At 66th national convention in Louisville, AMVETS members from across the country select Army and Navy veteran Jerry Hotop to lead organization
LANHAM, Md., Aug. 30, 2010--At the recent 66th annual AMVETS National Convention in Louisville, Ky., U.S. Army veteran and prior service Navy Seabee Jerry Hotop, a life member of AMVETS Post No. 94 in Perryville, Mo., and a prominent veterans' advocate in Missouri, was elected to serve as national commander of AMVETS for 2010-2011. AMVETS is one of the nation's largest and most inclusive veterans service organizations, with membership open to anyone who has served honorably in the U.S. military, including those who continue to serve. Hotop will take office on Sept. 1, at AMVETS National Headquarters in Lanham, Md.
"It is an honor for me to accept this position as AMVETS national commander, and I look forward to continuing my service to the veterans' community when I take my post on Sept. 1," Hotop said. "I have always been proud of my work with AMVETS at all levels of the organization, and I look forward to serving my fellow veterans on the national stage."
As national commander, Hotop will be responsible for the operation of AMVETS from the top down. AMVETS past national commanders have served as the voice of the organization and chief diplomat for AMVETS members on Capitol Hill in Washington and around the world.
Over the years, AMVETS national commanders have visited with troops serving overseas in places like Iraq and Korea, and visited with allied forces in Europe and East Asia. AMVETS national commander also travels the country throughout the one-year term, visiting with AMVETS in the field who make a difference every day for the veterans in their communities.
In a recent interview, Hotop said his top priority would be today's returning wounded warriors--in particular, supporting and promoting the two AMVETS programs designed to meet their needs, AMVETS Healing Heroes and AMVETS' partnership with the Camp Hope wounded warriors' retreat in Missouri.
"Camp Hope, in particular, is critical to the healing process. It allows veterans and their loved ones to reconnect with the outdoor activities that they love, regardless of the injuries they may have sustained in combat," said Hotop.
Hotop went on to say that families play an integral role in helping today's wounded veterans recover and cope with their injuries.
"AMVETS Healing Heroes affords families the financial flexibility to be alongside their hero throughout the recovery process," Hotop said. "Coupled with Camp Hope, I think these two programs afford our veterans unprecedented opportunities to successfully recover from the horror of war, which is why AMVETS needs to spread the word."
Hotop, who joined AMVETS more than 20 years ago, has held leadership roles at the post, department and national levels. Most recently, Hotop completed a term as national first vice-commander. He has also served as his post's commander for nine years, Department of Missouri commander for three years, National Convention chairman in 2005, Fourth National District Commander in 2006-2007, and National Sons of AMVETS coordinator in 2007-2008.
Hotop served in the Army for three years and in the Navy Reserve as a Seabee for six years. He owned and operated his own business for 40 years and received his commercial pilot's license in 1974. He has been married to his wife, Judy, for 47 years and has four children--one son and three daughters. Hotop's son, Dean Hotop, is a veteran who served in Iraq and at this year's national convention seconded the motion nominating his father for AMVETS National Commander.
A leader since 1944 in preserving the freedoms secured by America's armed forces, AMVETS provides support for veterans and the active military in procuring their earned entitlements, as well as community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for this nation's citizens and veterans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans' service organizations in the United States, and includes members from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit www.amvets.org.