PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Veterans who have struggled since returning from the battlefield don’t have to look far for a helping hand. Their fellow former soldiers are being trained as mentors during a two-day “boot camp” in Northeast Philadelphia.
These volunteers know what it’s like — they’ve been there.READ MORE: Philadelphia Students Finding Comfort In Rec Centers Again Amid Gun Violence Epidemic
“They’re used to being with their colleagues-in-arms,” said Pennsylvania Lt Gov Mike Stack. “Sometimes they’re the only people they feel comfortable talking to when they’re having trouble.”
Stack — himself a vet — says they’re learning how to support and coach, to be advocates for men and women in Veterans Treatment Court.READ MORE: 'I Thought I Was Done': Residents Of Trevose Mobile Home Park Pick Up The Pieces After EF-3 Tornado
“They work by saving lives, reuniting families, they reduce crime and they save the taxpayer a tremendous amount of money,”said Melissa Fitzgerald, who played the role of Carol on ‘The West Wing,’ and leads the criminal justice reform effort of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals. “These veterans show all of us what it means to be of service for life.”
Fitzgerald credits Macy’s and the veterans service organization Got Your Six for helping to fund these Justice for Vets sessions that are molding mentors.MORE NEWS: Pirates' Crowe, 2 Relievers 1-Hit Phillies, End 4-Game Skid
“Their commitment to leave no veteran behind, whether on the battlefield or here at home, is very inspiring,” she said.