TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Tears, celebrations, and speeches of pure admiration filled the courtroom Tuesday as Brock Begley and Kevin Ricksy became the sixth and seventh graduates of the Tippecanoe County VTC program.
The emotion-filled ceremony was held in Tippecanoe Circuit Court. Dozens of sponsors, community members, mentors, past graduates, and VTC program members joined in celebrating what they called "heroes."
Neither of their journeys was easy.
While in the program, Begley juggled raising three kids and a full-time job. Ricksy had a severe work injury that made him lose two of his fingers and shatter his hip. Then came a divorce.
Both stayed in the program for over two years and persevered until graduation despite the challenges.
Albeit its proven success, it is still rare to find a court-run program like this in the United States.
For the veteran graduates, one word seems to be their common sentiment: gratitude.
Each veteran received a flag that once flew atop the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
Ricksy's flag flew on August 23.
It's the same day of the year that Martin Luther King once gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.
If you are a veteran or know of one who is struggling with mental health issues and would like to seek help, click here to learn more about the Tippecanoe County Veterans Treatment Court Program.