When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Gets Arrested - From Honor to Dishonor and Back Again
In Our Name, Restoring Justice in America, a Soldier's Heart, together with Saratoga WarHorse, Prison Action Network and the Life Craft Foundation Inc., present; When Johnny Comes Marching Home and Gets Arrested - From Honor to Dishonor and Back Again.
Our August 2012 conference concentrated on needed reforms of the American criminal justice system. This year's event will focus primarily on the plight of the United States Armed Forces Members whose arrest and imprisonment were the result of combat related post-traumatic stress disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder related prosecutions of American veterans of war and military service have increased dramatically from the Vietnam War era, where the diagnosis and conditions first became significant, to the post 9-11 Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For decades, Veterans' conduct in post-war civilian life often times has resulted in violence, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, suicide and crime because of undiagnosed or untreated stress disorders. Veterans are left to fend for themselves in dealing with the immense physical and psychological damage inflicted upon them during their time of service. Vietnam veterans returned home by the thousands and were, for the most part, shunned and rejected by an American public torn by the war. More recently, a study by the Veterans Administration revealed that nearly 30% of its patients who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD due to the combat intensity of multiple deployments.
The presence of veterans in city and county jails and state prisons became widespread in the 1970s and 80s. Returning veterans, often homeless, infirm and disconnected received no special consideration for their years of military service as they were processed in the criminal justice and penal systems nor were they provided with lawyers who could adequately defend them with defenses based upon their combat related stress condition. Often, our indigent veterans were pressed into plea bargains by inexperienced court appointed attorneys, vindictive prosecutors, and indifferent judges, and were made to serve long sentences in state prisons where, once again, they received no programming, treatment or care for their service related disorder.
These grave issues are among the topics that were addressed and explained at the In Our Name/Soldier's Heart Memorial Day 2013 retreat and conference (see below for details).
SOLDIER'S HEART WAR HEALING RETREATTHURSDAY, MAY 23RD - FRIDAY, MAY 24TH Soldier's Heart provides a unique and comprehensive model to address the emotional, moral, and spiritual wounds of veterans, their families and communities. It offers genuine healing and homecoming by developing a new and honorable warrior identity, modeling the necessities of warrior return, restoring the social contract between warriors and community. To begin our conference, Soldier's Heart hosted a day-long retreat to address the spiritual wounds of war in veterans and our communities. We especially welcome and invite those who have faced legal challenges. For more detailed information regarding the retreat please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit website (www.soldiersheart.net). FRIDAY, MAY 24THCONFERENCE4PM Check-in and Registration6PM-7PM Dinner7PM-9PM Welcome & Opening CeremonyDr. Edward Tick, Soldier's Heart, Troy, NYProgram Moderator-Gabriel SayeghDrug Policy Alliance, New York, NYPanel Discussion: Defending Our Veteran's FreedomDr. Edward Tick & Kate Dahlstedt, Soldier's HeartJudge Thomas Keefe, Albany City Drug CourtProf. John Ostwald, MA, Psychology, US Navy retiredPaul Henderson, Esq., Retired Lt Col, US Army Special Forces SATURDAY,MAY 25TH8AM-9AM Breakfast9:15AM-10:30AM Restoring the Errant VeteranFilm Presentation of Veteran's Program at Mt. McGregor CF10:30AM-11:30AM Restoring the Errant Woman VeteranAmy Larmon, Women Veteran's Program, Samaritan Village, Ellenville, NY11:30AM-12:30AM Teaching PeaceJohn Amidon, President, Albany Chapter of Veterans for Peace12:30PM-1:30PMLunch1:30PM-3PM Gentle Strength - Healing the Wounded WarriorBob Nevins, Co-Founder of Saratoga WarHorse3PM-3:30PM Break 3:30PM-4:30PM Healing a Broken System: Veterans Battling Addiction and IncarcerationGabriel Sayegh, Drug Policy Alliance, New York, NY4:30PM-5:30PM Veterans Speakout Dr. Edward Tick, Moderator6PM-7PM Dinner7PM-9:30PM Play Memorial DayBrian Delate, Writer/Director/Actor and Vietnam Veteran SUNDAY, MAY 26TH7AM-8AM Interfaith Healing ServiceRev. Nigel Mumford, Welcome Home InitiativeDr. Edward Tick, Soldier's HeartRev. Joseph Caron, Retired Chaplain, Mt. McGregor Correction Facility8AM-9AM Breakfast
9AM-10AM Defending the Accused Veteran
Jonathan E. Gradess, Executive Director of NY State Defenders Assoc.
10AM-11AM From Honor to Dishonor and Back: One Veteran's Journey
Paul Henderson, Esq., Retired Lt Col, US Army Special Forces Â 11AM-12:30PM Keynote Speaker-An Alternative to Jail for VeteransHon. Robert T. Russell, Jr., Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court, Buffalo, NY12:30PM-1PM Presentation of the ColorsVFW Post 7291, Greenwich, NY1PM Memorial Day BBQ, Poetry Readings and MusicLem Genovese, Yankee Medic RecordsPaul Henderson, MusicianDerrick Anderson, PoetKate Dahlstedt, PoetDr. Edward Tick, PoetCara Bensen, Poet & TeacherOpen reading, all invited
Our mission is to bring the general public into contact with members of the legal community in order to increase overall awareness of legal policy, and to facilitate discussion toward the reform of the criminal justice system.