wake of the VA hospital scandal over secret waiting lists, AMVETS was a strong supporter of the bill that gave the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs authority to remove senior executives who have failed in their duties.
In attendance at the ceremony were General “Hap” Arnold’s grandson Robert Arnold; Rebecca Hemosillo representing Congressman Mike Thomson; Sonoma Mayor Pro-Tem Madolyn Agrimonti; and Sonoma City Councilmember David Cook.
The newly formed post will hold its meetings on the second Wednesday of each month starting November 9, 2016.
For more information, contact Commander Terry Leen at firstname.lastname@example.org; web-site www.amvetsca55.org