“When I came home [from war], I was a wreck. I couldn’t sleep. I had nightmares and then, drug abuse,” Lance shares.
Like many veterans, it was difficult for Lance to acclimate back into the civilian life. As a way to cope with his personal battles, Lance turned to drugs and alcohol that led to a life of pure destruction.
“I got arrested and I ended up getting probation,” Lance explained. “It was a series of events that led up to going into Veterans Court.”
Veterans Treatment Court, established in February 2015, is a collaborative effort between Volunteers of America North Louisiana, Caddo District Court, Veterans Affairs Office, and State Probation and Parole.
Presiding Judge Craig Marcotte explains, “Veterans Court is a program to help veterans that have had issues with the law. It helps them with getting a job, housing, their records clean, charges expunged and getting them back on track.” Today, Lance has graduated Veterans Treatment Court and he is moving forward with his life.
He shares, “I don’t think there’s really any greater gift that I could’ve received from Volunteers of America more than life being returned, restored to order. I’ve been sober over a year today. To me, it’s a big deal.” Since Veterans Treatment Court began four years ago, 16 veterans have successfully graduated.