As American Legion members, our most sacred responsibility is to look out for each other and our fellow veterans. As a way to reach out to members and former members who may need help, the National Executive Committee passed Resolution 18 during Spring Meetings in May 2019. The resolution calls for Buddy Checks to be conducted Legion-wide on the weeks of The American Legion’s birthday, March 15, and Veterans Day. However, American Legion posts are encouraged to perform this vital function whenever it makes the most sense in their communities.
The idea is to reconnect with veterans who may need assistance but don't know where to go or who to ask. These contacts may be made by a personal visit, phone or email, or a combination. The important part is to reach out to veterans in your community to let them know you care and can provide whatever assistance they may need. It's what we do for our battle buddies.
How do I organize a Buddy Check?
1. Gather up a team if possible to call or personally visit members and former members of The American Legion. If each member in a team of 10 contacts just 10 Legionnaires or former Legionnaires, 100 veterans can be reached in one sitting.
2. If you don’t have a list of members and former members at your fingertips, visit MyLegion.org and download the names of current members and those who have let their memberships expire.
3. Save the file of members and those whose memberships have expired onto a spreadsheet or copy and paste into a Word file to distribute among your team members. Print several copies of the lists.
4. Divide up the call list among your team members. Some may have personal connections with the member or the former member and should make that particular buddy check.
5. Start making connections – either from a quiet place inside the post or from your home – to see how the members and former members are doing, ask if they need anything and invite them to any event or activity planned to help celebrate the Legion’s birthday or Veterans Day.
6. Make sure you thank the member or former member in the beginning and at the end of your call.
7. If the member or former member wishes to renew, be sure to have your post’s payment procedure at your fingertips, the address to send a check or offer to stop by in person to pick it up (another opportunity to connect).
8. Leave contact information in case the member or former member can’t take the call or needs anything in the future.
Using scripts makes it easy for your team to make buddy checks on members and former members. Use these scripts, modify them or draft your own before reaching out. Remember, the most important part of the call is to see if the veteran and family are OK, if the Legion can help and to invite them to celebrate any planned centennial events or activities.
Answers to FAQs
When you speak to an expired member or a veteran eligible for membership, they may ask the question: “What does the Legion do?" You can be prepared with quick answers that apply at the national, department and local level using this worksheet:
To assist you in your efforts, expired members lists can be easily retrieved from the Report Server on myLegion.org
Select “Reports/Labels” on the left-hand menu.
Posts - Open Post Reports folder, click on Revitalization folder to see: Un_Renewed Letters, Un_Renewed_Labels, and Un_Renewed Roster
Districts – Open District Reports folder to see un_Renewed Roster listing
Counties – Open County Reports folder to see un_Renewed Roster listing