Judge Sentences Veteran To 24 Hours In Jail, Then Shocks Everyone With This Act Of Compassion

A judge’s act of compassion has a former Fort Bragg soldier promising to get his life back on track. A Cumberland County judge sentenced veteran Joseph Serna to spend one night in jail for a probation violation, but the former soldier was shocked when the judge served the time with him. Serna is a former Special Forces soldier who has been deployed four times. Since his retirement, he has used alcohol to fight battlefield demons. “I’ve lost a lot of friends and I take my bumps as well and I didn’t want to talk about it,” said Serna. Serna’s fight to get sober landed him in Cumberland County’s Veterans Treatment Court, which is run by District Court Judge Lou Olivera. “It’s a treatment court, but it’s a treatment court that’s targeted to those veterans who keep on appearing in the court system for particular reasons,” Olivera said. Serna has appeared before Olivera 25 times while going through the treatment program. Serna said last week, he didn’t tell the truth about his urinalysis test, and Olivera ordered him to spend 24-hours behind bars. Olivera drove Serna to the jail in Robeson County. The cell door closed and Serna sat on the cot. He said the door rattled, then opened, and he was shocked at what happened next. “The judge comes in … and so we’re sitting there and they lock the door and I realized, oh, we’re going to stay the night. He’s going to stay the night here with me,” Serna said. The two men spent most of the night talking about their military service.

via WRAL


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