American Veterans Archaeological Recovery

American Veterans Archaeological Recovery

New Mission, Same Team

About AVAR

American Veterans Archaeological Recovery (AVAR) conducts expert archaeological fieldwork worldwide by combining the drive and precision of military veterans with academic training and supervision. Bonds made on excavations help veterans work through feelings of isolation, disempowerment, and loss of purpose that often occur when service members transition into the civilian world. While our program primarily serves disabled veterans, our emphasis is on ability. We work diligently to create a program that accommodates a diverse community of veterans. Unique in the United States, the AVAR program helps veterans find their future while exploring the past. We describe the enhancement of archaeological fieldwork processes to benefit and develop the participant over the long-term as ‘Rehabilitation Archaeology’.

AVAR Archaeology excavation site


Training provided by professional archaeologists from major universities.


Participants are assigned to roles based on ability, regardless of service injury.


Social bonding and shared experiences promote recovery.

More About AVAR

Excavations & Projects

Next Project

P-38G Recovery II

Sicily II

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Project. The DPAA works to account for MIA service members, in this case, the AVAR team will work to account for a fighter pilot who went MIA in a Lockheed P-38G Lightning crash.

Italy Italy Oct 04, 2021

Project Begins

Upcoming Projects

Recent Projects

Notes from the Field

Media & News Coverage

UK And US Veterans’ Search For Crashed WW2 Bomber Crew

Read More More News

Donate to AVAR

Your generous, tax-deductible donation to our program provides transportation, food, housing, tools, and safety equipment for disabled veterans and active duty personnel while they are engaged in important archaeological field work. This work makes a difference in the lives of our participants through a sense of accomplishment, mastery of new skills, peer support, and preservation of historically important structures and artifacts.

Donate Online

Current Fundraisers

Saratoga 2021

In 2019, AVAR veterans conducted the first archaeological fieldwork ever attempted on the site of the Second Battle of Saratoga with supervision and training provided by archaeologists from the Northeast Region Archeology Program. The project was completed in conjunction with the National Park Service and the American Battlefield Trust. In 2021, our vets will continue the methodical metal detector survey under the guidance of Advanced Metal Detecting for the Archaeologist (AMDA), but we also aim to excavate.

Goal: $60,000 | Raised: $11,900

American Veterans Archaeological Recovery is administered by Operation Nightingale USA, a tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

Contact AVAR

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