By Christina Villacorte
Herbert Brown was destined for prison until Veterans Court gave the former soldier a new start.
He’d used drugs for decades to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder from the Vietnam War, and was eventually arrested for selling cocaine to an undercover cop.
Veterans Court, however, allowed him to avoid prison and receive mental health and substance abuse treatment instead.
On Monday, Brown graduated from the program and Judge Miguel Tynan dismissed the charges against him.
“I was in deep trouble,” Brown said during the simple graduation ceremony at a courtroom in the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.
“I’m not good at speeches but I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody,” he added.
In all, six wounded warriors became the second batch to graduate from the Los Angeles County Veterans Court program Monday.
“The program did help me out,” said Richard King, another veteran. “I’m back on track with a good life again, and I owe it all to this program and the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which helped provide the treatment).”
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