USS HANCOCK CV/CVA-19 ASSOCIATION
From the Hannah News
President's Message - September 2014
Volume 32 - Number 2 - March 2019
Can Do - Do Now!
Hello Shipmates and Associate Members:
I have gotten myself involved as a Mentor" in a new program called "Veteran's Court" here in Michigan.
It is part of the County Court, and they have teamed up with Veterans Services, the Veteran's Administration (VA)
and several other supporting groups.
Many of our fellow brothers in arms have problems coping with life--some have closed head injuries, some PTSD,
and they get out of the service and cannot deal with day to day life. They often get into trouble with the law
as a result of drinking, drug abuse, anger management and such. When they get jail time for a non-felony charge,
they usually receive a two-year sentence.
If they are accepted for parole, we get them on a two-year probation, which is very strict. But they are able to
stay with their families, stay employed, can get therapy, medical help, and have the opportunity to pull their
lives back together. When guys get a two-year sentence, almost 50% end up back in jail again. This Veteran's Court
system has a 95% success rate because we don't give up on them. We give them the tools and they "heal themselves."
I usually get my clients mad from the start by saying, "The Army or the Corps didn't do this to you; you screwed
up and made bad choices. Think about your life so far. As a kid you had a support system, a bed to sleep in, a
meal, and a place to stay with your family. You go in the service, and now you have a bigger support group - you
always get fed (maybe not on time and as great as Mom's meals), but you could sleep knowing someone has your back.
Now the service lets you out saying, "OK, now be a civilian." You do not know how to do it. You have
never written a check, balanced a budget, rented an apartment. So now you are out, and you celebrate with a new
car, go out with the guys and get drunk, max out your credit card, do stupid things, and get in trouble with the
These guys are all good guys but just made some terrible mistakes. As a Mentor, my job is kind of like a Dutch
uncle. Many guys will not open up to the court, lawyers, or even the VA, but they will to another veteran. When
they get stressed, we meet with them over a cup of coffee, check that they are keeping their mandatory appointments,
going to AA meetings, drug testing, and such. We stand alongside them (as a backup partner) when they go before
the judge. Our reward is to see some real hardcore guys with major problems graduate after their two years
and successfully go on with their lives. It is so heartwarming to see them succeed, and it also helps me
deal with my service-related problems.
I challenge you all to get involved with a very worthwhile program that helps our fellow vets. Actual Court time
is about 2 hours on average every two weeks and some phone or coffee time with your client (Vet). Check
out your local court system or VA Services and get involved. I am sure some of us could have used
help like this ourselves.
Take care and have a great spring,
Fair Winds and Following Seas
Dennis Flynn, President, USS Hancock (CV-CVA-19 Association
Edition added 23 March 2019
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