From FLVCS President Gene Jones
FLVCS is working to obtain Veterans Diversion Courts throughout Florida. This program is intended, in appropriate circumstances, to divert veterans who come into contact with the criminal justice system to needed help like employment, psychological counseling, and drug or alcohol abuse treatment.
Judge Lee Haworth, with funding from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, started a veterans diversion pilot project in the 12th Judicial Circuit, Courts Assisting Veterans (CAVS). The first coordinator was a FLVCS member and Afghanistan veteran. The program has helped hundreds of veterans. While CAVS was intended to serve Iraq and Afghanistan vets, this pilot program confirms that the program should be expanded to include all veterans.
FLVCS continues to be active in opposition to counterproductive war. We are proud to say we opposed the Iraq invasion. After the invasion, we called for early withdrawal from Iraq. Although we supported the efforts to capture or kill those who attacked us on 9/11, we now call an end to military operations in Afghanistan.
The record confirms that our view was, and is, correct. The nation building projects in Iraq and Afghanistan have not worked. After all these many years, and loss of blood and treasure, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan is stable and the long term terrorist threat has not diminished. In fact, in all probability, we have accomplished just the opposite. After all the death and destruction, the region is less stable and the terror threat has metastasized.
Our government and many national security experts still have not learned that maintaining troops to kill people in foreign countries generates instability and more terrorists. FLVCS will continue to oppose counterproductive wars that weaken our country and military. We are determined to do so without regard to partisan politics.
In our view, our nation is weakened when we violate international law, limit human rights, and engage in torture. In short, we cannot engage in the same despicable behavior as our enemies and remain a great nation. We should be “The Beacon on the Hill” and stand firm for American Constitutional principles and the rule of law.
FLVCS is determined to help set the course for our nation. Our Statement of Principles defines our mission. We recognize that we must help veterans who have sacrificed so much and that counterproductive, perpetual war will, over time, destroy America economically and politically.
As FLVCS president, I charge each and every member, friend and supporter to stand and work together with esprit de corps to accomplish our mission.