Dear Volunteers,

I hope all of you had a wonderful Veterans Day. Thank you for everything you’ve done, both in and out of the service.

It is heartening to see the recognition and true gratitude so many Americans have towards our country’s veterans. On Veterans Day, though, while the giveaways and discounts are always welcome and certainly well-intentioned, so many of our veterans need something more than a free cup of coffee, as you well know. 
Last month I mentioned that Dr. Adrienne Lapidos had surveyed some of the very veterans you have helped. Here are a few quotes from her phone calls I wanted to share with you:

“You’re one of the few agencies that actually gives help. I called between 30-40 people and I got nowhere except with you guys, so you’re tops.”

“They were helpful and they were encouraging. I think it’s an excellent program and I think it’s needed… It’s an extremely important program... (The volunteer) gave me encouragement. A feeling like someone cared.”

“He stepped in and did as much as he could do. When I needed a shoulder to cry on I would call him.”

“We would just talk. I enjoyed the program while it lasted because it gave me someone to talk to. It’s hard when you are alone 24/7.”

“Anything that connects a veteran to another veteran is better than Joe Schmoe talking to you.”

The work you do directly impacts the quality of life of our veterans every day. Thank you for all that you do. 

Bill Bryan
Program Manager
Cliff Tholen On WWMT Newschannel 3
In case you missed it, Cliff Tholen, one of our Volunteer Team Leaders, was interviewed by WWMT in Kalamazoo earlier this month. Cliff spoke about military and veteran mental health, as well as his work as a volunteer with Buddy-to-Buddy.

"PTSD is not like wine—it doesn't get better with age," Cliff said in the interview. To watch it, click here .
Fred Turk Honored by Credit Union In Decatur
Honor Credit Union celebrated volunteer Fred Turk's service to our country during the Vietnam War and as a Buddy-to-Buddy volunteer and active VFW member at a recent event. At the ceremony, Honor Credit Union donated $1,000 each to Buddy-to-Buddy and VFW Post 6248. They also shared a very moving video about Fred they created for the event, which you can watch here .
New Volunteers
We are thrilled to welcome these new volunteers to our team this month!
Tony Blackall
Navy Veteran, Sand Lake
Shawn Cole
Navy Veteran, Bad Axe
Sinai Garcia
Marine Corps Veteran, New Hudson
Everette Gaston
Army Veteran, Berrien Springs
Robin Kendziorek
Navy Veteran, Ann Arbor
James Mather
Navy Veteran, Whitmore Lake
James Phipps
Army Veteran, Waterford
Russ Quinton
Army Veteran, Blissfield
Janette Shaw
Air Force Veteran, Bellevue
Steve Spranger
Army Veteran, Jackson
Robert Wells
Army Veteran, Canton
(not pictured)

Rich Wasmer
Air Force Veteran, Bay City
Month in Review | October 2019
Number of service members and veterans assisted: 68

Concerns identified:
This past month, financial and housing concerns were the top two issues you handled, with health, benefits and claims close behind.

Top interaction log submitters:
Paul Jingozian - 40
Richie Roberts - 30
Steve Alguire - 21
Ron Springer - 8
Cliff Tholen - 7
Robert Calhoun - 6

Number of drill/outreach events attended:  46

Most drill/outreach events attended and logged:
Ron Springer - 4
Cliff Tholen - 3
Mike Thorne - 3
Fred Turk - 3
Jake Witherspoon - 2

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!
Craig Hannar

Six Years
Steve Alguire

Five Years
James Robinson

One Year
Dingo Simionescu
Jake Witherspoon

Thank you for your service!
Thank You, Buddy's Pizza!
Buddy's Pizza has donated $6,000 to our program to celebrate the openings of its two newest locations in Plymouth and Woodhaven. They presented this gift to us recently at their Ann Arbor locationsee further down in this newsletter for a picture. We are so grateful for their support of the program!
Buddy's Pizza also recently announced that they are now offering a discount to veterans, active duty military, police officers, and firefighters when they dine in at any location. To find the Buddy's Pizza location nearest to you, click here .
New Support Call Line
Call-in number: 1.888.240.2560
Passcode: 595131222#

For those who have joined us on the new call-in line, you may have noticed that it is eerily quiet after you dial in. The previous call platform used to ask us to announce ourselves and this one does not. Here are some tips to make the calls go smoothly:
  • Automatically announce yourself once you dial-in and the staff will acknowledge your name. If you don’t hear the staff say your name, they didn’t hear you get on the call.

  • If you join the call after the speaker has started, please refrain from announcing yourself during their presentation and let us know you joined the call at the end.  

  • There will be a second roll call taken near the end of the call that you can announce that you are on the call. 
Attention, Snowbirds!
Do you head south during the colder months to stay warm? If so, be sure to alert your Team Leader to let them know the dates you will be gone so staff can put you on a hiatus status during your absence. 
Buddy-to-Buddy Pics
Volunteers Kevin Meyer (R) and Les Schneider (L) representing Buddy-to-Buddy at the Neighbors Helping Neighbors event in Lapeer.
Volunteer Steve Alguire playing Taps at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C..
(L-R) Volunteer Mark Lindke with Jane Spinner, Bill Bryan, and Wes Pikula, Buddy's Pizza's VP of Operations. Buddy's Pizza recently donated $6,000 to the program.
Margy Howes with volunteer Jon Luker and the cookies that Jon brought to his armory.
Amy Kienast and Jamie Majer with Habitat for Humanity's Michael Hyacinthe (L) and Michael De La Rosa (R) at the Habitat for Humanity Affiliates in Motion Annual Conference, Lansing.
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