Read Melissa Fitzgerald’s Veterans Day Essay - A Tale of Two Brothers

Own/Huffington Post Highlight Veterans Treatment Courts

Justice For Vets Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald penned a special Veterans Day essay which was published on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN/Huffington Post blog. The essay tells the story of two brothers who fought for their country and how their paths diverged when they came home.

Chuck with Judge William FurberChuck Sluzenski served in Iraq, but the return home was his toughest fight. Loud noises startled him. He was anxious and would sit and stand with his back against the wall so he wasn't exposed. In Iraq he conducted most of his missions at night. Nighttime at home was terrible. He often woke up screaming. It got so bad he couldn't get into bed without 20 beers in him. His girlfriend left him, he lost his job, and he got kicked out of his house. One night he walked into a bar and when he woke up he was behind bars.

Chuck's brother followed him to Iraq and when he came home he fell into the same pattern. He had undiagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was self medicating with drugs and alcohol to cope. Like Chuck, he quickly spiraled out of control. This is where their paths diverge. 
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Watch Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald on Huffington Post Live