SPECIAL COURT FOCUSES ON VETS IN CRISIS
For veterans like Jonathan Croshaw, who spent years in war-torn countries fighting for our freedoms here in the US, coming home presented a new battle.
Like so many other veterans, Croshaw suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has admitted to turning to alcohol to cope.
A DWI led Croshaw to Galveston County’s Veteran Treatment Court, which focuses on reintegrating veterans into life as civilians.
“It’s very hard to adapt to civilian life,” Croshaw said. “I think [the program] it’s a life changing experience, I will never drink and drive again. I’ll be the man I am now even better and strive for success from now on.”
It’s a cause Judge Henry is passionate about.
“I don’t think they get treated well when they get out,” Henry said. “When I retired from the Air Force no one gave me any direction of where to seek services, I didn’t need them but if I did I wouldn’t have known where to go.”
Counties throughout the US offer veteran treatment court services but Judge Henry said Galveston County’s is the first one completely run by veterans.
“We were the first team that was 100 percent veterans on the court,” Henry said, “from coordinator, to the judge, to the bailiff, everybody.”
Samuel Alix is one of the programs mentors, he volunteers his time every other week to help veterans work on the underlying causes of their issues.
“I’m honored for the opportunity with Judge Henry to be part of helping these men improve their lives,” Alix said.
Judge Henry said the feedback has been positive. He said he’s even received letters from graduates, saying the program saved their lives.
“They’re happy to come to court, we’ve offered excused absences and they come anyway, they want to be here,” Henry said. “We have a different kind of participation issue than other courts, where they don’t show up for those settings; people come here that don’t have to be here.”
For more information on Galveston County’s Veteran Treatment Court, please call (409) 766-2244.