TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The Veterans Treatment Court in Tippecanoe County is designed to serve those who served this country. The program started last September and currently has seven members. Those involved hope to get more mentors and participants.
"I am his mentor, that's what they call me," said Tim Cahoon. He served in the Air Force and has since decided to volunteer for the veterans court. "I like to believe that I've become his friend, I know he is my friend."
Cahoon is referring to David Bolden, a man who needed a friend that understands what it's like to be in the military. Bolden was in the Army for seven years. Like many vets, Bolden has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He found himself in trouble with the law and joined the Tippecanoe County Veterans Treatment Court to help.
"It's been really good for me," said Bolden. "It works!"
Tippecanoe Circuit Court Judge Sean Persin helped start the program. He also runs it.
"We're taking veterans who volunteered to serve our country and getting them out of jail and hopefully getting their life back on track," said Judge Persin.
Tippecanoe Magistrate Judge Dan Moore assists Persin.
"A lot of these men and women, the last thing they were really proud of was their service," said Judge Moore. "And being part of this group is something that reminds them of that service, reminds them of that pride, helps restore confidence to them which helps them succeed in treatment."
Through linkage to care, the court's accountability and the help of a mentor, this program achieves success.
"We are looking forward to our first graduation," said Persin.
Bolden is very close to graduating but his journey won't stop there.
"It's a process that continues throughout your life," explained Bolden.
Cahoon said he's ready to help beyond Bolden's time in court. When you sign up to mentor a veteran, you sign up for a lifetime friendship. He said it is a rewarding experience.
"It does my heart good to see that he is growing and responding," said Cahoon.
It's even encouraged Bolden to start his own group. He humbly hosts the Vet to Vet program in Tippecanoe County so any veteran can seek help in the community.
"It's our group, it's not just mine," emphasized Bolden.
He hopes more veterans will make it their own.
If you're interested in that program, it's every Thursday at 11 a.m. in The Surf Center on 307 N. 10th Street in Lafayette.
If you want to help with the Tippecanoe County Veterans Treatment Court, click here to learn more.
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