With the 10th graduating class, the Cobb County Veterans Court now has seen 36 veterans complete the 18-month intensive treatment program. (AJC file photo)

Cobb Veterans Court announced graduates

The Cobb County Veterans Court has graduated four more veterans in August who comprise the 10th graduating class.

That means 36 local participants have completed the 18-month intensive treatment program, according to a county statement.

Beginning on June 13, 2014, the Cobb VTC joined a nationwide surge of accountability courts for veterans.

The VTC addresses issues of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and other mental health issues through counseling, job training and other services.

An estimated 774,464 veterans reside in Georgia, with 47,000 of them in Cobb County.

Locally, 4,500 active duty/reservists also are assigned to Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta.

Cobb VTC Presiding Judge Reuben Green said, “On average, one veteran is arrested daily in Cobb County. Many of these veterans have sacrificed greatly for our country, and (they) are suffering from post-service issues that have not been addressed or treated.”

According to data collected from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), nationwide more than 39 veterans attempt to commit suicide daily and 20 a day take their lives.

Around 70 percent of veterans who took their lives did not access services provided by the VA which possibly could have prevented a majority of these suicides.

Together with the Atlanta VA, Cobb VTC participants receive alcohol and drug treatment in Decatur and are given additional treatment locally through a private provider.

One of the most unique aspects of the VTC is the Mentor Program, according to the county statement.

Each VTC participant is paired with a VTC mentor who must be honorably discharged from military service, have no prior criminal record and be willing to commit to the duration of assisting a minimum of one veteran for the entirety of their 18-month VTC program.

Information: CobbCounty.org

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