Tag Archives: veterans courts

Veterans’ Treatment Court allows career Army sergeant to include yoga in five-year plan

“PROSE”: “the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing.”  – Merriam Webster

Following is excerpted from Connected Warriors website: https://connectedwarriors.org/warrior-testimonials/

Nikki Prodromos

SERGEANT FIRST CLASS

“My name is Nikki Prodromos and I found Connected Warriors Yoga because drinking to cope with my three combat tours landed me in Veterans’ Treatment Court after having a few too many and getting behind the wheel. I have 21 enlisted years in the Army, serving active duty from ’95-’99 and joining the Reserves after September 11th. After each combat tour, I came home a little more anxious, a little more depressed, and a lot more withdrawn. At my lowest point, I couldn’t leave my apartment to check my mail and would ‘rally’ two days a month to attend battle assemblies and honor my reserve commitment but, I would pick up a 12 pack on the way home.

“Veterans’ Treatment Court required me to write a five-year plan in which I included attending yoga, for several reasons. First, the plan required a physical exercise element and as a 70% disabled veteran, this was one of my few viable options. Second, I tried yoga a few years ago and loved how I felt after my practice. Third, my Veterans’ Treatment Court mentor handed me a CW yoga flier and I found out it was free…which was about all my budget could afford last year. Finally, I’m two semesters shy of my master’s degree in Performance/Sport Psychology and know that the healing power of yoga has been proven time and time again. Boy, did I need some healing!”

Following description of a yoga class at Ft. Campbell is excerpted from Connected Warriors website: https://connectedwarriors.org/warrior-testimonials/

Michael, MSG – U.S. ARMY VETERAN WITH 17 YEARS IN SERVICE

“Three years ago a retired Army Command Sergeant Major invited me to a Connected Warriors yoga class at Fort Campbell. Needless to say, I was apprehensive about going to an unfamiliar activity that I perceived as new age stretching for women. Walking in the room, I was surprised to find such an eclectic group of participants from all different age groups, genders, body types, and fitness levels. Many had some type of knee, shoulder, or back injury – battle wounds from a dedicated life of service. Much to my surprise, the class was an intense workout that challenged my strength, balance, and flexibility. I found myself returning each week to learn new postures and for the challenge of pushing myself to the edge. During that year, I noticed physical changes such as my knee no longer swelling after long runs and ruck marches, increased inner core strength, and an overall improvement in my level of fitness.”

Per Connected Warriors:

“The Connected Warriors mission is to empower Servicemembers, Veterans and their Families worldwide through Trauma-Conscious Yoga.”

“Thanks to our synergistic partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Connected Warriors is at the forefront of clinical studies on yoga’s positive effects. Out of every dollar we raise, 92¢ cents goes into our programs in 9 countries worldwide, 24 states, and Washington D.C.”

 

Two Vietnam veterans talk about the Connected Warriors program in 2011 South Florida article re former sex crimes and homicide prosecutor who left to teach yoga full time:

“I always thought that yoga had something to do with meditation, but I didn’t know it was so strenuous,” said Vietnam veteran Curtis Hodge Jr., 66, a Lauderhill retiree. He said a weekly class with Frankel has helped him sleep through the night for the first time in 40 years.

“This is not a sissy thing, you know,” Hodge said.

Fellow Vietnam veteran Tom Turnberger, 63, a former Marine, praised Frankel’s non-critical manner. “He goes out of his way to make everyone feel welcome,” said Turnberger, of Plantation. “He said he appreciates what we’ve done as veterans, and that is not something those of us who served in Vietnam heard a lot.

“I don’t know how this works, but it gives me a sense of calm,” he added. “I’ve been searching for this.”

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-xpm-2011-08-03-fl-yoga-for-vets-20110730-story.html

 

Feature image accessed 4 December 2018 at https://connectedwarriors.org/warrior-testimonials/

 

Charles.photo.lawlibrary. 150 x 200

Charles Bloeser is a lawyer and the researcher behind the creation of combatresearchandprose.com, a new open-source applied research initiative examining combat and those marked by it. His most recent publication, in August 2018, reports how a cancer-stricken, combat-haunted Vietnam veteran fell between the cracks in a modern jail. It’s an account that, from that warrior’s deathbed, he asked author to share with those best able to keep the same thing from happening to others. STRIFE, at the Department of War Studies, Kings College London, gave him a way to do that.  

http://www.strifeblog.org/2018/08/02/henry-a-wounded-soldier-forgotten-by-all-in-an-american-jail-by-all-except-his-brothers-who-fell-beside-him-in-vietnam

Arrested because of combat or other military trauma? Here’s just one-fact-of-life: the snitch

“PROSE”: “the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing.”  – Merriam WebsterSnitches get Stitches. image of kid possibly snitching. friend across street with handgun . 350 x 359

 

From a Dallas Observer story featuring a client I represented after he’d already been convicted at the trial court: if you’re gonna play in Texas . . .

Faced with the prospect of a long prison sentence because of his status as a career offender, Combs said he agreed to work as an informant with the Dallas Police Department. According to Combs’ attorney, Charles Bloeser of Nashville, the agreement was made in January 2003 during a 10-minute conversation with Detective Dunn and her supervisor at a Minyard’s parking lot. They told Combs he was obligated to make three felony-level purchases of marijuana or cocaine that lead to three separate arrests, and he would have to do so within a 90-day period, Bloeser said. In exchange, the 2002 drug case against him would be dropped (a case that was ultimately dismissed for lack of evidence).”

. . .

The use of informants is seen as an essential element of the drug war, but there are few, if any, safeguards in place to protect them. Unlike a plea bargain, which is detailed and public, informants enter into secret agreements that “are vague and open-ended,” according to a 2004 study by Loyola Law School professor Alexandra Natapoff. Sometimes the agreement is made in writing, and sometimes it is not. As a result, informants can easily be taken advantage of. A reward for cooperation may range from a clean record to a reduced sentence to nothing at all if the handler decides the information is no good, Natapoff writes. Certain crimes are allowed, while others are not. Sometimes an arrangement can last for years.

Snitches a Dying Breed skull image. 350 x 266It is entirely possible, then, that Combs’ story is true, although he does have a credibility problem: Since 1979, he has been charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated robbery, possession and a long list of other crimes. It is worth noting, however, that the DPD thought him credible enough to use him as an informant.

 

 

Link to the complete story about Mr. Combs is below.

Reverse Rat _ Dallas Observer. article online image accessed 22 October 2018

https://www.dallasobserver.com/content/printView/6377538

Reverse Rat _ Dallas Observer. story re Roy Combs case. 9 Nov. 2006

Docket sheet at United States Supreme Court

Roy Combs v. US docket sheet SCOTUS 06-8069

Here are two recent products about the all-too-frequent cattle chute from PTSD to prison. The first earned a U.S. Marine combat infantryman the Pulitzer Prize. The second source is a 2017 doctoral dissertation by Jolene Van Nevel, PhD: From Combat Veterans to Criminals: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Criminal Justice Involvement. 

From Combat Veterans to Criminals PTSD and CJI. 2017 doctoral dissertation Jolene Van Nevel PhD. cover image305 x 400See also:

Jolene Van Nevel. From Combat Veterans to Criminals: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Criminal Justice Involvement. Doctoral dissertation. Walden University 2017. 

https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5286&context=dissertations

 

 

 

 

Feature image: PBS Frontline. SNITCH: how informants have become a key part of prosecutorial strategy in the drug war.  https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/snitch/

 

ckb face indian screen image indirect 150 x 221Charles Bloeser is a lawyer and the researcher behind the creation of combatresearchandprose.com, a new open-source applied research initiative examining combat and those marked by it. His most recent publication, in August 2018, reports how a cancer-stricken, combat-haunted, Vietnam veteran fell between the cracks in a modern jail. It’s an account that, from that warrior’s deathbed, he asked author to share with those best able to keep the same thing from happening to others. STRIFE, at the Department of War Studies, Kings College London, gave him a way to do that.  

http://www.strifeblog.org/2018/08/02/henry-a-wounded-soldier-forgotten-by-all-in-an-american-jail-by-all-except-his-brothers-who-fell-beside-him-in-vietnam