It’s time for American Legion Family members to strategize about the second round of Buddy Checks, an initiative calling on posts to re-connect with veterans in their communities.
The National Executive Committee passed Resolution 18 during Spring Meetings in May 2019, which calls for the twice-annual Buddy Checks to be conducted Legion-wide on the weeks of The American Legion’s birthday and Veterans Day.
During the inaugural Buddy Checks in March of this year, posts across the United States reached out to veterans to see how they were doing.
In Somers, Conn., Buck-Dubiel Post 101 Commander David McCaffrey and Public Affairs Director Sherri Marquis focused Buddy Checks on wellness checks of veterans. They also coached volunteers on the process of tailoring the scripts to the callers’ personalities.
Marquis said the Buddy Check benefitted both sides of the phone calls. “It was an experience every buddy check team member thought was fulfilling and very much needed,” she said. “We learned of members who were in poor health, needed assistance with VA benefits, (and) wanted to attend meetings but had no means of transportation, and were home bound and lonely and could use a visit/camaraderie.”
In District 22 in California, Legion posts used a three-tier method to connect with veterans. They started with a letter going out to expired members a few months before the March target date. That was followed up with a phone and a personal visit to the homes of veterans.
The national organization has made a kit available to help guide posts on Buddy Checks. The online resource contains information about Buddy Checks, tips, answers to FAQs and downloadable resources such as a flyer, scripts and more.
Posts are encouraged to share their Buddy Check successes on the Legiontown website.