The Jewish spring festival of Passover (Pesach) celebrates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt thousands of years ago. At the Passover seder table — the home ritual that begins the week-long holiday — Jews read in the Haggaddah how G-d led the Israelites out of bondage.
During synagogue services on the second day of Passover I heard a rabbi give a sermon that urged all of us who live in freedom to work for the freedom of others, whether we choose a global project or a local project.
Thus on the third day of Passover I emailed my dear friend and award-winning military fiction author about this sermon. I said the sermon had encouraged me to work harder to move forward my proposed PTSD project HEALING OUR HEROES. And she replied:
Did you see the article about the judge, an Iraqi War vet, who sentenced a war vet to spend 24 hours in jail. It wasn’t the vet’s first run-in with the law. He suffered from PTSD.
When he got to his jail cell, the judge showed up to spend the 24 hours with him! The judge was afraid being in a small cell alone would trigger a PTSD episode!
Of course I immediately did a search on the internet to find a news story about this. And I found the April 22, 2016, AP story carried by The Washington Times: “Judge sentences defendant then spends night in jail with him”
What I discovered in the news story is that the court in which this sentencing took place is one of the special veterans courts that exist in a few places in the U.S. I have written about my own experience visiting the LA County Veterans Court in both blog posts and in my fiction story SOLOMON’S JUSTICE.
The compassion of this North Carolina veterans court judge — Judge Lou Olivera, a Gulf War veteran — is a compelling example of how important veterans courts are for veterans suffering from PTSD. (Judge Olivera is quoted in the AP article as saying, “They have worn the uniform and we know they can be contributing members of society. We just want to get them back there.”)
Encouraging other places in the U.S. to set up their own veterans courts where such compassion can be exhibited is a major goal of my proposed reality TV series HEALING OUR HEROES. This encouragement is also the goal of the proposed TV drama series SOLOMON’S JUSTICE (inspired by the LA County Veterans Court).
In conclusion, in the spirit of the Jewish holiday of freedom — Passover, I encourage all of us who benefit from the U.S. military service of men and women to help free the demons of the mind from veterans as well as active duty military personnel suffering from PTSD.
© 2016 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at email@example.com
Her Kindle fiction ebooks may be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller — and her Kindle nonfiction ebooks may also be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller