The Power of Kind Words
Dear Volunteers,

When I reflect on the six years I served in the Michigan Army National Guard, I often think that they were the longest years of my life, but when I think of my last days in uniform, it is hard for me to picture anything but a blur. There were times that I can remember saying “I can’t wait to get out,” yet when that day came I was not ready. There are very few instances when I display outward emotion, but on that last weekend of drill, my emotions were in complete turmoil. Suddenly after six years, my future would no longer contain things like drill, annual training, Iraq, Afghanistan. In some ways this terrified me.

Through all the “goodbyes” and “good lucks,” I found myself sitting in a supply room at Camp Grayling, lost in my own thoughts about what I should do next. I had not had much contact with Buddy-to-Buddy prior to this, but as I was counting and recounting equipment, my thoughts were interrupted by the smile and friendly disposition of a Buddy-to-Buddy volunteer.
Top: Adam Jando in Afghanistan in 2012; Bottom: Ron Springer at Fort Knox in 1969, shortly before he went to serve in Vietnam.
I remember there being some small talk, questions and answers about equipment, and deployments, but there was very little specific dialogue I remember about this interaction. After a while the conversation turned to my imminent discharge, which almost immediately caused me to tear up. Yet even though I was sitting next to a complete stranger, there was comfort in his presence. As I slowly regained my composure, the volunteer firmly, yet empathetically, said, “Things will get better.” It has been over five years since I heard those words, but their echo continues to ring in my life.

Since joining Buddy-to-Buddy I have shared this story a few times with the hope of identifying the volunteer who offered those simple, yet powerful words. Recently I was listening as a volunteer shared a memory of one of his first unit assignments, and it was then when I realized that our memories were very much connected to the same experience. That volunteer’s name was Ron Springer, and I will be forever grateful for the kindness he showed me that day.

It is often a thankless job doing what you do, but let me assure you that the simple smile you offer or the kind words you say can have a lasting impression on someone and just might make that obstacle they are facing seem that much smaller.

Respectfully,

Adam Jando
Program Manager
Stories from the Field: Turnera Croom Helps a Veteran Receive Critical Care
Thanks to Buddy-to-Buddy volunteer Turnera Croom, an ailing veteran is now getting the care he needs. Over the course of months, she was able to build the trust of a veteran struggling with physical and mental health challenges in order to help him overcome barriers to receiving medical care.
 
 To read the full story about how Turnera was able to provide much needed assistance to a veteran in need, click here
Month in Review | June 2018
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 51

Concerns identified:
Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 29
Steve Alguire - 15
Jon Luker - 9
Julia Treme - 7
Richie Roberts - 6

Number of drill/outreach events: 24

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Bruce Binns - 3
Jon Luker - 3
Cliff Tholen - 3
Thank you for taking the time to submit your logs and using the website to communicate with us. These submissions are key in helping us continue to serve Michigan’s veterans.
This Month's Training Anniversaries
The following volunteers are celebrating their training anniversaries with the program this month: 

Six Years!
Roland Lindh
Jon Luker

Five Years
Rebecca Mott
Alfonse VanHese

Four Years
Christian Baeumler
David Hagen
Ron Kazmierczak

Three Years
Dee Harris
Larry Hebert
Joel O’Connell

Two Years
Monica Alderman
Gabe Gallias
Cynthia Horvath
David Rojas
Ken Wood
Jim Wurn

One Year
Jim Hause
Dennis Patrick

Thank you for your service!
Save the Date for the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Event!
We are excited to announce that our 2019 Volunteer Recognition Event will be held at the Doherty Hotel and Conference Center in Clare on  Saturday, April 20 . Mark your calendars! We will send more information as the date gets closer. It will be an event not to be missed!
Helpful Tools Spotlight: Logging Website How-To Guide
Has it been a while since you signed into the volunteer logging website to enter your interaction logs? If so, you might want to brush up on how to use that website, and we have just the tool to help you outa handy how-to guide . Logging your interactions and outreach with service members and veterans is the best way for you and program staff to track your work. We appreciate you taking the time to do so.
Program Merchandise for Sale
With the warm summer weather upon us, you could be wearing a Buddy-to-Buddy lightweight, performance material T-shirt to events, drills, and around town! To make this purchase, please call Ivy Promotions (a veteran-owned business) at 734-585-5149. 
When temperatures cool off, there are also blue zip hoodie sweatshirts, gray long sleeve T-shirts, black fleece vests, and travel mugs with handles all with a Buddy-to-Buddy logo. There are many sizes and several have both men’s and women’s styles. A percentage of all sales goes directly to support B2B.
Schedule a Re-Training
Has it been a while since you went through our New Volunteer Training? Do you think you might benefit from going through training again? If so, contact us about attending an upcoming training. We continually update our training content and think that any and all volunteers who are interested in refreshing their skills will benefit from going through the new and updated training. Contact us to schedule a re-training...
Need Any New Program Supplies? Let Us Know!
If you are running low on program supplies, such as business cards, brochures, or other documents, please contact Jamie Majer at (734) 998-5825 or jmajer@umich.edu and the supplies will be ordered and sent to you as soon as possible.
Interested in Representing Buddy-to-Buddy at an Event?
Would you like to represent Buddy-to-Buddy at a veteran-focused event in your community? Do you know of an event that you think someone from Buddy-to-Buddy should attend? If so, contact Adam Jando at ajando@med.umich.edu or (734) 998-5826.
Buddy-to-Buddy Pics
Paul Jingozian with his service dog, Sierra, at PNC Bank's "Roar on the River" event in Trenton.
Mark Lindke with VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System Director Dr. Ginny Creasman and Debbie Stabenow at one of Senator Stabenow's veteran roundtable discussion events.
Adam Jando representing Buddy-to-Buddy on a panel discussion at the VA Ann Arbor's annual Community Mental Health Summit.
Buddy-to-Buddy is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), a portfolio of military mental health programs within the University of Michigan Depression Center.
Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program
2025 Traverwood Dr., Suite C | Ann Arbor | MI | 48105