Comments at the Veteran’s Treatment Court graduation

Friday, May 25th, 2018 @ 9:03PM

My comments at the Veteran’s Treatment Court graduation:

One of the basic pillars of the U.S. Armed Forces is we don’t leave anyone behind. It’s what the Army calls the Warrior Ethos: “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”

Johnson County’s Veterans Treatment Court (VTC) embodies that credo in its efforts to “leave no veteran behind.”

Our problem-solving court is helping selected fallen veterans by keeping them out of the criminal justice system and providing the treatment and supervision they need to return to society as productive citizens.

Today, three veterans are graduating from Veterans Treatment Court, joining 10 other veteran graduates who have successfully completed the program since its beginning two years ago.

They are to be commended for making positive changes in their lives with the mission of a more promising future.

Graduation of deserving veterans and successful outcomes of Veterans Treatment Court requires all hands on deck in the many partners in the county’s criminal justice system, including judges, prosecutors, public defenders and law enforcement officers along with services and programs from Johnson County Mental Health and the Veterans Administration that support veterans and their families — to promote sobriety, recovery and stability.

I also would like to recognize the 20 active veteran volunteer mentors in Veterans Treatment Court. Some of them served long ago in Vietnam and Korea and the early years of Iraq and Afghanistan. They now give of themselves once again by volunteering to help, guide and support fellow veterans participating in the court program.

I thank each of the veteran volunteer mentors for their continued service by doing what they can to never leave a fallen comrade behind and keeping a traditional promise made to each other, that even if we die, our brothers in arms will do everything they can to bring us home. It’s a mission that hasn’t ended, and as long as wars continue, it never will.

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