AMVETS Department of CA Post of the Year: Post 66 Palm Springs

State Commander Sandra Durbin, Area Commander Lisa Roybal and District Commander Ben Goodwin recently traveled to Post 66 Palm Springs to give the post an award for being Post of the Year. Congratulations to Post 66 and Commander Tom Swan Hernandez for allowing their work at Post 66 to serve as an exemplary emblem of everything AMVETS is all about.

Department of CA @ AMVETS National Convention 2022

Department of California AMVETS recently attended the National AMVETS Convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana August 17-19, 2022.

The Department of California also was honored in receiving the AMVETS Commander of the Year award presented to Ross Smith for his excellence leadership. The Department also received the 2nd Vice award for excellence in the reporting of AMVETS when it comes to community service reporting.

Lastly the Department of received the best 2022 National Website of the Year.  

The Department State Commander for 2022-2023 Sandra Durbin has paved the way in the history of AMVETS as one of the most female Commanders at one time in the AMVETS History.

In Memoriam: Peter Conaty

Pete at California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 2016

On behalf of everyone at AMVETS Department of California we offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Peter Conaty for their loss, and endless admiration for Peter’s tireless advocacy on behalf of all veterans.

Over his 82 years, Pete lived a fascinating life, including several distinguished careers. He was born in Sacramento on November 26,1939 and raised in Newport Beach. He attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana and earned a bachelor’s in history from CSU Fullerton.

Serving the military was a central part of Pete’s life. He served 21 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1986. Pete was a graduate of the Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, and inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2016. As a member of the famed 101st Airborne Division, Pete served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning a Purple Heart for wounds received in his first tour. He also served as an Army Ranger and military intelligence officer, receiving many medals and awards, including three Bronze Stars, a Meritorious Service Medal, and an Army Commendation Medal.

Pete joined the California State Assembly as a Legislative Aide in 1986 and spent the next decade in a variety of roles. In 1996, Pete founded and operated an independent lobbying firm representing a wide range of clients, including veterans organizations. During these years, Pete was recognized with many awards, including the CA Department of Veterans Affairs Annual Secretary’s Award on two occasions.

After moving on from lobbying in 2018 and until his passing, Pete continued tirelessly advocating for veterans as a consultant. Professionally, Pete was most proud of establishing a prison diversion program for military and veterans in trouble with the law due to PTSD. Personally, he was devoted to his family and doted on his four grandchildren.

Fresno Grizzlies: Military Appreciation Night

Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno — Home of the Fresno Grizzlies

Friday, August 5, 2022 come check out the Fresno Grizzlies vs. the San Jose Giants at Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno as the organization honors our armed forces.

Each of our members can contact AMVETS Department of California to receive up to 6 tickets per member request by mail or available for pickup in person at the Department Headquarters.

The matchup of Grizzlies vs. SJ Giants sees the #1 & #2 ranked teams battling it out for Pacific Coast Single-A League supremacy! High stakes and always a lot of fun and entertainment at the ballpark.

76th Annual State Convention

This year at our State Convention, we were pleased to have our National Commander Greg Heun in attendance. We were also pleased to have Sandra Durbin as our new State Commander for the year 2022-2023. The Convention also hosted our annual memorial service in remembrance of all the AMVETS members that have passed this year. In addition, browse our gallery to see photos from our banquet and award ceremonies.

Post 66 Palm Springs Memorial Luncheon

Tom Swan-Hernandez, Post 66 Commander (Palm Springs) leading the recent Awards Luncheon held locally for the 2022 Memorial Awards Luncheon.   Commander Swan-Hernandez (Red Hat) and others pictured:  guests speakers, Post members and friends of the Post.