“Our freedom is not free. There is a price to pay, and some veterans pay with the remaining parts of their lives.”
–Vietnam War veteran, Altorlee Stokes, Jr.
District Attorney Tim Harris is dedicated to the success of the Veterans Treament Court’ s success. He notes of veterans:
“They literally put their lives on the line for us. Once they come into the criminal justice system, they deserve to be looked at in a different way. We want to bring justice and hope to turn their lives around. We want to show some appreciation for what they’ve done.”
The veterans court was created in December of 2008, after Smith observed a similar court in Buffalo, N.Y. and became convinced of its effectiveness.
Smith said “If you have a veteran, and that person can look to the left and the right and see participants who have been through the same experiences, it makes a difference in how that person feels and progresses in the program.”
Common underlying factors are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury related to combat. Continue reading 'Court’s Mission- Helping Suffering Veterans'»
In an article by Ginnie Graham, titled “The War at Home,” we learn that the National Drug Court Institute considers the “Veterans Treatment Court” in Tulsa, to be a model court. Four courts are being considered for the distinction.
Getting the distinction means getting a grant and visitors who will come, and want to start programs in other jurisdictions. At the court, Graham observed that some men stood at parade rest as they appeared before Tulsa Special Judge Sarah Day Smith. Others leaned on their crutches or walkers or stood close to military attention.
The veterans are from six different wars and range widely in age. They also battle addictions leading to problems with their families, housing and brushes with the law. Continue reading 'Veterans Treatment Court Considered Country Model'»
In a January 19th, 2010 article by Bart Jansen, we learn that Florida veterans are urging Congress to shorten the backlog for disability claims and to eliminate an overlap in survivors benefits.
Veterans are particularly wary of cuts in Medicare for the elderly and disabled that could ripple through the military health-care system called TRICARE for troops, their dependents and retirees. These are among the top concerns that advocacy groups will raise at a roundtable with the House Veterans Affairs Committee in Wahsington.
Florida is second only to California as a home for veterans with 1.9 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Brevard County has 77,169 veterans, Lee County 66,081, Escambia 38,510 and Leon 20, 561, according to 2008 Census figures. Continue reading 'Florida Veterans Advocacy Group Looks For Help'»