Sandy Vorhies, AMVETS (Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans) Department of Ohio State Commander, presents the charter on Saturday to Don Dorman and other Post 2013 members. (Putnam Sentinel/Anne Coburn-Griffis)
Sandy Vorhies, AMVETS (Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans) Department of Ohio State Commander, presents the charter on Saturday to Don Dorman and other Post 2013 members. (Putnam Sentinel/Anne Coburn-Griffis)

OTTAWA — Sandy Vorhies, AMVETS (Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans) Department of Ohio State Commander,  journeyed north to Putnam County from Columbus on Saturday morning to present charter documentation to AMVETS Post 2013. Before the flag displayed in the Ottawa VFW Post 9142 assembly hall, Vorhies officially welcomed the current membership of 40 veterans to the AMVETS family.

"I can't say this has been an easy journey," said Don Dorman, post commander as well as a Vietnam veteran who was at the forefront of the charter application process. "Many, many times I was about ready to throw in the towel. We have a great bunch and I know they've got my back."

To begin the charter application process, Dorman contacted the national AMVETS office for what he referred to as a start-up packet. He said that the process was trying at times, but assistance from other AMVETS posts helped make Post 2013 become a reality. Some of those who offered support, AMVETS members from Defiance, were present at the Feb. 8 ceremony.

The AMVETS veterans service organization was originally founded as the Amer­i­can Vet­er­ans of World War II in 1944 and signed into public law by President Harry S. Truman in 1947. Pub­lic Law 216 made AMVETS the first World War II orga­ni­za­tion to be char­tered by Congress. The orig­i­nal char­ter was later amended sev­eral times to grant membership to those who served in dif­fer­ent eras, specifically from 1940 to present.

"Any honorably discharged veteran of the military service is eligible to be here," explained Dorman. "Doesn't matter where you served or what you served in. We already had a list of members who had been in the military but were not eligible for the VFW. We needed to branch out to other veterans."

The post intends to host events for veterans' families and friends. "The Charter will give us the opportunity to represent AMVETS in any honor guard or funeral ceremonies," said Dorman. Future plans also include recruitment to form an Auxiliary unit, Sons Squadron, Juniors unit and a Motorcycle Rider's Group. "These subsidiary groups are a valuable asset to the AMVETS and to the community."

On a national level, AMVETS has been in the fore­front of public-policy related to national defense, ser­vices for home­less vet­er­ans, ade­quate fund­ing for the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs, con­cur­rent receipt of retire­ment pay and dis­abil­ity com­pen­sa­tion by dis­abled mil­i­tary retirees, vet­er­ans employ­ment and train­ing, POW/MIA account­abil­ity and flag protection.

Post 2013 meetings will happen at the Ottawa VFW Post at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Those with questions or a wish to become a member of the new AMVETS post are asked to call 419-523-5870.