State and federal partners involved in veterans affairs met on May 26, 2011 at the Ohio Judicial Center to learn more about veterans courts during the third annual Veterans in the Courts Summit.
Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton convened the meeting and welcomed the attendees by offering an overview of the Veterans WrapAround Project, which seeks to help veterans access resources if they enter the court system.
Through the initiative, Justice Stratton hopes to network all the resources available to veterans so each court is aware of them and can provide the most productive assistance. She has been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs for three years on this project after the VA unveiled the Veterans Justice Outreach (VJO) initiative, which assigns a designated representative at each veteran medical center to work with the court system to help veterans to access treatment services and other assistance. Five VJO specialists are assigned to Ohio.
Youngstown Municipal Court Judge Robert Milich, who operates one of two local veterans courts in Ohio, discussed how his court helps returning combat vets resolve their problems.
Attorney General Mike DeWine, Adjutant General Deborah Ashenhurst, and Department of Veteran Services Director Thomas Moe also served as presenters along with several federal partners.
"Each year when we gather at the veterans summit I'm amazed at the progress we have made in collaboration and networking," Justice Stratton said. "Even so, there's always more to be done to ensure veterans receive the assistance they need. Today's summit marks another step in the right direction to accomplish that mission. Our veterans have given so much to keep our country safe, we must do our part to welcome them home."