Dear Volunteers,

As veterans, you know that Memorial Day is more than just a day to barbeque and the unofficial beginning of summer. Since the inception of our Republic, over 1,340,000 service members have given their lives for the freedoms and comfort we enjoy today. That number is difficult to comprehend, and it bears remembering that every one of those individuals had a story and a life which ultimately ended in service to their country.
I know many of you knew some of those individuals and that they are part of your motivation to continue to serve our veterans and service members. As I struggle to find the words to express the magnitude of their sacrifice, I am reminded of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Thank you for your service, in uniform and out, as we continue to make our country a better place. Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Know that your Buddy-to-Buddy community will be observing that moment across the state with you.

Bill Bryan
Program Manager
Dick Overton Featured in Blue Cross Article
“When you’ve had some deeply profound experiences as a soldier, you don’t realize it’s changed your software a little bit inside.”
Volunteer Dick Overton

Dick Overton shared what it was like to adjust to civilian life after returning from Vietnam and how he's been able to help a younger generation of veterans as a B2B volunteer in a new article on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network’s blog. Read the article here .
New Volunteers
We are thrilled to welcome these new volunteers to our team this month!
Steve Avram
Army Veteran, Hudsonville
Karen Cayer
Army Veteran, Dansville
Steve Cloutier
Air Force Veteran, Belleville
Brian Egeling
Army Veteran, Belmont
John Griffith
Army Veteran, Carleton
John Jones
Navy Veteran, Emmett
Curt McGinnis
Air Force Veteran, Canton
Kevin Meyer
Air Force & Marine Corps Veteran, Bay City
Tracee Osier
Army & Navy Veteran, Charlevoix
Don Paone
Army Veteran, Beulah
Patricia Tibble
Navy Veteran, Port Huron
Gary Vetitoe
Army Veteran, Adrian
Cara Wendling
Navy Veteran, Detroit
Month in Review | April 2019
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 65

Concerns identified:
Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 56
Steve Alguire - 18
Richie Roberts - 16
Mark Lindke - 8
Jake Witherspoon - 7
Jon Luker - 7


Number of drill/outreach events attended: 46

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Alfonse VanHese - 4
Don Olson - 4
Angel Vallejo - 3
Jake Witherspoon - 3
Mike Gillette - 3
Dick Overton - 3
Ron Springer - 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: 

Seven Years!
David Thomas

One Year
Michael Jemison
Ted Kozlowski
Dave Misaros

Thank you for your service!
Each One Reach One Challenge
You still have a chance to impact lives and win prizes for a few more weeks through the "Each One Reach One" challenge! Going on since May 14 and ending on June 14, the goal of the challenge is for each volunteer to connect with at least one service member or veteran in their community in order to reach people who haven't been assisted by Buddy-to-Buddy previously.
For each new veteran or service member you assist, your name will be entered into a prize drawing. More information, contest rules, and ideas on where to find veterans to connect with can be found  here

Contact Amy at  amkienas@umich.edu   with any questions or additional resources you would like to share with all the B2B volunteers.
Interested in Representing Buddy-to-Buddy at an Event?
Below are some upcoming events we will be at and are in need of volunteers for:

May
  • Mon., May 27: Memorial Day Parade in Ann Arbor (march in parade)
  • Mon., May 27: Memorial Day Parade in Dearborn (march or ride in parade)
  • Wed., May 29: Warrior Wednesdays in Detroit
June
  • Thu., Jun 6-Sat., Jun 8: VFW State Convention in Flint (only need to do one day)
  • Thu., Jun 20: Detroit Veterans Job Fair in Detroit

July
  • Wed., Jul 3: Region 5 VCAT Veteran Expo in Midland 
  • Thu., Jul 4: Ann Arbor Independence Day Parade in Ann Arbor
  • Thu., Jul 18: Veteran Job Fair, Battle Creek VA Medical Center in Battle Creek 
  • Fri., Jul 26: Vet Source in Adrian  
  • Wed., Jul 31: Veterans Resource Fair, Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven

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
  • Sat., Aug 10-Sun Aug 11: Fly-In & Pancake Breakfast, Wurtsmith Air Museum in Oscoda
  • Mon., Aug 12- Sun Aug 18: UP State Fair in Escanaba
  • Sat., Aug 24: Suicide Prevention and Motorcycle Awareness Event in Milan

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

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., May 30, 2019: VCAT 9 Meeting, "Veterans Benefits Large and Small," (pre-registration required; contact Amy if interested in attending), 9:30-12:30 in Ann Arbor
  • Wed., Jun 12: Seminar: How Medicaid/Medicare Works with VA Healthcare in Clinton Township
  • Thu., Jul 18: Seminar: Veterans Services Day in Chesterfield Township  
  • Online: Free 5-hour course titled "The Complete Guide to an Effective Military Transition." The course was created by a Scotsman and is based on his experience leaving the forces in the UK and comes recommended by a B2B volunteer. Learn more here. 

If you're interested in attending them, contact Amy Kienast at amkienas@umich.edu .
Hidden Gems in Michigan for Veterans
The springtime 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
  • Flint
  • Jackson
  • Midland
  • Saginaw
  • Southfield
  • Royal Oak
  • Ferndale
  • Detroit
  • Bay City
  • Taylor
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 .  
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. We'll provide a free lunch.
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
Bruce Spiher after receiving a Vietnam veteran pin from Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and Congressman Tim Walberg at their Washtenaw County Veterans Fair.
Ron Springer, Ron Richards, and Don Olson at an event hosted by Rep. Tim Walberg.
Don Olson and Fred Honerkamp at the Order of the Purple Heart Convention in Grayling.
Ken Wood and Josh Moschino at a TACOM resource fair in Warren.
Steve Alguire (right) at the American Legion Post 120 Auxiliary's annual Poppy Sale with Al Pedwaydon and Linda DePetro.
Mike Thorne with a trucking school instructor at a VCAT event in Gaylord.
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