STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – Our country has several different veterans organizations. One of the most prominent is the AMVETS. Like most organizations, it has posts throughout the country and a national commander on Capitol Hill. Its newest national commander was chosen right from our own backyard.
Husband and wife John and Jan Brown run the AMVETS Post 44 in Struthers. Both are veterans of the Air Force and John is a former national commander for the AMVETS in Washington, D.C.
Just this past summer, Jan was selected as the new national commander, making her the first-ever woman appointed to that position.
“That was not my intent when I started to run but as it happened, it turned out that way,” she said.
Jan thinks it’s “pretty awesome.”
She said while women have always played a role in our country’s defense, she wants to see them play a bigger role in veterans organizations.
“We’ve always been around and in the background, and with more female veterans coming of age, so to speak, we’re trying to get them more involved.”
Part of being the national commander of the AMVETS requires traveling to different posts around the country.
On her most recent trip, she was impressed with what she saw.
“Last weekend, I was in Michigan. Was asked to activate and install a new post, the officers of a new post, which happen to be the charter members. It’ll be a mixed post after the charter is closed, but the original charter members are all combat females.”
AMVETS Post 44 in Struthers is heavily involved in the community. It holds fundraisers for underprivileged kids, hosts Tai Chi classes through the VA for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and works with a motorcycle riders club to raise money for local cancer patients.
John takes great pride in what his wife and the post have been able to accomplish.
“To move up like she did, to become the first female national commander of our organization not only makes me proud, but it should make our whole community proud,” he said. “Here you are in Struthers, Ohio — we’ve had a sitting president visit us, we have the first female national commander and we have a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient that belong to this post, so we’re quite proud of what we have here.”
As Jan continues her role as national commander, she said she’ll do everything she can to fight for all veterans across the country. She hopes to set a good example for all of the women who have served our country.
“I hope I’m someone that they can look up to and, maybe not emulate, but at least respect the position a little more.”