Fort Hood held a very special graduation in honor of three veterans who were the first to finish a new VETS program they now offer. The graduation was held at the III Corps Headquarters Building and had the support of Fort Hood leaders and Killeen City Council members. The program is called "Veterans Endeavor for Treatment and Support" or VETS for short helps veterans stay out of the courtroom and turn their lives around.
VETS was launched in early 2016, and after a year of being in motion, it has already started to get attention from other districts. It provides a veteran who is transitioning back to civilian life with a diagnosed mental health or substance abuse disorder the opportunity to avoid a federal conviction. Veterans must stick with this program for 12 to 18 months in order to graduate.
Fort Hood was honored to have Senator John Cornyn as the commencement speaker and Cornyn says he was honored to be invited and is all for this program.
"I'm going to take what I've learned here today back with me to Washington to make sure that this example can be duplicated in military bases around the country," Sen. Cornyn said.
Lindsey Jones is one of the three veterans to finish this program, and she said it has helped her tremendously.
"I was very anxious, very nervous and I didn't know what to expect," Jones said. "But after coming into the program and meeting everybody, my whole attitude just changed, and I was immediately at ease, and they help guide me to exactly where I needed to be today."
Carlos Fields also graduated with Jones and says that before this program he felt like he was alone and with the help of his mentor and support team, he was able to overcome it.
As a result of finishing this program, the charges filed against each of these veterans in 2016 have been dismissed. For more information on this program click here.
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