How it All Started
The spring of 2009 brought me to my first Post-Deployment Yellow Ribbon event. I was a few weeks away from leaving for Sniper School, and I was introduced to a veteran who I was told could give me a “few pointers” that might help me before I left. I didn’t know it then, but that gentleman I spoke briefly with was Tom Devine, one of Buddy-to-Buddy’s founding members.

More than ten years have passed since Don Behm and Tom Devine lead the way into National Guard armories across Michigan. Their mission, leave no soldier behind, carried over from their own service, and they used this to create awareness and to be a resource for returning service members. At that time there were gaps in the services available to the thousands of National Guard service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and it was these pioneers who recognized this and were successful in bringing it the attention of National Guard leadership.
Don Behm and Tom Devine wtih BG Pablo Estrada of the MIARNG at the 2016 Volunteer Recognition Event
Services and resources have improved drastically for returning service members and veterans, yet the need for Buddy-to-Buddy is still high, as the peer support you provide fellow veterans continues to fill a gap left by other programs and resources. Congratulate yourselves and fellow volunteers as we near 10 years of operation and assistance to over 5,000 of Michigan’s veterans and service members and veterans! 

Respectfully,

Adam Jando
Program Manager
Month in Review | October 2018
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 50

Concerns identified:
Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 30
Ron Springer - 12
Steve Alguire - 12
Jon Luker - 10
Richie Roberts - 10


Number of drill/outreach events attended: 59

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Ron Springer - 3
Cliff Tholen - 3
Fred Turk - 3
Carl Underhill - 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!
Craig Hannar
Bill Petraitis

Five Years
Steve Alguire

Four Years
James Robinson

Thank you for your service!
More Volunteers Needed
Do you know any veterans who would be great B2B volunteers? We need a few more volunteers in the following areas:

  • Detroit
  • Saginaw
  • Midland
  • Lansing
  • Monroe
  • Traverse City
  • Port Huron
  • Sandusky
  • Bad Axe

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 .   
Counties shown in blue have at least one volunteer residing in them; counties in green have no volunteers.
Blankets for Veterans by Barbara Brennan
In addition to her work with Buddy-to-Buddy, volunteer Barbara Brennan of Fowlerville is working to give back to fellow veterans by knitting special patriotic blankets for them. If you or someone you know is interested in having Barbara knit a special blanket or you also knit and would like to join her in this effort, contact her directly at (517) 521-2147 or rodyann28@outlook.com .
A veteran with a blanket Barbara knitted for her.
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 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. We'll provide a free lunch. 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.
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 Amy Kienast at amkienas@umich.edu or (734) 998-5829.
Buddy-to-Buddy Pics
Ron Springer (front, center) at a Veterans Day event in Lansing.
Adam Jando (middle row, second from right) with fellow veterans at a special Veterans Day assembly at Pioneer Middle School in Plymouth. The only day each year that the entire student body of 925 middle schoolers assemble all together at once is for this event. Adam delivered the event's keynote address and the school donated a check of over $3,000 to the programall of which came from donations and fundraising activities from students.
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