Photo by Aaron Ricca.
KINGMAN – The Kingman Municipal Court Veterans Treatment Program got a visit from U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Jeffrey Singer’s courtroom was packed with former graduates, mentors and their families as Gosar gave certificates to four of the graduates for their successful accomplishment of the program. Gosar also praised Singer for his efforts to get the court off the ground.
“These are heroes coming back to the community,” Gosar said. “We need to treat them as such.”
“We’re grateful to have such strong support from the county and the city,” Singer replied.
Three U.S. Army and one Navy veteran were personally congratulated by Gosar.
“It kept me moving onto the next stage in life,” said Sarah Jones, the first graduate of the Kingman program. “It really opened the door to (veteran’s) community resources.”
Those resources include assistance with housing, education and VA healthcare benefits.
“This gives us a second chance,” said Eileen Thompson, a peacetime Army veteran and the latest program graduate. “I was able to learn more about what veterans are going through now.”
Sean Johnson, Gosar’s Veteran Outreach Coordinator, brought the treatment program to the congressman’s attention after witnessing the success of those in Maricopa County.
“We moved it out to the rural counties,” Johnson said. “They loved it, so we moved it along one county at a time.
The court visit was only part of Gosar’s Kingman visit. After a brief courtroom speech, he shook hands and took photos with constituents. He then crossed the street to the American Legion for a round-table discussion with local veterans groups, including the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, Mohave County chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Mohave County chapter.
“We learn more from them than they learn from us,” Gosar said.