Have you served in the U.S. Armed Services? Do you remember the “Buddy System” in boot camp? Do you know a veteran? Can you spare a few hours a week to spend with another veteran? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, this article is for you.
As we grow older we often become less able to get out and participate in all the activities we enjoy. It becomes more difficult to visit with old friends and attend community functions. Walking in the woods, going to coffee hour at the American Legion, enjoying the simple pleasures of a visit with a friend is much easier with a buddy. It was with that in mind that the Brattleboro American Legion in partnership with Senior Solutions, the Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont. Created the Vet to Vet Visitor Program. Both visitors and recipients are warmly invited to join this program. The only requirement is that you must be a veteran.
To guide the direction of this partnership in implementing goals and activities, a Veterans Advisory Council has been formed which is comprised of veterans from Windham and Windsor Counties. They will be keeping the focus on the veteran perspectives and values and making sure that all veterans will feel included in the program. Senior Solutions provides office support and resources since we have a volunteer program, experience and staff. This enables the Veterans Advisory Council and the Veteran Volunteers to concentrate on the important implementation of visiting with the aging and disabled veterans
The Vet to Vet Visitor Program expands on our veterans’ dedication to service. By matching those who have the time and ability to visit, talk, and enjoy activities with other veterans who may be limited in mobility or ability to drive, or just miss the companionship of other veterans, both parties benefit from being matched as buddies. There may be occasions when an older veteran may be a buddy to a younger veteran. Both men and women are encouraged to participate. There is no requirement that any of the veterans belong to a VFW or American Legion Post or any other military affiliation.
Several of our current Vet to Vet volunteers have extended their services to non-veterans in their communities who found themselves in need. Sharing this information with the public is crucial both to acknowledge the work these volunteers perform and to make sure that communities are aware of this resource. Of course, we need more volunteers and participants so the program can grow and expand into every town and village in Windham and Windsor Counties.
You can join this amazing team by calling 802-885-2669 and expressing your desire to become a Volunteer Veteran Visitor or perhaps become a participant. Our Senior Solutions intake operators will relay your request to our Volunteer Coordinator and you will receive a call to both thank you for contacting us and to make sure we get started in processing your application. There is no federal government oversight. This is a totally grass roots operation with no economic qualifications. The Vet to Vet Program is a simple and pure volunteer effort to work with a special segment of our population who have given so much to us all.