Justice For Vets launches West Wing PSA
The cast of television’s “The West Wing” joined forces last week with Justice For Vets to launch a powerful public service announcement (PSA) supporting Veterans Treatment Courts. The PSA premiered during an event at Warner Bros. Studios featuring “The West Wing” cast-members Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Dulé Hill and Mary McCormack. The launch event included a panel discussion with four incredible veterans: United States Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald, Harris County Veterans Treatment Court judge Marc Carter and Veterans Treatment Court graduates Tommy Rieman and Eric Gonzalez.
The effort is spearheaded by former “The West Wing” cast member and Justice For Vets Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald. Veterans Treatment Courts are recognized as the most innovative and successful approach for diverting veterans suffering from substance abuse and/or a mental health conditions away from incarceration and into treatment. Veterans Treatment Courts currently serve over 13,000 veterans who would otherwise face incarceration. The new Justice For Vets PSA urges the public to support the effort to establish more programs in order to meet the urgent and growing need.
Click here to download ProRes versions of the PSA
“The hardest part of serving in the military should not be coming home—we owe our fighting men and women more than that,” said Dee Dee Myers, who served as a story consultant on “The West Wing” and is currently Executive Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Warner Bros., where the Justice For Vets kickoff event was held. “We owe them a real shot at a good life – and the services and support they need to realize that simple dream. That’s what Veterans Treatment Courts are all about.”
“It is an honor to be here in support of our veterans who sacrificed so much for all of us. And I am thrilled to support my friend Melissa Fitzgerald and Justice For Vets, an organization that provides such critical care to our veterans when they have difficulties transitioning home,” said actress Allison Janney who starred for seven seasons on “The West Wing” and now stars in the hit Warner Bros. Television show “Mom,” for which she’s won two Emmy Awards.
"Partnering with judges and courts that want to identify Veteran defendants and get them connected to needed VA treatment is how we best serve them," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. "These programs are a perfect example of communities coming together to serve Veterans in a holistic way with VA care as a vital component. If we are going to serve Veterans - all of them who have put so much on the line for all of us - then we're going to work together to see that they have the best services and health care available. "
Secretary McDonald joined three veterans on stage for a panel discussion on Veterans Treatment Courts. Army veteran and Harris County, Texas District Court judge Marc Carter discussed what led him to create the first Veterans Treatment Court in Texas. “I saw too many veterans cycling through the system without ever getting the treatment they clearly needed,” he said. “By creating Veterans Treatment Court and partnering with our local VA Medical Center, we are able to serve a large population of veterans and connect them to the appropriate treatment and benefits.”
One such veteran is Tommy Rieman, who graduated from the Fayetteville, North Carolina Veterans Treatment Court in 2014 and is now the executive director of a non-profit serving injured and wounded veterans. “Veterans Treatment Court gave me the tools I needed to live a healthy, productive life. Thanks to Veterans Treatment Court I am reunited with my family and am working to support my fellow veterans. Veterans Treatment Court saved my life.”
The Justice For Vets West Wing PSA launch event generated massive national media and social media buzz, and the PSA has already been viewed over 10,000 times. The PSA is available for use by all Veterans Treatment Courts, click here to access.
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