Judge Lou Olivera doesn’t have an easy job.
Sure, it’s great to be the one to hand down justice to an unrepentant criminal or someone who poses a serious danger to society. Still, judges have hearts like anyone else and there are just as many instances where a judge like Olivera is forced to sentence someone they truly wish they could help.
Olivera, district court judge over the Veterans Treatment Court in Cumberland County, North Carolina, showed the world his kind heart after he was forced to sentence former Green Beret Joe Serna for probation violation.
As a Gulf War veteran, Olivera is no stranger to the life-altering experience of combat. He’s seen plenty, placing him in a unique position to serve both his community and his fellow servicemen as a judge.
When Serna’s case came before him, Olivera was deeply moved.
Serna, a three-tour veteran of the war in Afghanistan and two-time Purple Heart recipient, is one of the innumerable veterans who find themselves suffering from PTSD and unable to cope back home.
For many veterans like Serna, alcohol or drugs seem to be waiting with open arms, offering false comfort and sending them on a downward spiral of self-destruction. The Veterans Treatment Court exists to serve veterans fighting this kind of battle, and it became Judge Olivera’s mission to make a difference in Serna’s life.
Serna was arrested for drunk driving a few years before this court date. One condition of his probation was that he was strictly prohibited from drinking alcohol. But when Serna lied about a recent urine test, Olivera couldn’t just let it slide.
“I gave Joe a night in jail because he had to be held accountable,” Olivera recounted to CBS.
Later on, when Serna entered his cell for the night, terrible memories came flooding back into his mind, memories of the event that sparked his PTSD.
“When I walked into the jail cell, and they closed the door behind me, I started feeling this anxiety,” Serna said. “It came back—a flashback.”
As an Army Sargent First Class, Serna survived an IED and a suicide bomber during his time in Afghanistan, but that wasn’t the event that shook him. Instead, it was a simple truck ride with three other men in his company that proved to be the most horrific event of his life.
“We were following the creek and the road gave way,” Serna recalled, tearfully, “And the vehicle went into the creek.”
As the water began rising in the truck, Serna found himself stuck and totally unable to move. The water rose up to his chin before finally subsiding and, tragically, he was the only one to leave that truck alive. Because of this incident, Serna not only suffers from PTSD, but extreme claustrophobia.
Judge Olivera, however, wasn’t finished with Serna. “I knew what Joe was going through and I knew Joe’s history. And he had to be held accountable,” Olivera said, “but I just felt I had to go with him. I felt I had to go with him.”
Within a few minutes of being locked up, Serna received the surprise of a lifetime when Judge Olivera walked through the door to join him for the night.
“We talked about our families,” Serna said, smiling. “The walls didn’t exist anymore. He brought me back to North Carolina from being in a truck in Afghanistan.”
“He is a judge, but that night, he was my battle buddy,” Serna said. “He knew what I was going through. As a warrior, he connected.”
And, just like that, Olivera, who saw his brother-in-arms struggling, lifted him up and carried him through the night, and hopefully sparked a change leading to a brighter future for Serna.
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Dog in Thailand with Three Legs Hailed as Hero After Saving Abandoned Newborn
And he did it all with only three legs.
We don’t deserve dogs. Sure, that has been said thousands of times over throughout the course of modern history, but the logic is still difficult to argue with even with all of that preparation. These creatures, after tens of thousands of years as our only true companion animal, have evolved into not only being fairly well dependent on us, but also to love us unconditionally, and in ways that we could only dream about. New research even suggests that owning dogs has altered the human genetic code, and that being a “dog person” is something that a DNA test can reveal. Furthermore, dogs are kind and caring in ways that we may never be able to replicate as a more sentient animal. Take the case of a peculiar pup in Thailand who this week saved a newborn baby from an unfathomable fate at the hands of its mother. A dog in northern Thailand has rescued a newborn baby after it was buried alive, allegedly by its teenage mother. The baby boy is said to have been abandoned by his mother, 15, to hide her pregnancy from her parents. Ping Pong the dog was barking and digging in a field in Ban Nong Kham village. Its owner says he then noticed a baby’s leg sticking out of the earth. Locals rushed the baby to hospital where doctors cleaned him up and declared he was healthy. Ping Pong, despite having lost a leg in a car accident, has always been a good boy. Ping Pong’s owner, Usa Nisaikha, says it lost the use of one of its legs after being hit by a car. He told Khaosod Newspaper: “I kept him because he’s so loyal and obedient, and always helps me out when I go to the fields to tend to my cattle.…
MUST SEE: Enormous Gorillas Turn into Scaredy Cats in Hilarious Viral Video
The hilarious clip is something that almost all of us can relate to.
When it comes to the animal kingdom, there are few beasts more frightening than those in the gorilla family. Their sheer strength is conveyed by their hulking and brutally-muscled bodies, which are capable of producing power at a rate nine times that of man. Scientists have indicated that a Silverback Gorilla may be capable of lifting up to 1.800 pounds of dead weight. That’s nearly the curb weight of a ultra-compact car. Knowing what we know about these creatures, it stands to reason that almost nothing in the natural world would disturb or deter them…. ….except for maybe a little rain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c0YlhgUNFU These gorillas from a zoo in South Carolina have met their match in rain shower, in the above clip which has gone viral this week. The prancing primates were all the rage on Twitter as well. https://twitter.com/cwwaters/status/1127678279740268545 https://twitter.com/MaireCervenak/status/1127533108130189313 https://twitter.com/pg21707/status/1127477442157871105 Some have pointed out, however, that wild gorilla will enjoy a good rain from time to time, leading some to believe that these apes may just be a bit spoiled. https://twitter.com/immellocker/status/1127492640293957633
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