JCS Chairman Never Heard of Vet Courts Until This Week

Defense Department file photo

Gen. Martin Dempsey promises to visit a Vet Court on his next domestic trip.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the judges and treatment professionals attending the Vet Court Conference today that until this week, “I did not know you existed.” He quickly followed up saying he is now “wildly enthusiastic.”

He said the special courts are needed to help veterans, many of whom experienced multiple deployments over the past 12 years only to later find themselves battling drug or alcohol addiction and mental health issues that contributed to the behavior that led them to trouble with the justice system.

Dempsey said he is headed to Afghanistan this weekend, but promised on his next domestic trip to visit a Vet Court. He said he learns something new every day, and told attendees it was his “new something” for the day.