Veterans dorm at Muscogee County Jail first in country
April 24, 2012 at 1:45 AM EST - Updated June 26 at 11:59 PM
COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX)
Sheriff John Darr announced Monday that military veterans now have a new home at the Muscogee County Jail. A special dormitory for vets opened up last week.
Moses Haynes has been in the veterans' dormitory at the Muscogee County Jail for a week now. He says he can already tell a change in the way he feels and hopes the public will see that Vets have different needs.
"Hopefully people will understand that we do things not cause we just go and do it, because of mental ill problems."
Haynes served in the Army for 5 years. He was in a helicopter crash during his service and says he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Alcoholism and a probation violation landed him in the Muscogee County Jail.
Chaplain Paul Voorhees explained, "This type of environment is good for veterans. They have a support system. And, they know that even though they are in jail, they have done something good with their lives by serving in the military. It builds their self esteem."
The separate dorm can hold 16 inmates and has emblems of each military branch, plus words like honor and pride, painted on the walls.
Voorhees will teach the veterans a course on PTSD. They will also have a chance to talk about the programs available when they get out of jail.
Sheriff Darr said the goal is to make the transition to civilian life easier. "They are going to be a support group for each other, giving themselves encouragement and talking about the programs that are out there that can be beneficial to them."
Haynes said he is "hopeful when I get out of here I will get my life back together. I am in the process of getting married. I will just take one day at a time and try not to come back here again."