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Harnett Veterans Court Seeks Volunteer Mentors

Harnett County Courthouse
Gerry Dincher
Harnett County opened North Carolina's first Veterans Treatment Court in 2013.

The Harnett County Veterans Treatment Court is looking for volunteers to help veterans navigate the legal system.

The Veterans Treatment Court assists former service members who have committed minor misdemeanor crimes. Mentors are now working with 20 veterans, and 10 more are expected. But only nine mentors are enrolled.

Mentor Coordinator Steve Dally says many of the veterans referred to the District 11A Veterans Treatment Court are having trouble adjusting to civilian life. Some need treatment for PTSD, while others need help finding jobs. He says resources are available to help them, but many vets don't know what they're looking for.

"Some of them have a lot of problems just trying to remember what they're supposed to be doing from day to day," Dally said. "And the mentors help them get through the court system, make sure that they make it to appointments."

Dally says mentors should be good listeners and have served in the military themselves. He says veterans are more likely to open up to someone who speaks the "same language."

"When you get an individual that comes into court that's totally disoriented, out of his realm...and in four or five months, you've got an individual that's putting on a shirt and a tie and coming in with a big smile on his face, it really makes you feel good," Dally said.

Volunteers should be willing to commit to about an hour per week for at least a year. People interested in becoming mentors should contact Dally at 910-890-6610 or

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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