Showing posts with label substance abuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label substance abuse. Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2020

Hoarding hurting veterans' charity helping them heal!

Hoarding Hits Local Veterans Struggling For Supplies

CBS News Sacramento
By Marlee Ginter
March 26, 2020
“It’s been complicated, to say the least. I know at Sam’s Club we’re not allowed to buy more than two items, and two packs of laundry pods for 57 people just isn’t going to cut it,” said Residential Programs Manager Amy Childers.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As people continue stockpiling, facilities that help veterans in need are scrambling for the basics.

Jared Dannenberger, an Iraq War veteran, signed up to serve and protect. Now veterans like him at the Sacramento Veterans Resource Center of America need their own protection in the fight to curb the spread of COVID-19. Facilities are running low on hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and basic hygiene items.
“I mean donations are always welcome, hand sanitizer, hygiene,” said Dannenberger.

”Soaps, towels things like that you know, we’d be very grateful,” said Vietnam-era veteran Vincent Craft.

Employees keep hitting empty shelves from store to store and have even tried getting things online.

Most of the vets are recovering from PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, and homelessness and need any support they can get. Add tight quarters and a COVID-19 lockdown, and that can take a toll on an already vulnerable population.
read it here and watch the video

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Senator Harris announced plans for veterans...three years after it happened?

Harris releases plan to give VA benefits to veterans with less-than-honorable discharges and reverse military transgender ban
Harris pointed to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report that found that 62% of service members who were separated for misconduct over a four-year period had been diagnosed two years prior to their separation with PTSD, TBI or other conditions — and about a quarter of them received less-than-honorable discharges, making them possibly ineligible for VA benefits.
But she is a little late on that one. 
The same year she was elected to the Senate...
Kamala D. Harris is a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader. Elected in 2016, she is the second African American woman in history to be elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first African American and first woman to serve as Attorney General of the state of California.
"Pentagon review could help veterans shed ‘bad paper’ discharges linked to trauma" was the headline on Stars and Stripes December 2016

The Defense Department announced Friday that it is reviewing and potentially upgrading the discharge status of veterans who might have been improperly discharged for reasons related to post-traumatic stress syndrome, sexual orientation, sexual assault and other circumstances.
“With today’s announcement, the department is reaffirming its intention to review and potentially upgrade the discharge status of all individuals that are eligible and that apply,” a Pentagon news release said.

The announcement comes a week after President Barack Obama signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a bipartisan provision to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less-than-honorable discharge due to bad behavior arising from mental trauma, such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury.

Such discharges, also called “bad paper” discharges, often arise from minor misconduct — such as being late — and other behaviors that are linked to trauma-related conditions. Veterans with less-than-honorable discharges are ineligible for certain benefits.
read it here

After 2 tours of duty, veteran Marine faces death as detainee

'I refuse to die in here': the marine who survived two tours and is now fighting deportation

The Guardian
by Sam Levin in Adelanto, California
September 7, 2019

However bureaucratic challenges mean some immigrant service members don’t complete it, and under the Trump administration, a series of changes have made the process even harder. Some also mistakenly believe citizenship is automatic, advocates say. When immigrant veterans who haven’t been naturalized are convicted of certain felonies, they can then be deported.
Jose Segovia Benitez, a US Marine Corps veteran, is being detained in an Ice facility. Photograph: Damon Casarez/The Guardian

In his 21 months of detention, Jose Segovia Benitez says he’s been denied critical treatment for his PTSD and heart condition

Jose Segovia Benitez survived two tours of duty with the US Marine Corps, a bomb blast, and a traumatic brain injury.

But the US is not helping him recover. On the contrary, the government may be leading him to his death.

Segovia is currently imprisoned at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detention center in Adelanto, California where he says he is being denied critical medical and mental health care. The 38-year-old veteran is facing deportation to El Salvador, a country he left when he was three years old and where his loved ones fear he could be killed.

“I’m not going to die here. I refuse to die here,” Segovia said on a recent morning, wearing a red jail uniform and seated in a cramped room with no windows to the outside.

During his 21 months of detention in the southern California facility, Ice has failed to provide adequate care for Segovia’s serious heart condition, denied him proper treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and repeatedly placed him in isolation, according to the former marine and his lawyers. The consequences, they fear, could be fatal.

Segovia is one of fifteen current detainees who filed a federal lawsuit against Ice last month alleging medical neglect and horrific conditions that rise to the level of “torture”. He is also one of the estimated thousands of veterans who have faced deportation over the years despite their service to the country.
read it here

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

PTSD, suicide: ‘I didn’t care about my life or anyone else’s’ but now he does!

Alabama’s homeless veterans: PTSD, suicide: ‘I didn’t care about my life or anyone else’s’ 
By J.D. Crowe 
September 3, 2019
Homeless. Veteran. These two words don’t belong together. How could someone who is willing to die for our country wind up on the streets, kicked to the curb after their service? I’m on a mission to draw as many of Alabama’s homeless veterans as possible and let them tell their stories.
Anthony Rivers, Houston County
U.S. Air Force, ’79-‘83, Army National Guard

We met Anthony and more than 60 other veterans who are struggling with PTSD at a recent American Legion Veterans Retreat near Wetumpka, Alabama. There will be more stories to come from this retreat.

Anthony tells his story:
“After I got out of the Air force, I was doing pretty good – I thought I was. I felt good about doing my patriotic duty and I liked the military, so I joined the Army National Guard which kept me connected to the military lifestyle. Before I went into the military I didn’t drink or do drugs or anything like that. I was clean cut. But in the military, I began to indulge in drugs and alcohol.

“Things started happening to me – the way I thought, the way I treated my family, my sisters and brothers. I got divorced because of the way I began to change. I was initiating the type of discipline on my wife that I learned in the military. I didn’t see anything wrong – that was the way I had been taught. It caused problems and eventually she left me.

“After I joined the Army National Guard I got into some legal trouble and had to leave. I wound up doing time in the penal system. Having a criminal record, it was hard to get a job. So I went to a community college and made myself into an electrician.
read it here

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Florida creates more special pod for military veterans

Florida jail opens section just for military veterans

Tiffini Theisen
AUG 21, 2019
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., has championed the Tampa unit. "I'm very excited to see the commitment from all stakeholders as we work to improve how we identify and treat Veterans who are in need mental health services," he posted on his Facebook page in late July.
A jail in Florida this week became the latest to offer a special pod for military veterans.

"Veteran pods" are becoming an increasingly common part of jails nationwide as the criminal justice system focuses more on helping troubled former service members, who are more likely to have reported mental health issues, particularly PTSD. (Wikimedia Commons) A new housing unit is opening at the Falkenburg Road Jail near Tampa, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Tuesday

"They'll get treatment for mental health issues and drug addictions, lessons on how to gain employment and group sessions with fellow #vets who can relate to their concerns," the sheriff's office posted on its Facebook page. "The goal is to restore their pride and give them the tools to NOT end up back in jail."

Statewide, the Florida Veterans Support Line at 1-844-MyFLVet (693-5838) allows veterans and their loved ones to talk confidentially with someone trained to provide emotional support and connections to community resources.

In Orlando, the Orange County Corrections Department Armed Forces Dormitory opened in 2012. Its dorm employs guards who are also veterans or reservists. The program provides counseling, treatment and re-entry support for veterans. Those with violent or serious charges are not eligible.
read it here

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Heroes’ Mile is a for-profit recovery center?

New treatment center to be run for veterans, by veterans

West Volusia Beacon
Joe Crews
May 22, 2019
The 45-bed center, located at 2775 Big John Drive, is on 10 acres of secluded land. The center will offer a full range of inpatient and outpatient programs for veterans struggling with mental health and substance use.

RECOVERY HAPPENS HERE — Heroes’ Mile is a for-profit recovery center dedicated to helping veterans exclusively, with a full range of inpatient and outpatient programs for veterans struggling with mental health and substance use. PHOTO COURTESY OGLETHORPE INC.
Heroes’ Mile Veteran Recovery and Transition Center, a for-profit recovery center dedicated to helping veterans exclusively, with programs developed for veterans and services delivered by veterans, is having a grand-opening event Friday, May 31, at its facility on Big John Drive, east of DeLand.

Guest speakers will include U.S. Rep. (U.S. Army, retired) Michael Waltz of the 6th Congressional District of Florida; U.S. Rep. (U.S. Army, retired) Brian Mast of the 18th Congressional District of Florida; Executive Director of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs (FDVA) and U.S. Army Capt. Danny Burgess; and Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood.

A full slate of events beginning at 3 p.m. will culminate just before 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting hosted by the West Volusia Regional Chamber of Commerce. A reception and tours will follow from 5 to 7 p.m.

As a patient-centric center, Heroes’ Mile follows veterans through recovery and into a new, healthy way of living. Unlike other recovery centers, Heroes’ Mile not only treats addiction but also treats invisible wounds such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST).

The Heroes’ Mile facility is owned and managed by Oglethorpe Inc., a national hospital-management company headquartered in Tampa. The company has recovery and behavioral health centers in Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, Texas and Nevada, according to its website. All of them treat veterans, but Heroes’ Mile is the only one dedicated solely to treating veterans.

read more here

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Other than honorable way to treat combat veterans

Lawmakers demand change after KING 5 reveals VA fumble left veterans without help

KING 5 News
Author: Taylor Mirfendereski
May 21, 2019
Members of Congress who championed a 2018 law that increases access to mental health care for veterans say the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hasn't done enough to implement it.

SEATTLE — Several current and former members of Congress who championed a 2018 law that makes a vulnerable group of veterans eligible for mental health care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are calling for change after a KING 5 story revealed the VA mishandled the program's roll out.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said Tuesday that she's concerned about the VA's failure to reach other-than-honorable veterans who qualify for mental health treatment under the law, which Congress passed in March 2018 to reduce suicides among the group of veterans who previously were largely ineligible for care.

"Obviously I am not happy with how the VA has implemented the law," said Murray, who co-sponsored the legislation. "It is their responsibility. It is our responsibility for oversight, which we are following this very closely on."

Nationwide, less than one percent of veterans with other-than-honorable discharges received mental health treatment at the VA last year, according to data provided by a VA spokeswoman.

Congress set a 180-day deadline for the VA to notify eligible veterans about the change, but it took the agency nearly a year after the law passed to make direct contact with veterans who qualified for care.
read more here

And what type of veteran is included in all of this?

'The Army Broke Him'
SHELTON -- Kord Ball dug out his wrinkled Army uniform from a pile of clothes inside his Shelton trailer.

And for the first time in months, the disheveled staff sergeant mustered up the energy to shave and get a haircut.

That September 2018 morning was one of Ball's last days in the U.S. Army, after a decorated 10-year military career. But the 27-year-old didn't leave the service on good terms.

Army leaders at Joint Base Lewis McChord kicked Ball out of the service for misconduct because he failed a drug test for marijuana. He received an other-than-honorable discharge, which strips away his right to access veteran benefits, including long-term health care from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

But records show the behavior that got Ball in trouble was directly related to his diagnosed anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder -- medical conditions brought on by his military service. And now, the veteran doesn't have a right to access the long-term medical benefits he needs to heal.
read more here

If you were kicked out instead of helped to heal, tell your story so that this BS stops! The only way they get away with treating those who serve like this is to remain silent!

#BreakTheSilence and #TakeBackYourLife

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

National Guard veteran hanged himself Friday in the Cuyahoga County Jail

Medical Examiner: National Guard vet hanged himself in Cuyahoga County Jail
By Adam Ferrise
Posted May 13, 2019
Colbert spent two days in general population at the downtown jail and was moved Friday morning to a cluster of cell’s specifically for veterans. He hanged himself about 2:30 p.m.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner on Monday confirmed that a National Guard veteran hanged himself Friday in the Cuyahoga County Jail.
Nicholas Colbert, 36, died Friday in the Cuyahoga County Jail. He was a National Guard veteran.
Nicholas Colbert’s death was ruled a suicide, a medical examiner spokesman said in a statement. No other information was released.
Colbert served in the National Guard overseas and struggled with heroin addiction in the decade or so since his return, his family told
read more here

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

VA caused empty beds at homeless veterans shelter?

SLC Housing Authority sends demand letter to VA, saying building to house homeless veterans had vacant beds for years

FOX 13 News
Taylor Hartman
January 1, 2019
SALT LAKE CITY — The Housing Authority of Salt Lake City issued a demand letter to the local Veteran Affairs office Monday, stating that the department needed to change policies that left beds at a property built for homeless veterans vacant for years.
The housing authority said in their letter that the VA should replace their staff with the non-profit First Step House, an organization based in Salt Lake City that specializes in addiction recovery.
In the letter, the housing authority said the high vacancy at Valor House caused extreme cuts in funding for the facility:
“The mix of regulatory barriers to tenancy put in place by the local VA caused this property to average over 30% vacancy for the past several years—a total of approximately 11,000 empty bed nights at a time when many veterans are struggling on the street or in substandard living conditions. This high vacancy rate led to extreme cuts in HASLC’s federal grant funding for the facility, causing a deficit of over $100,000 per year and almost $1 million to date.  Until now, this loss has been covered by HASLC using funds taken from other housing programs in order to prevent the veterans who did manage to get placed at Valor House from becoming homeless again.”
The housing authority said local VA staff controlled all tenant screenings and selection decisions, and routinely screened out applicants.
“For the applicants that did get housed, the local VA staff were rewarded with bonuses in pay for each veteran quickly relocated out from the property to other types of housing, a policy that incentivized rejection of veteran applicants stigmatized from past drug or alcohol addiction, and other conditions that could make rapid placement in other housing more difficult,” the letter said.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Sailor in birthday suit arrested romping in Busch Gardens?

Naked, drunk sailor assaults police officer in Busch Gardens parking lot, cops say

The News and Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) (TNS)
Published: October 15, 2018

Videos posted to social media on Friday captured something you wouldn’t expect to find outside a family-friendly theme park.
In a Facebook post, Brandon Ragans said a naked man was running around a parking lot at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., “attempting to get in a vehicle with strangers.”

“A citizen put him on the curb then once the officer showed up he became combative and had to be tased,” Ragans wrote.

A naked man can be seen in one of the videos laying on the pavement and resisting a police officer’s attempt to restrain him. Bystanders then jump in to help hold the man down, the video shows.

It turns out the 21-year-old sailor was intoxicated on alcohol and illegal drugs, Richmond television station WWBT first reported.
read more here

Thursday, October 11, 2018

UK researchers find rise in PTSD among Army Veterans

PTSD among army veterans on the rise finds study

News Medical
Ananya Mandal MD
October 8, 2018

A new study has found that there is a rise of post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) among those who have served the army and military over the past decade. The study reveals that most of the personnel who have been witness to active combat were among those who reported with symptoms of PTSD and 17 percent of these individuals were diagnosed with PTSD.
Image Credit: Emily C. McCormick / Shutterstock
The authors say the lack of support after leaving the army and the natural course of PTSD that manifests much later after the actual events have occurred could be the probable reasons behind these rising instances. The study results were published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

The study by a team of researchers at the King’s College, London, included around 9,000 veterans and found that there is a rising awareness regarding PTSD and this is caused a rise in number of individuals seeking treatment for this condition. The number of diagnosed cases of PTSD was 4 percent in 2004-05 and it has risen to 6 percent in 2014-16 finds the study. The incidence of PTSD was 17 percent among those who were engaged in active combat roles in Afghanistan or Iraq and 6 percent of the cases were seen among those who were engaged in supporting roles such as aircrew and medical personnel at the battlefields.

According to lead author, Dr Sharon Stevelink, from the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College, this is the first study that shows that the veterans who have been deployed in combat roles are at great risk of PTSD and these numbers are greater than those who are still serving. She said that one in three of the veterans have been engaged in active combat.

This study, Stevelink explained is the third phase of a major study that began since 2003. This phase looked at veterans in 2014 to 2016 and found that 62 percent of these persons were deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq and were of an average age of around 40 years. Anxiety and depressive illness rates were around 22 percent among these veterans found the study and the authors noted that alcohol abuse reduced from 15 percent to 10 percent over these years.
read more here

Friday, August 3, 2018

From Black Hawk Down to Orlando VA, veteran fights to save lives

This ‘Black Hawk Down’ special operator is still fighting, but on a different front
Army Times
By: Neil Fotre
August 2, 2018
“I’ve lost almost as many friends to substance abuse in the form of overdose deaths or death by suicide coupled with substance abuse disorders than those lost in war.” Dr. Norman Hooten

“It’s about the men next to you. And that’s it. That’s all it is.”
Norman Hooten, bottom right, is pictured with other special operations soldiers in Somalia. (Courtesy photo)
That line in Ridley Scott’s acclaimed movie “Black Hawk Down” is holding true for one of the U.S. military’s most fabled special operators.

The real-life Delta Force operator who went by “Hoot,” and who was portrayed by Eric Bana in the movie, today fights a three-pronged enemy that continues to plague troops and veterans: post traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and substance abuse.

Almost 25 years after the infamous Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, which led to the “Black Hawk Down” book and movie, retired Master Sgt. Norman Hooten is now Dr. Norman Hooten.

Hooten is a full-time health care provider at the Orlando VA Medical Center. And he has first-hand experience with the effects of war, including a platoon sergeant he had known early in his career who died by suicide after struggling with PTSD and substance abuse.
read more here

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Veterans Court turning lives around...and saving them

Court program helps turn troubled vets’ lives around
Group State
By Bob Montgomery
Staff Writer
Posted May 19, 2018

Marine veteran Jason Moore has seen what war can do to a young soldier, and he’s committed to helping those in trouble with the law turn their lives around.
“You’re taking a guy with a hiccup and giving him a second chance,” he said of Upstate Warrior Solution’s Veterans Treatment Court program, which kicked off last year with a $20,000 grant from the United Way of the Piedmont.

With the victims’ consent, the court program assigns veterans who commit nonviolent offenses to an advocate, or mentor, who pleads on their behalf.

Instead of going to jail, they go through a treatment program and are held accountable along the way. When they finish, up to a year later, they have their charges expunged.

“Veterans who served should never be underserved in our community,” said Heather Witt, vice president of community impact for the United Way.

An estimated 100,000 veterans live in the Upstate. Upstate Warrior Solution also helps run the Greenville court program, which started in 2014.

The pilot program was brought to the 7th Judicial Circuit and led by Deputy Solicitor Derrick Bulsa and Circuit Court Judge Keith Kelly.
read more here

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ex-Homeless Veteran Reaches Back For Others

Formerly Homeless Veteran Hits Streets to Help Others Get Back on Their Feet
The Chronicle
By Aaron Kunkler
December 9, 2016 Just like the folks he now serves, Lamont Grodeck used to be homeless.
Lamont Grodeck, who runs his own veteran-based homeless outreach called American Pride Associates, sorts through clothes as he helps a needy person find extra warm clothes for a cold week ahead on Wednesday evening at the Centralia Train Station.
Pete Caster
As he stood outside the Centralia Train Depot on a cold Wednesday afternoon, he scanned for familiar faces as people walked past the transit center. Grodeck runs his own veteran-based homeless outreach called American Pride Associates, and he said working from that angle, as a veteran, he understands homelessness presents its own challenges for those who have served.

“We’re too damn proud to ask for help,” he said.
Grodeck, his wife and son comprise his outreach and head down to the station every Wednesday with a large tote container he calls “Monty’s Box.” It’s packed with items like socks, razors, gloves, hats, Bibles, sleeping bags and more. He’ll set it up and wait for people to come by, where he’ll offer them some essentials and conversation.
read more here

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Soldier Took 12 Steps, Then Ran to Help Others

Soldier stays sober with 12 steps
Fort Campbell Courier
by Leejay Lockhart, Courier staff
Dec 8, 2016
“Soldiers who go to treatment they’ll clean up. They’ll be stellar, but as soon as you step out of treatment, you have no tools to use to keep you sober in the real world. That’s what recovery is. There is a difference and a lot of people don’t understand.” Sgt. Kristin Cloyd
When Sgt. Kristin Cloyd, a motor transport operator, assigned to A Company, 526th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, was in high school she started drinking at parties.

It did not take long before she started increasing the amount of alcohol she drank.

“My junior year of high school I started drinking a whole lot more,” Cloyd said. “Instead of every weekend, it was lets try to see if I can drink at school. Let me try to see if I can drink on weeknights before school.”

Before long her drinking caused the high school athlete to give up both basketball and volleyball, but because she maintained her grades, her life might have seemed normal to many of those people around her.

When she was still 17 she met an Army recruiter who convinced her to join the Reserves as a motor transport operator. Cloyd committed to becoming a Soldier in 2009 with the primary job duty of driving military vehicles over a variety of roads and terrain. Yet before she left for basic training, the police in California charged her with driving under the influence as a minor.

She was in the beginning stages of alcoholism and her life began to spin out of control. During basic training, she hurt her leg and ended up on pain medication. This added to her substance abuse problems.

At advanced individual training, the cadre discovered alcohol in her wall locker, which was a violation of her AIT’s zero tolerance policy. Part of her punishment included meeting with her commander who asked Cloyd if she wanted to remain in the Reserves.
read more here

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Veteran Forced Out of PTSD-Rehab Committed Suicide At Alvin York VA

Friends: Soldier who took his life outside VA is tragic example of vets desperate for help
FOX 17 News
"My only three options now or go back to jail, be homeless or check myself into the psych ward they knew the extent of my problems with PTSD depression,” Toombs says in the video.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WZTV) -- Friends say a soldier who took his life before Thanksgiving is a tragic example of veterans desperate for help.

Authorities found the soldier's body on the Alvin York campus in Murfreesboro where he'd been recently discharged from a drug treatment program.

Veterans helping veterans as the Military Vets Motorcycle Club is camping for 48 hours.
read more here

From YouTube
My friend John Toombs last testament before he committed suicide after the VA refused to help him. Justice For Toombs

Monday, August 29, 2016

VA Reports Attempted Suicides Went Up Too

Before more people decide to raise awareness without reading the report like they did the last time, here is the link to the VA Suicide Report.

Veteran Suicide Facts and Data

But while we're talking about it, notice a few facts. Notice the number of attempted suicides and then notice the numbers in the charts below along with seeing how not much has changed. How about you make folks aware of that fact?

A history of non-fatal suicide attempts is recognized to be among the most robust risk factors for suicide.

Among VHA patients, reports of suicide attempt can be identified through review of external injury codes associated with health services (i.e., obtained from medical records) or from the Suicide Prevention applications Network (SPAN), VHA’s internal suicide event case management and tracking system. As shown in Figure 5, monthly reports of non-fatal suicide attempts based on SPAN data increased between 2012 and 2014, ranging from just over 600 reported attempts in May 2012 to almost 900 in August 2014.

VHA’s health care system includes an increasing number of patients with factors, such as a history of suicide attempts, associated with risk for suicide

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Message From Veteran's Mom After Funeral "Don't give up on them"

Family lays loved one to rest, hopes to spread awareness of addiction
Your Erie
By Jaclyn Seymour
Published 08/27 2016

"There are many people struggling and it's a vicious cycle. And they need help, they all need help. And I would advise families to not give up on them because no one hates themselves more than the addict does." Diane Robinson
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and drug addition affects millions of men, women and soldiers every day.

One family buried their loved one Saturday - Justin Hoffman Robinson - who lost his life due to both.

Escorted by the Patriot Guard riders, 31-year-old Robinson was laid to rest Saturday at the Erie Cemetary by his military brothers.

Robinson passed away from an accidental overdose on heroin.

Robinson joined the U.S. Army National Guard after graduating high school.

He volunteered to serve two tours in Iraq, and almost a third, after 9/11.

Staff Sergeant Troy Lallemand says, "He always had the values set first honor, loyalty both to his country, his community and his friends and family."

But when he returned home, the battle wasn't over.

Robinson suffered severe PTSD and addiction to heroin, but his mother says he just recently completed a PTSD program and made great progress.
read more here

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Combat Medic Vietnam Veteran Grateful for Veterans Court

Vet court grad: 'I'm ready to embrace life'
Livingston Daily
Lisa Roose-Church
August 19, 2016

Brig. Gen. Michael McDaniel said the court is “building a new cycle” for the veterans, and it is unique to other specialty courts.
Judge Carol Sue Reader presents U.S. Army veteran John M. a certificate and coin celebrating his graduation from the 53rd District Court's Veterans Treatment Court. Graduate Aron B., a U.S. Army veteran, waits his turn.
(Photo: Lisa Roose-Church/Livingston Daily)
John M., who spent “many years” sober, found himself standing before a judge — charged with and eventually convicted of driving drunk.

“To this day, I haven’t had a drop to drink since I was caught on that November over a year ago,” he said to thunderous applause. “I’m ready to embrace a life without any type of drug or alcohol.”

It was a sentiment echoed by the three other men, who along with John, were the inaugural graduates of the 53rd District Court Veterans Treatment Court. They were recognized during a ceremony held at the historic Livingston County Courthouse on Grand River Avenue in downtown Howell.

John, a U.S. Army combat medic during the Vietnam War, said he was able to use the court’s services to identify his emotional problems and address those as well as his drinking.

“I love my country, and I’d do it again,” he said about his service. “We’re fortunate to have a court system that bent over backward to help us guys. Thank God it’s here.”
read more here

Flagler County Florida Wants Veterans Court Option For True Justice

Flagler County eyes court option for troubled veterans
Daytona Beach News Journal
Matt Bruce
August 19, 2016

Buffalo, New York introduced the concept to the U.S. when it implemented the first veterans court in the country in January 2008. That circuit billed its diversionary treatment model as a “hybrid drug and mental health court” designed specifically to help veterans struggling with addiction and/or mental illness
BUNNELL — Flagler County officials are seeking to establish a special court aimed at helping military veterans who run afoul of the law.

Flagler County commissioners overwhelmingly favored the idea of establishing a veterans court after listening to a presentation by Palm Coast resident Ed Fuller and congressional staffer Randy Stapleford during a Monday afternoon workshop inside the Government Services Building in Bunnell. Each of the four commissioners said they supported the idea.

“As a county, we need to set the example for our veterans that they are welcome in Flagler County and we will take care of them,” said Commissioner George Hanns, a Vietnam War veteran. “So many of them have problems. Post-traumatic stress is a terrible thing … It’s very important. I think it’s a great program.”

Despite unanimous support from county commissioners, the plan to implement a veterans court in Flagler has hurdles to clear. Stapleford, who identified himself as a military and veterans coordinator for U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis' office, told the commission that 7th Circuit Chief Judge Terrence Perkins would likely determine the court’s fate in Flagler County.

Sal Rutigliano, the county's veterans services officer, also attended Monday’s workshop and indicated there are nearly 13,000 veterans in Flagler County. Stapleford said Volusia has about 56,000 and St. Johns has close to 20,000 vets.
read more here
Also if you want to know why this is such a great idea, 
Jacksonville veteran praises drug court program for changing his life