The matter of having a veteran in charge of a Veteran’s Court may seem trivial at first. So long as the judge to be elected speaks to “being fair”, “supportive” and “compassionate” it should be enough; right?
Unfortunately it is not. There is an oft overlooked matter of social acceptance. In this case it impacts the effectiveness of the program. A veteran who has served their country but has been arrested for violating its laws can be contemptuous toward the process. When held to answer by a peer that contempt is greatly defused and acceptance allows progress to accountability.
Many veterans feel disenfranchised by the legal system, having a sense of abandonment and/or being misunderstood- not always imagined. We as residents of Denton County must ask ourselves’ in fairness; have they not given more than the average citizen? Yes they have (some to the point of tragedy) and whereas they can’t be held less accountable, or have a separate set of laws for them, we can as a society; give them this token of respect: to be heard adjudicated by their peers.
The cornerstone of any rehabilitative process is grounded in acceptance of responsibility. How that acceptance is achieved greatly impacts the sincerity of rehabilitative effort. Peer review is one of the oldest forms of checks and balances in history. Serviceman have for generations supported one another meeting out both accolades and discipline.
Through this process the interest of all parties are preserved; the country who’s laws were broken, the victims who demand justices and the serviceman who are comforted by being understood and held to answer by one of their own. It is a simple costless mercy easily granted those who have sacrificed for you.
If you are a person in appreciation of our nation’s finest creation: The American Serviceman, please ensure when they struggle at home with the baggage of their sacrifice, they are heard and held by those who have walked their path with them.
George Mitcham also has served his community as a Correctional Officer and a Patrol Police Officer. The contributions of these civil servants are overlooked every day. Whenever the situation permits, Mr. Mitcham will listen to the arresting officer’s contribution; listen to the correctional staff observations and let it weigh what it can under law.
Because he knows and respects the importance of their endeavors, they will also be heard. I encourage all with interest in the compassionate yet, fair and efficient care of our nation’s heroes as they navigate the Denton County Court system to vote for George Mitcham, the only veteran in the race and as his website asserts, I too believe his credentials make him uniquely qualified (based on my comparison of candidates) to represent all interests involved.
It will make the outcomes more palatable by all, I assure you.
James T. Drayton, Sergeant, U.S. Army (Medically Ret.)