Hamilton County court program helps veterans turn their lives around

Program helps veterans convicted of crimes
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2018-12-12 21:00:02-05

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio -- The transition from combat to civilian life can be difficult for veterans. For those veterans who may wind up in trouble with the law, Hamilton County has a new program that promises a fresh start.

On Wednesday, the Hamilton County's Felony Veterans' Treatment Court's eighth class graduated. Around 50 veterans have graduated from the program, Judge Ethan Cooper said.

"Nothing is ever perfect, but everybody goes on to do better and get their lives on track," he said.

Cooper started the program in Hamilton County; it's the first of its kind in the counrty.

"Seeing one of the people that we've been with for so long ready to become independent to move on, it's just a very special feeling," the judge said.

Chris Myers is one of the program's most recent graduates. He served in Iraq from 2004 to 2010, but suffered a traumatic brain injury and returned home with PTSD.

"I was a train wreck when I got home," he said.

Myers spend two years in the court's program. Now, he said, he has the tools and knowledge he needs to be successful in civilian life.

"Our brains no longer work the same as before we joined," he said. "In some cases, that leads to veterans getting in trouble."

Myers said he's working on getting a bachelor's degree. He currently owns a gym in Mason.

"For veterans who find themsleves in a legal situation, this is definitely the best place to be," he said.