Veterans Being Honored Across the Country
The Veteran Treatment Court opened in Warwick, RI, five years ago. The program was developed to help struggling veterans avoid prison time and help them get on the right track.
According to the Military Times, William Delaney, a former marine, suffered from alcoholism and depression and was in and out of courts battling DUI convictions for a few years before taking part in the VTC program.
Delaney is now a mentor for other veterans and is working toward earning his master’s degree in social work.
“We judge ourselves really harshly in addition to how the court judges us because of how far we’ve fallen,” Delaney said. “It’s just devastating.”
Chief District Judge Jeanne E. LaFazia credits the court for giving struggling individuals the tools to change their lives.
“By the time you get someone in here,” LaFazia said, “they are often at rock bottom. You’re helping them rebuild themselves. It’s a remarkable difference.”
Wholly 81% of elders cite good health as the most important aspect of their retirement. As for these veterans, they are happy just to get their lives back, and their health is improving because of it.
“I wasn’t the lost, drunk person,” Delaney added. “I could be something better again. That was the life-changing moment.”
The VTC has graduation ceremonies for all veterans who complete the treatment program.
More than 2,000 miles away in Spokane, WA, veterans are being honored another way.
“Earlier today we had a Vietnam family here and a child drew a photo for their grandfather and put it underneath the paver,” Nicole Thomas, of the Washington State Fallen Heroes Project, said.
According to KHQ, bricks were laid into the Walk of Remembrance for fallen veterans in Washington in late May. Families were able to purchase empty spaces and write whatever they wish to honor their loved ones.
“It’s beautiful to see everyone come out in one place,” Thomas added.
Thomas, along with the Washington State Fallen Heroes Project, wants to continue to remember every fallen veteran in the way that their own family remembers them.
“It’s important to the families,” Thomas said. “Everybody has a different story.”