The 2nd Annual Vet Court Con Concludes with an Unforgettable Closing Ceremony
Highlights from the Closing Ceremony of Vet Court Con:
After two phenomenal days of more than 75 sessions, 150 hours of education training, collaborating, and entertainment, the 2nd annual Vet Court Con wrapped up with a rousing Closing Ceremony. Mississippi’s own singing Judge Gay Polk Payton revved up the crowd with a patriotic song.
Judge Gay Polk Payton singing at Vet Court Con's Closing Ceremony
Former U.S. Army Deputy Judge Advocate General and the new Justice For Vets Senior Fellow for Veterans and Military Affairs Major General W. Clyde Tate thanked Veterans Treatment Court professionals for their herculean efforts in the field and encouraged them to continue their advocacy for veterans.
Military Affairs Major General W. Clyde Tate thanking Veterans Treatment Court professionals
Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court Graduate Charles Sluzenski gave incredible testimony to the miracle of Veterans Treatment Court. He said if it weren’t for the Montgomery County Veterans Treatment Court, he would not be alive today.
Veterans Treatment Court Graduate Charles Sluzenski
Listen to Charles’ compelling story:
Veterans Treatment Court pioneer, the Honorable Robert Russell, inducted retired Four Star General and Veterans Treatment Court champion General Barry McCaffrey into the Justice For Vets’ Hall of Fame. Justice For Vets’ Hall of Fame permanently enshrines those with preeminent contributions to the advancement of this field. “I have the distinct honor and privilege of inducting an American hero, and a hero of our movement, General Barry McCaffrey.” General (ret.) Barry McCaffrey Chairs the NADCP Veterans Treatment Court Committee and served as the Director of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from 1996-2001.
[L-R]: Judge Robert Russell, General Barry McCaffrey (ret.), and Justice For Vets' Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald
Listen to General Barry McCaffrey's (ret.) Full Remarks:
Then San Diego Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator RanDee McClean took the stage to explain what being a Veteran Mentor meant to her. “They are a vital part of any successful Veterans Treatment Court. This week, we trained over 30 mentors on the Key Components of being a Mentor and their vital role in the Veterans Treatment Court.”
San Diego Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator RanDee McClean
After two intense days of training, the historic second graduating class of the Justice For Vets Mentor Corps lined up in front of the stage to take an oath of honor to ensure that no veteran will be left behind. The men and women are now prepared to head back to their Veterans Treatment Courts to serve as volunteer mentors. Read more about the Justice For Vets Mentor Corps here.
Watch the Vetor Mentor Corps Swearing In:
Following the uplifting Mentor Swearing-In, Jack O’Conner, the first recipient of the prestigious Hank Pirowski Award, recognized this year’s awardee, Patrick Welch. Welch, following in the footsteps of Veteran Mentor pioneer Hank Pirowski, has transformed countless lives of soldiers who fought for our freedom by serving as a tireless Mentor.
[L-R]: Jack O'Conner, Patrick Welch, and Melissa Fitzgerald
Next, members of the American Vinyl All-Star Band were appointed as Justice For Vets Ambassadors for their efforts to raise awareness of the Veterans Treatment Court movement.
Members of the American Vinyl All-Star Band being appointed as Justice For Vets Ambassadors
Senior Director of Justice For Vets Melissa Fitzgerald concluded the Closing Ceremony by thanking former Veterans Treatment Court Judge Wendy Lindley and spoke of her exemplary time behind the bench. “Her legacy lives on in thousands of veterans and family members whose lives have been forever transformed by her program.” In turn, Judge Lindley told attendees, “You’re inspiring because you’ve dedicated yourself to this vision.”
Fitzgerald thanks former Veterans Treatment Court Judge Wendy Lindley
Watch Judge Wendy Lindley's Full Remarks:
Browse Pictures of the Closing Ceremony