CA Commander Sandra Durbin joins Sons of AMVETS Bus Tour

State Commander Sandra Durbin recently went on a bus tour with the Sons of AMVETS of the Department of Ohio.

The Sons of AMVETS, Department of Ohio annual bus trip to Washington DC that departed on November 10. Over the 4 day trip they visited Flight 93 Memorial in PA, attended the Veterans Day events in Arlington National Cemetery and spent the rest of the day touring Washington DC, where they joined with National Commander Donald McLean for a wreath laying ceremony.


In partnership with My Front Page Story, AMVETS National Headquarters is proud to announce National District VI Commander and Army Veteran Ross Smith is the AMVETS American Veteran of the Month for the month of December!

Commander Ross is endlessly committed to helping veterans, and a stellar representation of AMVETS Department of California.

American Veteran of the Month – Ross Smith:

State Commander Durbin @ North County Veterans Stand Down (NCVSD)

North County Veterans Stand Down is a four-day event in Vista, California, that enables ALL veterans and their families to receive much-needed services in a safe, friendly, drug-free, and secure environment.

Our California State Commander Sandra Durbin drove one of the transportation carts around the ranch — shuttling her fellow veterans, to dental, vision, medical, veterans court, clothing tent, cabins, chow hall, DMV, city and county, and state, and federal services.

Central Valley Veterans 2022 Stand Down

Each year, the CVV Stand Down provides Veterans with access to a wide array of services and support, including: California ID Card applications, Social Security Card applications, mental & medical health referrals, VA claims, vaccinations, dental & vision services, hot meals, clothing, personal hygiene supplies and overnight lodging.

AMVETS Department of California Service Foundation was proud to participate with a coalition of VSOs and the VA Central California Health Care System. Our Service Foundation showed up to provide Veterans with clothing from the AMVETS Thrift Store’s Fresno branch.

MIA/POW Recognition Day

Last Friday these women from AMVETS Department of California were recognized for their services at the MIA/POW Recognition Day held in Clovis at the Clovis Veterans Memorial.

Darla Rambonga  (USMC October 1976-October 1980), Sabrina Galindo-Ford (USMC March 1991-July 1995), Reyna Montoya (USARNG May 2008-May 2017), and Heidi Holguin (USA April 1996-Apr 2017). They were presented by a medal and rose.

Congratulations on the honor and for your contributions to our nation and our veterans.

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.