TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — From serving our country to serving time. Some military veterans don’t come back whole and sometimes end up in our judicial system.
“The main areas that we are seeing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, brain injuries from road side bombs, alcohol abuse and military sexual trauma are some of the issues we see. Because of these underlying conditions, sometimes we can show a connection between that and the criminal action that occurred,” said DJ Reyes who is the senior mentor program coordinator for Hillsborough County’s 13th Judicial Veterans Treatment Court.
It’s a national program that Reyes volunteered to launch in Hillsborough County four years ago.
“We get them the treatment they need, we help them with community service hours, we help them with their post 911 education – we even help them get employment,” said Reyes.
Reyes is a retired colonel who served in active duty for 33 years in the United States Army.
He knows first hand how lucky he is to have made it back alive and able to live a whole life in the civilian world.
Reyes said that many veterans need help with day-to-day needs and for someone to believe in them, which helps guide them onto a productive path after serving in the military. Reyes wants to be a rock for veterans who need help.
“If I have a chance to help others like me a fellow veteran get whole again, then I’m going to do it,” Reyes said.
If the VA can link issues that developed while our military members served in active duty, veterans are eligible for Veterans Treatment Court and Reyes explains most get through the program successfully and thrive both personally and with their careers.
If you would like to volunteer to be a military member contact DJ Reyes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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