Sunday, May 22, 2016

Iraq Veteran Got Reason to Change in Indiana Veterans Court Program

Veterans Treatment Court saves 'tornado of self destruction'
Northwest Indiana Times
Joyce Russell
May 21, 2016

“I was a tornado of self-destruction,” Israel Toledo
PORTAGE — For the first time in a long time Israel Toledo cares — about himself, his family and their future.

“I never saw my drinking, my anger, my aggressiveness as an issue,” said Toledo, 33, of Merrillville.

He didn’t care about being arrested for driving under the influence. Toledo said he had about six arrests under his belt and knew he’d end up with a slap on the wrist. He didn’t care, at the time, about how those arrests and his behavior affected his family.

“I was a tornado of self-destruction,” said Toledo, a U.S. Army veteran who participated in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

That was until his last arrest, in Porter County.

“I understood I had a problem, but I didn’t feel I had the tools to deal with the problem. They talk to you and get to the bottom of the BS,” said Toledo, adding the program also holds the participants accountable.

Now, he says, he can look himself and his parents in the eye, thanks to the court giving him a chance to start over clean and sober.

“It gives you a reason to change,” said Toledo. “I discovered me.”
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