The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Veterans meeting in Clovis for state convention


June 20, 2017

CLOVIS — New Mexico’s American Veterans, AMVETS, are gathering in Clovis for their annual state convention this weekend.

Posts from Albuquerque, Farmington, Shiprock, and Deming are scheduled to be here to discuss and vote on national matters as well as vote in new leaders for the state posts.

Post 14 in Clovis is the AMVET state hub because no other branch in New Mexico has an official AMVET post building to meet in, organizers said.

Commander Tommy Knight said he expects there to be 40 representatives from across the state. He looks forward to reconnecting with other members and making progress in the AMVET mission, which is to serve veterans and their communities.

Knight holds leadership roles at the local, state and district levels and is aiming to be elected as second vice commander of the national AMVET post.

“It’s near and dear to my heart to help people and get things done,” Knight said.

AMVETS have numerous programs to serve veterans and their families including employment assistance, veterans with disabilities services, and assisting homeless vets through the Freedom Foundation.

Knight said the Clovis area sees more than 80 homeless veterans each year. In 2016, the post assisted 21 veterans in securing housing. So far this year, 11 veterans have secured places to live through the help of AMVETS he said.

AMVETS in the area also provide educational materials to ROTC programs for high school students to learn more about all military branches.

Through this program, students receive scholarships to travel to Virginia and the District of Columbia to study American and military history Knight said.

“Anything to do with veterans in the community, we’re involved,” he said.

In addition to official business, organizers of the AMVETS Convention will award Brenda Forrest, “AMVET of the Year” and recognize Jack Apfelbacher for his 30 years as the commander of the Deming post.

According to Knight, Forrest has gone above and beyond the call of duty to start Post 1944 in Farmington. She holds fundraisers to assist homeless veterans in the San Juan county area and acquired a warehouse to stock materials necessary to continue assistance. Forrest has also been working on refurbishing memorials and drives vets from Farmington to the veterans hospital in Albuquerque.


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