Thursday, December 10, 2015

San Diego Veterans Court Chance for Support System

VA Seeks To Aid Veterans Behind Bars
Program helps San Diego veteran turn life around
By Steve Walsh
December 9, 2015
“They found there is a gap between those who are in custody and those who are getting out,” Angela Simoneau, Veterans Justice Outreach specialist with the VA in San Diego. “Usually, when you’re released, it’s 'here’s a bus token figure out where you going to go.'”
Above: Marine veteran Shaun Tullar talks about his future after
jail from his room at Veterans Village San Diego, Nov. 16, 2015.
(Nov. 16, 2015, Steve Walsh/KPBS)
As part of the effort to end homelessness among veterans, the Veterans Administration has been going into the courts and the prison system, looking for vets who may have been left untreated, once they get out.

In August, Shaun Tullar was spending 90 days locked in the Vista Detention Facility in San Diego County. He joined the Marine Corp, hoping to turn around a cycle of drugs and alcohol that started when his mother died in 2003 — while he was in high school. For a while, the Marines Corp worked.

He was sober through a seven-month tour in Helmond province in Afghanistan, but he began drinking after he came back to Camp Pendleton. He went into a substance abuse treatment program on Point Loma, just prior to leaving the Marines.

“I felt very optimistic about the future. I had a lot of good things in place, however my support network wasn’t out here,” he said.

Then, on Jan. 20, 2012, one week after he left the Marines, he got a call from his sister.

“I got a phone call from my sister, found out my brother had died in Afghanistan,” he said.
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