Veteran Judge recognized for the lives he’s touched

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 4:16 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -It wasn’t the pounding of the gavel that commanded attention and celebration inside this courtroom, but the judge himself.

“It was a complete surprise to me to be honored because that’s not what any of us do it for,” said Judge John Roach of the North Texas Veterans Court.

Friday the American Legion Post 231 in Pottsboro presented a plaque to marine veteran Judge Roach for everything he’s done.

“We’ve had a lot of our veterans go through his courtroom and come out successful,” said Post 231 Commander Andrew Lowery.

Every month veterans of Grayson County meet before Judge Roach.

These vets were charged with a criminal offense connected to their military service.

“What Judge Roach said is he wants to make sure that their civilian record matches their honorable military record,” said Brett Smith, Grayson County District Attorney.

To do this, they go through a two year program.

Like two veterans who appeared before Judge Roach Friday and now have a second chance.

“They’re charges were dismissed, and their record was expunged,” Smith said.

One of those veterans was from Post 231.

Commander Lowery spoke on behalf of that veteran who’s case was dismissed, “I think whatever reason he was before Judge Roach, he certainly was able to overcome any barriers and obstacles and get his life back on track to where he wanted to go.”

Judge Roach said days like today make it worthwhile, “we see them when they came in to court and we see them when they’re probably at their lowest and to watch them progress and get their lives back on track, that is exactly why we do it and we’ll continue to do it.”

For his ten years of service on the Veteran’s Court bench, the men and women he serves are saying thank you.