Justice For Vets on Hardball

Last night millions across the country learned why Veterans Treatment Courts are a critical solution for veterans in crisis.

On the heels of Sunday night’s incredible benefit concert, six-time Emmy Award winning actress Allison Janney joined Justice For Vets Senior Director Melissa Fitzgerald on Hardball for one more West Wing reunion.

Allison Janney started things off by expressing her support for Justice For Vets. “I am here to support all of our veterans who have sacrificed so much for us,” she said. “I believe what Melissa is doing with Justice For Vets is an incredibly important thing to do…I am here to support everything [Justice For Vets] is doing for our veterans when they come home.” Melissa Fitzgerald then explained how Veterans Treatment Courts operate and why their expansion is so important. “We are dealing with men and women who have been changed by the experience of war…using drugs and alcohol to cope and become involved in the criminal justice system. Unless we intervene at the key moment of crisis veterans can be lost to the system forever.”

Mathews then turned to the star of the show, combat veteran and Veterans Treatment Court graduate Nick Stefanovic. Nick discussed his experience coming home from three deployments and feeling isolated from his friends and family.  Stefanovic explained that drugs “were very effective at stifling the symptoms of a mental health condition like PTSD.”  “As long as I stayed on those drugs I was fine,” he said. Eventually Stefanovic was arrested and found himself before a judge in Veterans Treatment Court. “In May of 2009 I had my first date in Veterans Treatment Court,’ he said. “That day was the last time I ever touched a drug.”

Mathews was clearly moved by the testimony and asked his viewers to show their support. “We argue about going to war but we don’t talk about the people enough, thank you Nick for your service,” he said. “If you would like to donate to Justice For Vets and we would like you to, go to JusticeForVets.org. Pretty simple and pretty important.”