Stevens County Veterans Court

 

Patriotic Family Heritage

Judge Tveit at a recent Veterans Court graduation.
Judge Tveit at a recent Veterans Court graduation.

Supporting our veterans is near and dear to Judge Gina Tveit’s heart.  Gina’s great-grandfather,  George Ghramm, served in the military and fought for our Country in WWI.  He returned from his service and later supported his family by working on his farm near Jump Off Joe, where he also conducted a logging operation with the use of draft horses.  Judge Gina’s grandfather, Merle Enright, was captured by the Japanese on Wake Island just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Merle was held as a POW for several years, where he was forced to work in Japanese labor camps under brutal and inhumane conditions.  At the end of the war, Merle returned to his family farm in Kettle Falls where Gina’s mom was raised.  Merle later got a job with the Stevens County road department where he worked for many years before his retirement.  Gina has very fond memories of her Grandpa, who she says  played a very influential role in her life. 

Growing up, Gina witnessed the overwhelming effects of military service firsthand and understands how family, faith and perseverance can help heal our wounded!

 

Establised Veterans Court

Judge Tveit and member of the Stevens County Veterans Court at a training in Billings, MT.
Judge Tveit with members of the
Veterans Court team at a
recent training in Billings, MT

Judge Gina Tveit worked hard to help establish the Stevens County Veterans Court, which she has presided over since 2013. 

The court was modeled after the Spokane County Veterans Court created by Judge Vance Peterson. 

Through the Veterans Court, Gina has been able to honor the military service of her Grandfather and Great Grandfather, as well as the many veterans and their families residing in Stevens County who have served and made great sacrifices.

Theraputic Value

Veterans Court is a collaboration of multiple departments operating within the Stevens County Criminal Justice System.  While the majority of our veterans return home strengthened by their military service, many struggle with trauma, mental illness (such as PTSD) and substance abuse.  These issues can be exacerbated by the loss of structure and camaraderie found in the military.  The Stevens County Veterans Court is designed to provide treatment, accountability and mentoring for veterans who find themselves involved in the justice system.

Dedicated Veteran Court Team

The Stevens County Veterans Court operates without any tax burden to the Stevens County citizens.  The Court participants have all agreed to add their Veteran Court duties to their existing workloads.  The remaining members of the team are dedicated veteran volunteers, such as the Court Coordinators and the Mentors, who give selflessly of their time and energy for our veterans.  In the end, it’s about people coming together for the greater good of helping justice-involved veterans!

Consumate Justice

In many cases, involvement with the Veteran Court team also results in veterans connecting with the benefits they’ve earned!  With the assistance of their mentors, Judge Tveit states that several participants in the Stevens County Veterans Court have finally received the benefits they have earned and been entitled to for years.  In one case, a Veterans Court graduate was recently honored with several medals that he had earned during his service in Vietnam.

 

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