American Legion Buddy Check programs have assisted thousands of veterans and their families – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – since their inception in March 2019. By June 2020, more than 3,600 American Legion posts reported Buddy Check activities during the membership year, and thousands more were conducted in the months beyond.
Many local posts and American Legion Auxiliary units 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 we can. Toolkits with valuable resources for Buddy Check teams have been refreshed and updated for the program’s third year.
Those materials are available at www.legion.org/buddycheck.
The toolkit provides tips on how to organize a Buddy Check team; Buddy Check sample scrips to members and non-members; quick answers to what The American Legion does; and space to fill out what the department does.
The American Legion National Headquarters would also like to share Buddy Check success stories in the media and invites members to post their experiences with the program at www.legiontown.org.
John H.C. Chipley with American Legion Post 512 in Carmel, Calif., recently submitted his Buddy Check story to
“I wanted to say a special thank you to Mario/Anastasia Gonzalez from Carmel Post 512. I have been struggling with contacting people to obtain COVID-19 shots and was very frustrated with trying to find someone for that information. Since my wife is housebound and I am her caregiver, it was hard to find the resources. Then a phone call from Mario/Anastasia with a Buddy Check called and wanted to know if there was anything they could do. This was a breath of fresh air because they were able to put me in contact with the right people, and we were able to receive both the first dose and second dose of the vaccine. Needless to say, we are relieved to have been vaccinated and know someone is watching over us.”
Sample media advisory and Buddy Check press releasePosts are encouraged to invite local media to see how Buddy Checks are working in their communities. A downloadable media advisory template is available for posts to customize and distribute to media outlets.
The community wants to know when and why The American Legion conducts Buddy Checks for veterans in their communities. A sample press release is available that can be customized to include specifics about a local Buddy Check event or series of events.
Access the sample media advisory for posts and press release at www.legion.org/buddycheck/tools.