Vet to Vet: Changing Veterans’ Lives for the Better

Men and women who have served or are currently serving in the military are making a huge difference in the lives of older veterans and veterans with disabilities through SMAA’s Vet to Vet project.  

Trained Vet to Vet volunteers visit with veterans in their homes at least twice a month, swapping stories, providing much-needed companionship, and developing a bond strengthened by their shared military service and common interests.

Vet to Vet is the winner of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging 2016 Aging Achievement Award. Learn more.

Vet to Vet Veterans Receiving Visits
For the veterans who receive visits, the Vet to Vet project has meant veterans have someone to talk to, a friend who can share stories and spend time with them, easing the isolation many have felt as their friends have died or moved away. For some, it may be the first time they have been able to talk about their war experiences. Because they are veterans too, the volunteers already have common ground with the veterans they are visiting. The veteran pairs may go out for coffee or lunch, participate in activities and interests they both share, or simply sit and talk.

Vet to Vet volunteers link veterans to services and programs of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging and other social service organizations, Maine Veterans Services, and the VA when needed.

Qualifying for a Vet to Vet Visitor
Applicants must have served in the military. This includes reserves, merchant marine, and all other branches of the service, combatant and noncombatant.

Applicants must be an aging veteran or a veteran of any age with disabilities who lives at home in York and Cumberland counties, male or female.

Vet to Vet Volunteers
The Vet to Vet program provides a meaningful volunteer opportunity for veterans wanting to have a more fulfilling life and looking for ways to help other veterans. For the veteran volunteers in the program, the experience has been life-changing. Most have said they are getting as much out of the program as the veterans they visit.   

Becoming a Vet to Vet Volunteer
Volunteers must have served in the military. This includes reserves,
Merchant Marine, and all other branches of the service, combatant
and noncombatant.
Volunteers commit to visit a veteran in his or her home at least twice a
month for a year.
Volunteers receive training in communications skills, social services
available for veterans, and other pertinent information.