Checking on our buddies

Checking on our buddies

Dear American Legion Family and Friends,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Veterans Day weekend, taking time to celebrate with comrades, family members, friends and others. While I believe that every day should be Veterans Day, the brotherhood and sisterhood we find every Nov. 11 is truly special.

For American Legion posts that performed Buddy Checks in the days leading up to Veterans Day, you have my gratitude. I’m sure there are stories about helping fellow veterans receive some help they needed, or reconnecting with a long-lost friend, or other heart-warming tales.

And that’s why we do Buddy Checks. Our goal is to make sure our comrades are doing well and connect them with any resources they require. Some veterans might need guidance from a trained American Legion service officer. Others might qualify for but not be aware of American Legion programs that can provide resources like Temporary Financial Assistance or Operation Comfort Warriors. Still others might just need a fellow veteran to show that he or she cares.

The Media and Communications staff is collecting stories to help other posts learn from your successes. To share your post’s Buddy Check story, email social media manager Steve Brooks,

While the National Executive Committee authorized Resolution 18 during Spring Meetings in 2019, which called for twice-annual Buddy Checks, I believe that they can — and should — be conducted year-round.

As we head into the joyous holiday season, it’s a perfect time to reach out to our veterans. Make sure they are being cared for properly. Ensure that they know they are welcome to attend your post’s holiday meals and special events. For those living in cold climates, these checks can be critical for veterans who might struggle with paying heating bills or getting to the grocery store when severe weather hits.

There are resources available to get you started, including this helpful kit.

Additionally, I want to point you to this wonderful resource via Maryland Legionnaire John Kilgallon and his 19-year-old daughter Mary. They put together a video message about how his post conducted Buddy Checks.

Whether you follow their lead, use the media kit previously mentioned or create your own method, what’s important is that we check on our buddies. No matter the date.