Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gold Coast Veteran's Foundation & Military Connections

Sunday afternoon I drove to Camarillo to participate in the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation's Reception honoring Judge Toy White.  As soon as I arrived I was embraced by Debbie Gregory of Military Connection, after a few moments felt like we were old friends as we have many acquaintances in common.  Through the course of the evening, I learned a lot about the Veteran's Court in Ventura County and how imperative it is to the long term welfare of our Veteran's.

The Veterans Court is a coordinated effort of the Ventura Superior Court, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the County of Ventura Offices of the District Attorney, Public Defender, and Probation Agency. Under California Penal Code section 1170.9, defendants eligible for this court are United States military veterans who would otherwise be sentenced to county jail or state prison and who committed a criminal offense as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, or psychological problem stemming from U.S. military service. Eligibility is determined by a careful screening process designed to protect the community, verify veteran status and determine amenability to treatment. Admission to the program requires the unanimous approval of the judge, District Attorney and VA representative.

Judge White was the sweetest most humble award recipient choosing to thank all of those involved in bringing the Veteran's Court to fruition, her current staff and her very important guest, her family.  Her husband, retired Navy, her son a Marine and her Nephew a Marine who returned from Afghanistan just a few weeks ago.  Judge White is a true inspiration having started in the DA's office as a budding Defense Attorney just looking to gain information on how to beat the prosecution before she realized where her passion was. 

I look forward to participating in additional events with both the Gold Coast Veteran's Foundation and Military Connection. 

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