Air Force Veteran Continues to Serve Her Country Through the VFW

'Seeing a veteran I assisted receive a favorable VA rating decision or a response to an appeal, is absolutely the best feeling ever'

Amber Putnam, 59, of Parrish, Fla., has lived her life in service of others. Helping others was instilled in her at a young age.

In her role as a VFW Assistant Department Service Officer, Putnam works tirelessly to help veterans receive the benefits they deserve. 

VFW AF Vet Putnam
Pictured above: VFW Assistant Department Service Officer Amber Putnam.
“I feel like I’m making a difference in veterans’ lives by helping them obtain the benefits they earned through their service to our country.”

As a veteran, Putnam knows first-hand the struggles and challenges veterans face. Inspired by her grandfather’s advice to give back to her country through military service, she joined the United States Air Force. 

For 32 years, Putnam served her country with pride. She was deployed to Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She retired as a senior master sergeant.

Putnam’s husband, William, and children, Elaine and Justin, supported her in the transition from military to civilian life. She searched for an opportunity to continue to serve veterans when she retired.

Putnam found her calling at the VFW. Over the years, she held many roles within the VFW. In 2015, she became the first woman to serve as the VFW Department Commander of Florida. She began her current role as VFW Assistant Department Service Officer in August 2016. She is also a Life member and Adjutant of VFW Post 8203 in North Port, Fla.

Putnam’s daily schedule keeps her busy assisting veterans. Filing claims for benefits, reviewing rating decisions and assisting veterans throughout the appeals process are a few of her daily tasks. 

Filing a claim with the Department of Veteran Affairs can be tricky to navigate, so Putnam studied the Code of Federal Regulations from front to back to serve the veterans she works with more efficiently.

She is one of roughly 1,900 VA-accredited VFW Service Officers nationwide who stand ready to assist veterans, free of charge.

“Seeing a veteran I assisted receive a favorable VA rating decision or a response to an appeal, is absolutely the best feeling ever,” she said.

“Service to America’s veterans is the cornerstone of the VFW. Being able to actively perform that function, helping a veteran receive their benefits – there isn’t any better way to live what the VFW stands for,” concluded Putnam.