Serving our country takes a lot of sacrifice. For many veterans, adjusting to life back home can be difficult and Shelby County Veterans Court gives them a second chance.

In 2018 a photo made its way around Memphis, of a truck that almost crash landed into the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

“A really, really bad night and bad decision, brought me in here,” said Courtney Tate.

After Courtney Tate’s “bad night,” he was charged with driving under the influence and entered the Shelby County Veterans Court judicially supervised treatment program. This happened years after he served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.

“Had I not come to this court, I would’ve just been another person in the criminal justice system. This court required me to go through the counseling and that allowed me to take accountability,” said Tate.

Accountability is just one of the goals of the program.

Director Jerry Easter uses his experience as a combat Marine to help other veterans.

“The military experiences that they have, can take that crack and shatter a person. We try to help them identify that then go through the treatment needed,” said Easter.

Much like in the service, Veterans Court gives our nation’s heroes a mission.

“This program requires a total commitment to remaining clean and sober as well as dealing with any mental health issues and leading a law-abiding life,” according to directors.

So far, the one-year program has helped hundreds in Shelby County.

Daniel Fisher served was a sergeant in the Marine Corps. Tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan left him with post traumatic stress disorder.

“I saw a lot of bad things. I was having nightmares. I was sweating and (having) panic attacks. I couldn’t handle it,” said Fisher.

The Veterans Court full treatment program turned Fisher’s life around.

“I went from being a stellar Marine to somebody that was no good. And they saved me. If it wasn’t for them, I would be in the cemetery or in the prison right now,” said Fisher.

“Coming into this court was a blessing. Finishing the course, allowed me to have a clean record and a new lease on life. Those are things I’m going to carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Tate.

For more info on Veterans Court you can go to https://veteranscourt.shelbycountytn.gov/veterans