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7 graduate from treatment program for veterans

veteran grad
Posted at 9:03 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-26 13:49:29-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A handful of local veterans are now healthier and happier after graduating from the Leon County Veterans Treatment Court.

The program helps keep veterans out of the court system by dropping their charges if they take part. Veterans get free counseling, mentoring, and they're required to stay sober. They answer to a judge who oversees the program.

Monday afternoon, seven men from various service branches were awarded graduation certificates at the Leon County Courthouse.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, one in five veterans has symptoms of a mental health disorder. Vets say the "invisible wounds" of combat can linger for years. The Leon County VTC program helps treat those issues.

"I have a traumatic brain injury and PTSD. A lot of veterans self-medicate," said Destin Benson, a graduate of Leon County VTC. "I was trying to make other people proud by going through the program, but I ended up being proud of myself, which was probably the best accomplishment."

This was the seventh graduating class of the Leon County Veterans Treatment Court. The program is funded by resources from the Department of Veteran Affairs and other local organizations.

If you know someone who might benefit from the Leon County Veterans Treatment Court or if you want to volunteer as a mentor, click here.