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.”
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