Urge passage of the Buddy Check bill.
Visit The American Legion Legislative Action Center to send a message to your congressional representatives urging them to cosponsor and support National Buddy Check legislation introduced in the House in 2019 and the Senate in 2020.
The legislation, inspired by the successful American Legion Buddy Check program, reads as follows:
A bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to designate one week each year as "Buddy Check Week" for the purpose of outreach and education concerning peer wellness checks for veterans, and for other purposes.
Sen. Ernst, in a press release announcing her introduction of the Senate bill, said the Buddy Check program can be a powerful tool to help veterans with their mental health, especially with military and veteran suicides on the rise during the pandemic.
“As a combat veteran, I know the challenges our servicemembers face after returning to civilian life,” Ernst said. “This bipartisan bill will build on these efforts by helping our veterans recognize signs of suicide risk so they can check in with their fellow veterans and help get them the care and support they need.”
On expanding the program to VA, American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford said, “Our most sacred responsibility as a nation is to care for our fellow men and women who have served this nation with honor. We strongly support legislation that expands this program to VA.”
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa
Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala.
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.