(Please post any corrections that you may hear in watching the video.)
Hi everyone. My name is Trey Anastasio, and I am a proud graduate of the Washington County public drug treatment court.
I can't begin to describe how moving it is for me to be here today. In 2006, my life was a wreck. I was arrested and sent into drug court. At the time, it seemed like the worst thing that ever happened to me. I was in drug court for 14 months, and then a couple years of probation. Today, I say from the depths of my heart, that that was the greatest thing that ever happened in my life -- for me, for my wife, for my kids, my parents. It's indescribable. I just want to dig deep down and say thank you to all of you. I don't even know if you can be aware of the positive effects you are having. Not just on the drug court participants, but on their families and everyone they come into contact with. I am a huge supporter of drug court, and a huge supporter of everything that all of you do. So thank you.
I am going to say one more thing and then I get to introduce the senator. My case manager's name is Melanie Vaughn. She could not be here today. When I was in drug court, she scared me. [laughs] I ended up going to jail, and you know everything that happens in drug court. Today, she is one of my best friends. We text each other all the time. The reason she couldn't be here is 'cause in Washington County -- which is in New York, upstate New York, very economically depressed part of the country -- there is one case manager in Washington County drug treatment court for probably about 60 or 70 participants. She couldn't afford to be here and she couldn't take the time. But she sends her love. And I send my love to you, Melanie, and wish you could be here. And like I said, thank all of you. Keep doing what you are doing.
So I am going to introduce Senator Robert Menedez. And I grew up in New Jersey, so it's an honor for me to introduce the senator from New Jersey. Senator Menedez is a true champion of drug courts. In 2008, Senator Menedez co-sponsored legislation declaring May as National Drug Court Month. Senator Menedez has supported drug courts, not only in New Jersey, but has insured drug courts throughout the country receive the funding they need by signing letters to his colleagues supporting drug courts. Senator Menedez, we all rise to thank you for being a supporter of drug courts.
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