Peer-to-Peer Support from Trained Volunteer Veterans

Behind the Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program is a simple concept: Military Service is unlike any other human experience. No one knows more about the issues facing a service member – in combat or on the home front – than a fellow service member.  Volunteer Veterans are recruited to the Program from a variety of veteran service organizations and the community.  They receive training in communication skills and available community resources to help them assist other service members in managing the many challenges that may arise throughout the deployment cycle.

The Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program was developed at the University of Michigan in partnership with the Michigan Army National Guard; faculty from the Veterans Administration Health System and Michigan State University; and veteran advocates to address the unique challenges facing Citizen Soldiers.  These soldiers often deploy multiple times and are isolated from those with whom they served once they return to their home communities.

The Mission of the Program is to use trained Volunteer Veterans to help Post-9/11 military service members overcome the stigma around asking for help and link those who are facing challenges throughout the deployment cycle with appropriate resources that will optimize their quality of life.