Aurora American Legion Post 84 joins area nonprofits in offering free Veteran Peer Supporter training

Posted10/15/2021 6:25 PM

Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 is partnering with Illinois Joining Forces and the Dunham Foundation, along with the Kane County Veterans Assistance Commission and other area stakeholders, to offer free Veteran Peer Supporter training to Aurora area veterans.

Post 84 with JIF are recruiting veterans to be professionally trained as Community Veteran Peer Supporters to assist area veterans.


"This is a essential program to serve Aurora veterans in their time of need," said Commander Mike Eckburg, a Vietnam veteran and Navy Corpsman. "We see veterans struggling every day, and they need to know that we are here to help them. We are building a support network with Illinois Joining Forces, the Dunham Fund, along with Kane County VAC and other area stakeholders, to ensure we do all we can to prevent veteran strife."

The Community Veteran Peer Supporter training is for 10 Aurora region veterans to serve their brothers and sisters in arms. Based on the principle of shared experience, peer support has proven to be an extremely effective way of assisting fellow veterans transition back into civilian life and address the many challenges they face along the way.

Three days of virtual Veteran Peer Supporter Training will be provided by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance where veterans will learn: "Problem Solving," "Effective Listening," "The Art of Asking Questions," "Facing Our Fears," "Cultural Competency," "Understanding Intervention Strategies," and "The Importance of Accomplishing Goals." One additional day of "Mental Health First Aid" training will be offered as part of the overall training.

Prior military service is required and applicants must have an internet connection to support Zoom video conferencing (webcam) (a computer, laptop, or smartphone with the functionality to access a Zoom link).

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Applicants must be available for all-day training on each of the following days: Thursday to Saturday, Nov. 18-20. They must be willing to serve fellow veterans in the Aurora region for a period of 12 months after completion of training and dedicate at least 10 hours a month to veterans seeking peer support.

If you would like to receive training to become a Community Veteran Peer Supporter, complete the application posted on or or email to with "Peer Training" in the subject line.

"I would encourage veterans to sign up for this important training," Commander Eckburg said. "Continue the mission, take care of our battle buddies and create the comradery we all had while we served is what we hope to accomplish while helping Veterans who may be facing their darkest hours. We want to be there for them."

Illinois Joining Forces and the community partners would like to thank the Dunham Foundation for their generous financial support of this vital Community Veteran Peer Supporter training initiative and the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 for their assistance.


The Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84, founded in 1919, is one of the oldest posts in the state of Illinois. Their name is in memory of Quentin Roosevelt, the youngest son of President Theodore Roosevelt, who was killed in World War I in aerial combat over France on Bastille Day (July 14, 1918).

Illinois Joining Forces was launched in 2012, through an inter-governmental agreement between the Illinois Departments of Veterans' Affairs and Military Affairs as a statewide, public-private network of military and veteran serving organizations working together to improve services for service members, veterans and their families.

The Dunham Foundation seeks grant applications from nonprofits whose work aligns with the foundation's mission. Organizations that encourage innovation and collaboration in educational and community development programs and projects to effect positive change in the Dunham Foundation service area.