Peer-to-peer outreach program offers veterans, service members help, understanding

Aug 24, 2016
Originally published on August 23, 2016 5:30 pm

Who can understand the problems, fears and worries of veterans and military service members better than someone who has served?

That's the idea behind Buddy-to-Buddy. It's the only program of its kind in Michigan, focused on peer support. Veterans who can help other vets and service members. 

Stephanie Zarb is an Air Force veteran who was deployed twice during Operation Enduring Freedom and for counter-narcotics missions in South Africa. Now she's the program manager for the Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program.

Ronald Springer has been volunteering with Buddy-to-Buddy since 2013. He served in the Army during the Vietnam War as a Platoon Leader in the 101st Airborne.

Zarb and Springer sat down with us today to talk about the program, and how they help veterans and military service members open up about the problems they face.

Buddy-to-Buddy is one of a suite of programs offered through M-SPAN, The University of Michigan's Military Support Programs and Networks. These programs are there for veterans, active and reserve military, and their families. More information can be found at


Stephanie Zarb is the program director for the Buddy-to-Buddy Volunteer Veteran Program.

Ronald Springer is a volunteer with Buddy-to-Buddy.

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