Dear Volunteers,

June has been a memorable month for Buddy-to-Buddy. I want to particularly thank Cliff Tholen and Ron Springer for accompanying Jane Spinner and me to Lansing to meet with state senators and state representatives to secure support for Buddy-to-Buddy. I want to thank as well all those other volunteers who remained on standby to come with us, if called upon, while we scheduled the meetings.

While we won’t know the exact outcome for weeks, please know that, without exception, the legislators were unhesitatingly supportive of the work that you do in providing peer support and resource connection to our veterans, and acknowledged the need for our program. Waiting is the hardest part, but we remain hopeful for a positive response from the legislature for support of the vital work you do.
Cliff Tholen, Bill Bryan, and Jane Spinner meeting with Senator Adam Hollier in Lansing
Within just a few days of our meeting, Representative Joe Tate introduced a motion in the Michigan legislature to make June “Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program Month.” The motion passed, and I have watched the video of the resolution many times! You can watch it here .

It is a wonderful testament to the impact you have made and continue to make. 

I also want to take a moment to welcome our new team leader for Southeast Michigan, Luke Fuentes, and to thank Jon Luker for all he has done as team leader as well as express our gratitude that he will be continuing to help veterans through Buddy-to-Buddy.
 
I hope you are enjoying the summer (especially Buddy-to-Buddy Month!) and thank you for taking time out of it to help our veterans and service members.
 
Bill Bryan
Program Manager
Steve Alguire and Mike Van Setters Win the Each One Reach One Challenge!
Congratulations and a hearty thank you to Steve Alguire and Mike Van Setters for winning our "Each One Reach One" challenge! From mid-May to mid-June we challenged volunteers to connect with at least one new service member or veteran in their community who they hadn't previously assisted. Steve and Mike met the challenge mightily by assisting three new individuals in each of their communities. Steve and Mike, we'll be sending your prizes soon! Honorable mention goes to Fred Turk, Dick Overton, and Richie Roberts, who each assisted two new individuals.
In addition to those five volunteers, other volunteers assisted 19 new individuals during the month the challenge ran. Thanks to all! We appreciate your enthusiasm for working hard and making it a point to find new people to serve through Buddy-to-Buddy.
Month in Review | May 2019
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 67

Concerns identified:
Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 53
Richie Roberts - 17
Steve Alguire - 9
Robert Calhoun - 6
Ken Wood - 6

Number of drill/outreach events attended: 55

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Cliff Tholen - 4
Mike Thorne - 4
Alfonse VanHese - 4
Mental health concerns were the top issue identified by our volunteers in May. The top three concerns for all of 2019 to date continue to be mental health, financial, and housing/homelessness. Thank you for continuing to work on these challenging issues and 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: 

Eight Years!
Mark Lindke

Six Years
Bruce Binns

Three Years
Brandon LaLonde

Two Years
Jim Hause

One Year
Matthew Greiner
Des Nelson
Judith Pike

Thank you for your service!
Check Out the Team Leader Picture Roster
Need help with a case? Interested in learning more about local veteran resources? Remember, your Team Leaders are experts and there to support you! And y ou can now put a face to the name of your regional Team Leader by checking out our new Team Leader Picture Roster . In addition to their names and faces, this document lists each Team Leader's phone number and email address. Click here to view and download it.                  
Interested in Representing Buddy-to-Buddy at an Event?
Below are some upcoming events where we need volunteer coverage:

July
  • Wed., Jul 3: Region 5 VCAT Veteran Expo in Midland 
  • Sat., Jul 6: Walk and Roll for the 22 a Day in Ann Arbor VA (sponsored by Warriors and Caregivers United)
  • Thu., Jul 11- Sun., Jul 14: Freedom is Never Free Traveling Memorial in Howell (pick a shift/day)
  • Fri., Jul 26: Vet Source in Adrian
August
  • Sat., Aug 3-Sun., Aug 4: Thunder Over Michigan Air Show in Belleville (Willow Run Airport)
  • Thu., Aug 8: (Ford) Michigan Assembly Plant Health & Wellness Fair in Wayne
  • Sat., Aug 10: VCAT 9 VetFest in Brighton
  • Fri., Aug 16: Herofest in Lansing
  • Fri., Aug 16: VCAT Region 7 Veteran Resource Fair in Lansing
  • Sat., Aug 24: Northwest Michigan Veterans/Military Expo in Cadillac 

September
  • Fri., Sept 6: Homeless Stand Down in Bad Axe
  • Wed., Sept 11: UAW-Ford Michigan Assembly Plant Education/Health Fair in Wayne 

November
  • Tues., Nov 5: Hiring Event for Veterans & Their Families in Ann Arbor 

If you would like to represent Buddy-to-Buddy at any of the events above or some other veteran-focused event in your community, contact Amy Kienast at amkienas@umich.edu or (734) 998-5829.

Free Professional Development Seminars
Here are some upcoming professional development event opportunities that volunteers can attend:

  • Thu., Jul 18: Seminar: Veterans Services Day in Chesterfield Township (contact Amy if interested in attending so she can register you as a guest)
  • Thu., Jul 18: Mental Health First Aid Workshop (Amy's waiting for details, but this event is tentatively scheduled for Jackson)
  • Fri., Sep 13: 2019 Battle Creek VA Healthcare Delivery System Veteran Mental Health Summit. The event is free, but you must register in advance here.

If you're interested in attending them, contact Amy Kienast at amkienas@umich.edu .
Hidden Gems in Michigan for Veterans
The summertime temperatures are inviting us to spend more time outdoors. But not everyone has property up north or a log cabin they can head to for relaxation. That yearning to be outdoors and wanting to enjoy family time can also be restricted by financial limitations or disabilities.  

Many do not know that Michigan is home to several family retreat locations that are free of charge for veterans. Each one of the locations varies in what they offer and what activities are included, but they all allow veterans a chance to relax and rejuvenate. 
Wilwin Lodge in Custer, MI
The retreats cater to veterans who would benefit from relaxation, recuperation, and recreation as part of emotional and physical therapy. The locations also offer modifications for disabled veterans such as track chairs and wheelchair accessible facilities.

Let’s get the word out about these hidden gems. Please share the following facilities with veterans you are working with, or take a few days and enjoy them yourself! 

  • Brave Hearts Estate, a 238 acre ranch in Pellston. Learn more here
  • Camp Liberty, a 137 acre retreat in Norvell Township (Brooklyn). Learn more here
  • Wilwin Lodge, 1183 acre retreat in Custer. Learn more here.

Know of other recreational retreats for veterans in Michigan? Let us know so we can share the information with other volunteers! 
More Volunteers Needed
Do you know any veterans who would be great B2B volunteers? We need a few more volunteers in the following areas:

  • Adrian
  • Ann Arbor
  • Bay City
  • Detroit
  • Ferndale
  • Flint
  • Jackson
  • Midland
  • Saginaw
  • Southfield
  • Royal Oak
  • Taylor
  • Ypsilanti 
If you run across someone who would be a great volunteer, please contact Amy at (734) 998-5829 or  amkienas@umich.edu and let her know, or you can have them fill out an application  here .  
The VA's New MISSION Act
Under the VA's new MISSION Act, veterans now have more ways to access health care. This includes the VA’s network as well as approved non-VA medical providers, called “community care providers.”  Depending on the situation, such as if a certain type of health service isn’t provided by VA, veterans may be able to go to a non-VA provider, using VA coverage. To learn more about this new act and its eligibility requirements, click here .  
Schedule a Re-Training
Has it been a while since you went through our New Volunteer Training? A lot has changed. Do you think you might benefit from going through it again? If so, contact us about attending an upcoming one. 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. Free lunch provided!
Currently, our next scheduled training will be on Friday, June 28 at our office in Ann Arbor. Contact us to schedule a re-training.
Need Any New Program Supplies? Let Us Know!
Are you running low on program materials? Are you unsure about whether the materials you have are the most current versions? If so, please contact Jamie Majer at (734) 998-5825 or jmajer@umich.edu and the supplies you need will be ordered and sent to you as soon as possible.
Buddy-to-Buddy Pics
Jamie Majer and Barbara Brennan at a Veteran Stand Down event in Flint.
Richie Roberts at a Veteran Stand Down event in Flint.
Bill Bryan with son Liam at the Glacier Hills Memorial Day Parade in Ann Arbor (pictured with some of the event organizers).
Volunteer Pete Raciti and Outreach Coordinator Amy Kienast at a Veteran Round Table at the Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Michigan Center. 
Volunteer Fred Honerkamp being filmed for a video about Buddy-to-Buddy and M-SPAN.
Buddy-to-Buddy is part of Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN), a portfolio of military and veteran 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