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To Climb Out With You


To Climb Out With You

Here's how it's done: A North Carolina judge - and veteran - who sentenced a three-tour, PTSD-afflicted veteran to 24 hours in jail for a DUI offense, and noted how the offender trembled at sentencing, served the time with him; they spent the night talking about their military service, their struggles, "our dreams for us and our families, and the road to take us there." Compassion 101.


So that is a judge? I knew I'd see one sooner or later. Wish we had more than one.


The story about the addict in the hole is almost identical to one told on The West Wing by Leo to Josh in the Christmas episode from season 2. It can be found on YouTube.


Abby, one of your very best stories. Thank you for your humanity and your appreciation of it wherever it exists.


A great story, a human story, good people abound, the vet and the judge.


"Here's how it's done" Amen. Thank you Abby Zimet. Would love to see more like this.


Thank you Abby... This is the kind of America that I want to live in and support.


Thank you for this, Abby Zimet; Thank you, Judge Lou Olivera, for your humanity and wisdom; God speed to you, Sergeant Serna and to all of your family -- and may those who sent Sergeant Serna and tens of thousands of others to kill and be killed be called to account.


The humanity of that judge is nothing short of inspiring!
Take a note every mother-loving bigot out there: that judge is a Black Man who climbed down into that hole to climb out with that vet!
It shouldn't need to be said. And it's not just because of this one man's actions, but:
Black Lives Matter.
Finest kind of human being there is, right there!


Judge Olivera - may your influence grow. To Mr Serna and the Serna family - wishing you strength, beauty, courage and joy... and may you make them contagious! We are all climbing out in countless different ways - and do so best together.


This happens every day if you are paying attention to the right things.
Don't ever pass up an opportunity to crawl into the hole.
You'll meet the best people in your life, when you least expect it.
You'll notice the opportunity by everyone's hesitation.


“Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds & then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.”
― Arundhati Roy

OR bring them back from war with broken psyches and then criminalize them. Gov uses them and then the incarceration system makes money off them.

Psychedelics are showing great promise in treating those with PTSD and alcoholism, but if we won't legalize them then maybe we can shoot for ending war. ? Right.

No, we'll just keep sending them to war and if they come back alive, we'll send them to the VA--maybe--and/or jail.

Compassionate judge; f*cked up paradigm.


Ths guy drove while impaired, putting the lives of everyone on the road at that same time at risk. I don't give a damn who he is, or what he has done, the bottom line is that thousands of people every year are killed or injured by impaired drivers. Only when DUI is treated as the violent felony that it is will that fact begin to change.
He should have been sentenced to at least a year in jail. He could have taken the time to get the help he needs while sitting in a cell.
And don't feel badly for him and his PTSD. He volunteered.


Are you sure that yours is the path to the greatest reduction in DUI deaths / injuries / near misses?


Great story. The insanity of American foreign policy cannot but produce more insanity. The ravages of mental illness are helped by understanding and authentic care. Kudos to the judge. Bring the military home and disband half of it. Reinvest in Americans.


I agree, Hector, about the accountability. Too bad that those who advocate war can't be the ones required to go fight them.


I guess you never had a brother that had five DUIs, who finally did dry out, but only after a year in jail? Or have a drunken 20 year old cross the center line and nearly kill your wife? A 20 year old who had been arrested 3 times before for driving while impaired, yet served no jail time?
And since when is it puritanical to expect a certain level of safety when one drives down the road?


If I got drunk and beat a man with a lead pipe they would place me in prison for at least five years. Yet, if I run over him with my car, I'll get a suspended license and probation.
Do you see the problem?


Thank you for that beautiful comment, rolson.
I wish that also happened regularly outside the hole.


Yes we all see the problem.
Continued criminalization of a mental disease.
You will be just as dead from an individual crossing the centerline after suffering a stroke. Do we jail them?
But as you say it's logical to ignore the PTSD it's just a symptom of the disease.