Local veteran gets new dog tags instead of jail time
When local veteran George Dawson was arrested in 2013 for driving on a suspended license, he was homeless and struggling with addiction.
On Wednesday, Dawson graduated from Veterans Court, a jail diversion program that kept him out of prison and got him treatment.
Dawson got a new set of dog tags when he graduated.
“I’m proud of ‘em, I really am,” Dawson said. “I wished I still had my dog tags from when I was in service, but unfortunately I don’t. But I’m just as proud of these as well because I’m a vet and it’s from vets. I don’t know what tell you. I’m dumbfounded. I’m lost for words.
Dawson and two other veterans graduated from a program designed to keep them out of prison. Ninth Circuit Judge Jerry Brewer said ninety five percent of veterans who complete the program don’t get arrested again.
“A lot of it’s got to do with the fact that you’re vets,” Dawson said. “You had that training in your past and somebody just needed to ignite it again. And that marvelous group of people over there were able to do that. They just reminded you of what you were once upon a time.”
Dawson will speak at a conference next month on Veterans Court. Check here for a deeper look at the growing use of Veterans Courts in Florida.
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