From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
May 14, 2014
Contact: Lee Nichols, 512-463-0126

Senator Van de Putte speaks at Justice-Involved Veterans Conference

(San Antonio) — State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio and Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee, spoke today at the fifth annual Justice-Involved Veterans' Conference hosted by the Texas Veterans Commission and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Her remarks focused on Veterans Courts, which help guide eligible veterans into programs that can hopefully divert them from the criminal justice system and into treatment. She also discussed Veterans Tactical Response and other training to help law enforcement officers de-escalate crisis situations with veterans in need of help.

Senator Van de Putte issued the following statement:

"It was an honor to have been invited to speak to and with veterans and their supporters at this event. When a veteran can't get a job, can't get the medical care they need, can't get a timely mental health appointment, or wait years to get VA benefits – that impacts their entire lives.

"Unfortunately, the personal challenges confronting a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury can rise to a level that forces law enforcement to get involved. And if it were anyone other than a veteran, we might say that's a 'normal' reaction to a stressful situation. Being a veteran makes you a hero, but it does not make you Superman. That's why it's so important for Veterans Courts and law enforcement training that can help our heroes get their lives back on track."

BACKGROUND: Senator Leticia Van de Putte authored Senate Bill 1940 in the 81st legislative session that established Texas veterans' courts for defendants suffering from an injury or illness that resulted from their military service.