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The American Veterans Institute is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity. Donations to the organization are tax-deductible, within the current rules & restrictions of the IRS.


The American Veterans Institute has been the guiding force behind a variety of veteran-oriented initiatives since late 2004. Founders Mike Jackson and Tara Dixon-Engel supported the organization financially during its first two years of operation in order to allow it to fund and participate in the following activities:
The 2005 Las Vegas Operation Welcome Home Celebration. AVI funded a portion of the national publicity to spread the word about the event to veterans groups and citizens across America. This included media appearances, lectures, and presentations urging local and regional support for veterans in Lexington, KY, Atlanta, GA, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Monroe, MI and many other venues.
Promotional Support from Three Roads Communications in Washington, DC. In order to spread the word about Operation Welcome Home events and veterans issues in general, AVI partnered with Three Roads Communications (producers of Legends of Airpower and Frontiers of Medicine). This effort resulted in publicity through the Blanquita Cullum Radio Show, Fox News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, a special presentation at the Pentagon, and a meeting with Undersecretary of Defense Allison Barber in order to secure participation from the Department of Defense’s America Supports You program.
Local Regional OWH Events – AVI participated in local/regional Operation Welcome Home and Veterans Day/Memorial Day events in New Philadelphia, OH, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, MI, Mesquite, NV and other locations;
Award-winning Veterans’ Videos - The Founders of AVI scripted award-winning video tributes to veterans of WWII (D-Day: A Crowning Glory) and Vietnam (Vietnam: A Nation Remembers) to promote veterans issues at the annual Nellis Air Force Base Air Show and Thunderbirds’ Hangar Party in 2004 and 2005. The national VFW Foundation is currently using the Vietnam video as an educational piece in classrooms nationwide.
2006 National Operation Welcome Home - The 2006 Antelope Valley Operation Welcome Home celebration featured AVI participation through materials, promotions, and sponsorship money for the celebration and via the participation of the national Operation Welcome Home chairmen/AVI Founders Mike Jackson and Tara Dixon-Engel.

VA Benefits Presentations - On-going regional presentations to assisted living facilities, senior citizen groups etc. educating the elderly and their caretakers on the availability of VA benefits to veterans and their surviving spouses. AVI officials and resources present detailed information on what is available and the best way to determine eligibility and secure the benefits.

Veterans Memorial Park – During 2006 and 2007, AVI supported efforts to design and build a Veterans Memorial/Veterans Memorial Park in Tipp City, OH. The organization did so by providing materials, promotions, publicity, a logo design, and a detailed proposal for the Tipp City Veterans Memorial Committee (VMC). AVI also worked with the VMC and local Community Services to organize and implement brick sales and to raise over $90,000 for the Memorial.

AVI features a national Board of Directors and two full-time volunteer staff, AVI founders Mike Jackson and Tara Dixon-Engel.

Lt. Col. Mike Jackson, USAF (Ret) President (click here for biographical information)

Tara Dixon-Engel, Vice President (click here for biographical information)

Regina Butler, Director, Cocoa Beach, FL

Ray Santana, Director, Palmdale, CA

Loren Stendahl, Director, Wichita Falls, TX 

Lori Zieg, Cincinnati, OH

Gary Chapman, Lancaster, CA

Lee Aufdemkampe, Tipp City, OH

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