Veterans Court honors newest Grayson County graduates
SHERMAN, Texas (KTEN) — Five Grayson County veterans were celebrated by friends and family for Friday for completing the North Texas Regional Veterans Court program.
"You can see it in their eyes; you can hear it in their voice; and you can feel it in their heart: They're healed," said Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith.
Some veterans struggle transitioning from their military service to the civilian world; some revert to the use of alcohol or drugs, and as a result, some end up in the criminal justice system.
"We have anybody from Class B misdemeanors — which is on the lower level of the crime — to first-degree felonies, in some cases," said presiding Judge John Roach, who comes to court wearing a camouflage robe.
The North Texas Veterans Court provides the treatment needed for these veterans.
"It is a lot harder than regular probation," Smith said. "They may go into drug treatment; they may go into lockdown programs if they violate. It's a really tough program."
Although the road to recovery for the veterans may be hard, they're not alone in their journeys.
"I tell them I am not carrying them through the program. I'm not going to drag them through the program. I'm going to walk with them every step of the way, and so is my staff," Roach said.
And if participants successfully complete the Veterans Court program, any criminal charges will be wiped away... as they were for the veterans who graduated on Friday.
"I signed an order just moments ago ordering any government agency that ever touched their case to destroy their records," Roach said.
The veterans honored on Friday will now have clean civilian records to match their honorable service records in the military.