American Legion Post 90 in Cape Coral, Fla., conducted Buddy Checks on its members and veterans in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic to let them know that the post was there for assistance. Ted Clark, Post 90 PR officer, said part of making Buddy Checks is “to connect with veterans who may need assistance but don’t know where to go or who to ask.”
In early June, members of Post 90 again made Buddy Checks on its membership roster of 839 active members and 246 expired members. Post 90 members made phone calls or sent emails to nearly half of its members and “talked to the veteran or a family member 36 percent of the time for a total of 143 conversations versus 106 last year (during its 2020 Buddy Checks),” Clark said.
“We devoted approximately 100 hours – 20 more than in 2020 – to calling and determined that the weekends were the best time. Our service officer was the most productive in yielding conversations with vets, and he, our adjutant and historian dialed the most numbers.
“The exciting thing about this year's Buddy Check program was that the percentage of vets reached was higher than last year, 36 percent versus 15 percent, and the actual number of veterans reached increased despite dialing fewer numbers.”
American Legion Family members are making Buddy Check calls on regular schedules to let veterans and their families know they are not alone and that the American Legion Family stands ready to assist them in any way it can. Toolkits with valuable resources for Buddy Check teams are available at legion.org/buddycheck.
The American Legion wants to hear your Buddy Check stories. These stories can be easily shared on legiontown.org under the category “Buddy Checks.” When submitting Buddy Check stories, please share with us your “why” to making check-ins with veterans and their families.