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True Stories

Veterans Treatment Court Held True to Their Oaths

It is universally accepted that no matter who you are, rich or poor, old or young, privileged or otherwise, that one will inevitably face not one, but often a series of difficult situations in life. Often, when hard times befall us, two crucial elements can mean the difference between overcoming an obstacle or being crushed under its weight - Will power and a strong network of supports. In regards to the latter, there are countless points in my own life that, without the intervention of caring individuals, the outcomes would have surely left me broken, discouraged, and lost. One particular situation occurred while I was participating in the Veterans Treatment Program. After a criminal offense, I was facing possible jail time and a conviction on my record that would have undoubtedly had serious negative consequences for many years to come. The Veterans Treatment Court offered me the opportunity to not only avoid jail, but supported lifting the offense from my record upon completion. I was hesitant to accept, and little did I know then, that when I finally chose to participate in this new unique program. I would set out on a journey of personal reform that would change my life forever.

I had been participating in the program for well over a year, and while the road to that point was, at times rocky, I had made great progress, and was nearing completion of the program. And while things were going well in court, at home my world was quickly crumbling beneath me. A financial hardship had left my family deep in debt, and facing imminent eviction. Pride kept me silent for a long time as I struggled, in vane, to dig myself free from the hole I found my family and myself in. It wasn't until one day before my eviction that, reluctantly, I decided to inform the Friends of the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court of my situation. I was unsure, of what if anything could be done, and, in all honesty, I wasn’t really sure as to why I had called at all. But I remembered the promise of the program, their devotion to veterans, I remember hearing time and again, from each member on the treatment panel, that if we, as participants, had a problem to bring it up; that by communicating with the team of supports, the would do all they could to help the veteran in resolving whatever matter that may come up. I took the leap of faith.

Upon hearing plight, The Friends of the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court were quick to jump into action on my behalf. My landlord was immediately contacted after my phone call. Contact was made with the mentor coordinator for the courts and a prominent military veteran, and together they worked on a solution. In barely more than an hour, with the aid of The Veterans Treatment Court and its supporters, the Friends of the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court found a way to not just give us more time in our home, but collected enough funds to pay the remaining balance on my back rent. To say I was merely grateful would be a gross understatement.

At a time when I had seemingly exhausted all resources, the Veterans Treatment Court held true to their oath to serve the veterans, and with no other motive than to serve those who have served. While my time with the program is now over, I remain forever grateful for the men and woman of the Veterans Treatment Court have done for not just myself, but those before me and will continue to do for those who are to come. Grateful for their involvement in such an innovative and remarkable program, designed with our veterans and communities in mind. I am grateful for their compassion, their devotion to their fellow man, and their dedication to a program that does, and shall change lives for the better. And last, but most sentimental to me, I am grateful for their belief in me, and helping to restore my belief in myself.

To the members of the Veterans Treatment Court, its supporters and mentors, I would like to express my sincerest thanks, on behalf of myself the other graduates, and the graduates to come.

Veterans Court Associates

I would like to explain how the Veterans Court treatment program helped change my life. Before veterans court my life was a downward spiral filled with alcoholism, no future goals, no career and an unhealthy straining relationship. That all led up to my reckless accident where I was too intoxicated to remember, but luckily no one was hurt and that led me to the Judge of the Veterans Court program. Throughout the program I wasn't treated as another number in a line for probation I was actually treated as a person and the Judge recognizes that the people in her program need help, instead of paying the fines and moving on. She treats every person in the program as if they were one of her own, this, along with the guidance and the addiction/ mental treatment programs she imposes (she almost instinctively knows what type of help a person needs) make the Veteran Court treatment program a very successful endeavor. The mentors in the court are all veterans and add comradely and esprit de corps to the veterans based on the same ideologies used in the military. I felt very motivated by my peers in the program and all the supporting associates to be the best I could be and better myself, in doing so I found out my role as a leader was to help other struggling veterans in the program. I had many occasions where I was able to lend a hand to another veteran in the program and through the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous was able to extend my leadership roles to suffering alcoholics in need. Now that I have been through the program I am happy with where I am at in my life. I have more goals than I can count, an incredible career position, I started school again (recently finished my 1st semester of college!!), have good friends that I met throughout my time in the program and fell in love with the girl of my dreams. All of this wouldn't have been possible without the enormous amount of support and motivation I received from the Veterans Court program and team. I would like to thank everyone that supported and encouraged me throughout this hardship, undoubtedly you all helped me to become the better person and leader I always wanted to be. To all current members of the program; it's not the hardships that define a person, but how you deal or react to them. Have a wonderful day and god bless.

Regaining Life

As a participant in Veterans Court I was helped in many ways. I was assisted both financial, and through receiving benefits from Veterans Administration. Most importantly I was assisted in regaining life. I never knew what real happiness was until then.

I'm Greatful

I received assistance within hours of letting the Friends of the Macomb County Veterans Treatment Court know of my situation with a utility bill. I'm grateful for them.

Ready to give up

A Veteran that was experiencing difficulty with the demands of the treatment and change required to successfully complete the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court said: "I give up...I can't take this anymore..this is too difficult". He was experiencing a lot of growing pains. His Veteran Court treatment required him to look fearlessly and diligently at his life. The demands of the Veterans Treatment Court can be very rigorous at times. Expecting honest change to improve the Veteran's life and well-being. He was about to give up. His Veteran Mentor asked him to talk about it and he said that everything was becoming impossible. Between court, probation, community service, counseling, marriage, family, finances and work he was completely frustrated; not to mention his tires were completely worn to the metal threads and one had gone flat that day. The Veteran Mentors acted quickly and decided to find him some new tires from a local tire shop to alleviate some of the stress. They hoped the veteran would stay on course. The strategy worked, and worked beyond anything imagined. The Veteran graduated the program with honors and is now acting as a Veteran Mentor himself. Helping other Veterans in the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court and sharing his experiences with them. He often reminds his fellow Veteran Mentors how the new tires given to him was the turning point in his recovery and from that point he was sold on the importance of Veteran Mentor leadership.

Hopeless and Hungry

A Marine Veteran who served tours in Iraq stepped into his Veteran Mentors home. They had known each other since he started receiving treatment through the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court. The Veteran was looking for a role model and someone to pull him with a vision of hope. He found that and more. The Veteran Mentor asked the young man to join him for dinner. While they were eating the Veteran Mentor could not help but notice how fast the Veteran was eating his food. Alarmed and shocked, the Mentor asked his Veteran: "when was the last time you ate anything"? The Veteran said it had been three days. The Veteran was immediately assisted with an abundance of help. These facts are the bitter truth of what some of our Veterans are facing in our very own community. Poverty and hunger is a reality that can be found everywhere. This is why Veteran Mentors help other Veterans and the friends of the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court is there when crisis is occurring.

Faced with the choice of paying the rent or buying Christmas presents for his son

An Army Veteran in the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court was faced with a difficult choice that no one would want to make. Imagine the frustration and guilt on Christmas day when there are no presents because you had to make the responsible decision to provide shelter instead of buying gifts. This may seem far fetched, but it is actually very common. Fortunately, this story has a wonderful ending thanks to the efforts of the mentors at the North Oakland County Veterans Treatment Court. They were able to find help and assistance to provide gifts to the Veteran so his son could have a Christmas that all children dream about.

Veterans Treatment Court Provided Support

The gas cards that Veteran's Treatment Court provided are an important bonus to the veteran when trying to het your life on track and money is short, they provide an extra sense of caring and eases the financial burden we find ourselves in.

Veterans Treatment Court provides a needed and understanding arena in which to deal with problems that Veterans have found themselves in.

Veterans Court places the necessary resources and help for the veteran that has found themselves in legal trouble while still holding the veteran accountable for their actions. The Court provided any and all support programs available to the veteran while trying to help the veteran put their life back on track.