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AMVETS official urges posts to grow



Published: Thu, September 7, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Brown has hosted his own veterans talk-radio show for 24 years.

YOUNGSTOWN -- J.P. Brown III, newly elected AMVETS national 1st vice commander, has challenged individual posts to boost their numbers by 10 percent in 2007.

Brown, who served two tours in Vietnam with the Navy and is a life member of Ohio AMVETS Post 44, said adding 20 new members to an average-sized post of 200 would strengthen the voice of AMVETS and enhance its service to veterans.

"It would give us a stronger voice and stronger arm than we have now throughout the country, not only with other veterans' service organizations, but on Capitol Hill," Brown said.

"When senators and representatives look at us, they look at our numbers, too. We want them to see us becoming stronger and more viable than we have been in the past," Brown said.

Chance to recruit

The new 1st vice commander, who took office Sept. 1, also said he sees a tremendous recruiting opportunity among recent veterans through community outreach and specifically tailored programs. One such event, said Brown, is the National Symposium for the Needs of Young Veterans from Oct. 18-21 in Chicago.

"By becoming more active with the National Guard, reserves and active-duty components through the efforts of the symposium, we should start bringing younger people into the fold. Otherwise we will be losing out on a lot of new potential members," Brown said.

He said he will continue to promote strategic partnerships between AMVETS and other organizations such as Sheer Bliss (an ice cream company), originally a symposium sponsor that has become more widely involved with AMVETS.

Brown said the additional exposure will introduce AMVETS to new markets and encourage new growth within the organization. Also, he said it will help educate the public about the AMVETS' primary mission, which is to get better benefits for veterans and full-time active duty military personnel.

"We need better public relations to let the public know what we are doing. We are not just a veterans organization. We are also a community organization," he said.

His involvement

Brown is the national deputy of the Veterans and Volunteer Service, an advisory board for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and is also a member of the executive board for VAVS Policy for the VA.

He was the Ohio AMVETS National Executive Committeeman from 2003-05; is an AMVETS past commander for the Department of Ohio in 2002 and 2003; and a past military and veterans liaison for the 17th Congressional District.

He is a co-founder and chief executive officer of the Mahoning Veterans Memorial, chairman of the Mahoning County Selective Service Board and has hosted his own veterans' talk-radio show for 24 years.

Brown's professional memberships include AMVETS, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans Association, Marine Corps League and the Air Force Association.

Other affiliations include Masonic Lodge 481 in Youngstown; the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite and the Al Koran Shrine.

His wife, Janette, is a retired Air Force senior master sergeant.




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