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Justice for All

By Nelson Arroyo; For the Clock
On February 23, 2018

Justice for All

Nelson Arroyo

For the Clock

nrarroyo@plymouth.edu

“I support our troops,” is a line said by many people. However, we need more than just words to support our men and women in uniform, and the New Hampshire Court system is aiming to achieve that.

On Monday, February 26th, Plymouth State University will be hosting a lm screening and panel discussion. It will be tackling issues in the court system and how we can better support veterans that struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PSU Professor Stephanie Hal ter said, “This initiative is about trying to get veterans the services they need. It just felt like we wanted to support that here. I think a lot of these programs are really e ective in getting to the root cause of these issues. When you help people, and help them make the right decisions for themselves, that works a lot better than just punishing them and sending them to jail.”

Jeramiah Linscott, a Marine and student here at PSU, said, “PTSD really is an invisible illness. Some people will say it’s all in your head, but there is a real physiological change, social change, and mental change. It doesn’t matter if it’s severe or if it’s minor, it still a ects the way the brain registers, virtually everything.” PTSD is a real disease, and it deserves recognition. We need to help our veterans who have this disease, rather than telling them that it is all in their heads.

“This event means, to me, that there is an opportunity that people will get a chance to see all the injustice that occurs from the beginning to the end of someone who wants to join the military and ends up in combat,” Linscott said, “I was 17, and maybe it’s because I grew up in a poor neighborhood, but you knew you could lose an arm or two, you knew you could die from going to war, that never scared anybody. But nobody ever talked about the psychological damage of any of that. We didn’t know the cost of it, we didn’t know what the price was. I’ve been stuck in a hole for about 7 – 8 years and it’s because I wasn’t equipped, no one explained the real potential problems. It’s a real injustice.” This movie screening and panel discussion will hopefully help people gain some insight into the world of PTSD.

Stephanie Hal ter said, “More awareness is needed, in all people, around mental health. There’s a lot of stigma around mental illness, and raising awareness around these issues to make it less stigmatizing to access services and help. It can save people from a lot of su ering and a lot of pain by getting them the help and support they need earlier.” The more people who are aware of PTSD, the more people can o er their help and support.

Jerimiah Linscott said, “It’s about bringing awareness and understanding of veterans, especially when it pertains to coming back from combat and trying to adapt. New Hampshire is trying to implement the fundamental di erence there, and is trying to address the problem as a symptom and less of an issue with the person.”

Thomas Jore, a Student in the Criminal Justice Department, said, “‘Justice for All’ is a lm being put on that showcases the struggle of veterans reintegrating into society.” It will educate people on PTSD, and help them better understand what our veterans are going through on a day-by-day basis.

Jerimiah Linscott said, “People always say ‘We support our troops’, but as far as the troops are concerned, it’s not visible. That might be the difference between the military world and civilian world, the military is a lot more about action than words. I mean Marines just grunt at each other half the time. This has potential to bring more reality to people’s lives about what’s going on in veteran’s lives. I’m hoping that, even just a little bit, that people become more active in supporting our troops.”

Stephanie Halter said, “I have seen the Justice-Involved Veterans Task Force (JIVT) have done a number of these events across the state. As a Criminal Justice faculty member, a lot of my students were in the service, and I have become more aware of these issues.”

If you want tickets to see ‘Justice for All’ you can order them on the Plymouth website, however, tickets are not necessary to attend. It will be held in Merrill Place Room B, and the doors open at 6 P.M. So, if you want to learn how to support your local veterans, or to know what services the state is willing to o er you, please come be part of the discussion panel, or watch a short video of the struggles facing our men and women in uniform every day.

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