Veterans Court ‘saved my life’

VA News

One man’s story.  During one of his blackouts, he drove and was pulled over. Arrested for drunken driving, Duvall could have become another statistic, another defendant in the criminal justice system. Instead, he entered Veterans Treatment Court. And after a year of counseling, treatment and supervision Duvall is now much more content and has remained sober for the past six months.
“They really do care,” Duvall said. “They treat you like a human being. It probably saved my life.“
Duvall, 37, said he was worried at first about sharing his story publicly but decided that by doing so, he might make a difference in another veteran’s life. He said he knows there are others out there like him who had to battle substance abuse, despondency and feelings of worthlessness that accompany many servicemen and women who return from the war and find themselves in transition to civilian life without direction, order or even reasons for living. He fought all those demons before receiving the help he needed.
“You start feeling worthless,” he said. “The anger was probably the worst.“
As a member of the 82nd Airborne, Duvall made 67 jumps during his decade in the Army. All those landings from the jumps damaged his back and injured his feet and knees. He said he lost three inches from his height.
Every year from 2002 to 2010 was spent in Iraq or Afghanistan. And while he didn’t see much combat, the nearby explosions were ever present and threatening. Back home, he was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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