From the Sarasota Herald Tribune
Published: Sunday, February 6, 2011 at 1:00 a.m.
Lee Haworth served in the first Gulf War, so he knows better than most people how battle affects today’s veterans, and he has started a program to help them.
Courts Assisting Veterans diverts qualified veterans from the criminal justice system into alcohol or drug abuse treatment programs, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder programs and Traumatic Brain Injury programs.
The nonprofit Florida Veterans for Common Sense presented Haworth, chief judge of the 12th Judicial Circuit that includes Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties, with the group’s Thomas Paine Award on Jan. 14 at Mulligans Grill at the Bobby Jones Golf Course.
Florida Veterans has an annual dinner to celebrate the birthday of Thomas Paine, the founding father who was the first to pen the name “The United States of America.”
Haworth’s award has this quote from Paine: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must … undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”
Some studies have found that as many as 35 percent of returning veterans may suffer from PTSD or major depression and as many as 10 percent from brain injuries. Haworth began the program two years ago with a $50,000 grant from the Gulf Cost Community Foundation and it is funded this year by the Sarasota and Manatee County Commissions.
Funding ends in December, and Haworth and the Florida Veterans group are asking Florida legislators to establish a statewide veterans diversion program.
If you like what Florida Veterans For Common Sense is doing to support veterans, please donate or Join Now.
Contributions to Florida Veterans for Common Sense Inc., (a 501 (c) 4 not for profit corporation) are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes. If you want to make a tax deductible contribution please go to Florida Veterans for Common Sense Fund Inc., (a 501 (c) 3 not for profit corporation).