They shook hands and the smile from the man's face could be seen from outside.
The best way I know to say thank you is through the written word. These words, however, will fall short of the deep appreciation I actually feel. For hundreds of years, men and women have agreed to put their country before themselves and battle for those of us that either don't want to or cannot. The soldiers do not care who we are or what we believe in, so much as what America stands for. The selfless tasks performed by soldiers every day is a stark reminder that what is truly important in life is often unheralded. Thank you to all those who have ever served on my behalf, overseas or at home. You are the ones who have made my choices in life possible. It hardly seems right that I receive a day off in honor of other people's sacrifices. Shouldn't I have to volunteer or something like that today?
Now for the legal aspect of the post. Soldiers face difficult tasks when returning to the life of a citizen. Some have been in war zones and have a difficult time coping. As prosecutors, we see the effects daily. We handle many cases where veterans are arrested for drugs or violence. Then, we face the difficult task of deciding how to handle these cases. Do they receive special treatment because of the soldier's past? Should they be treated like any other person in the system?
New specialty courts appear every year. In my county, there is a drug court, DWI court, youth court, mental health court and now a veterans court. The idea behind these courts is that the cases sent there require specialized attention and services necessitating different treatment. If you don't fall into one of these categories, then you don't get the special services the courts offer. The motivation behind specialty courts is admirable, but is it fair? Should different groups of citizens be treated and offered separate services? Should the courts even be involved in this?