Veterans Court Celebrates Volunteer’s Birthday

District Court Judge Joy Jones, left, presents a birthday cake to volunteer and veteran Fred Wise during court proceedings Wednesday. Mr. Wise, who turned 88, serves as the sergeant at arms during weekly court sessions.

The staff of the Harnett County Veteran’s Court took time out of its regular activity last Wednesday to honor one of its most loyal and dedicated veterans on the occasion of his birthday.

District Court Judge Joy Jones stepped down from her bench to present a birthday cake to veteran Fred Wise.

Mr. Wise is a retired sergeant major in the U.S. Army. He was a Special Forces officer in the Green Berets serving in both the Vietnam and Korean conflicts.

He received several awards for service in both of the Asian conflicts. They include the Bronze Star, the Vietnam Service Award, the National Defense Medal and the Oak Leaf Cluster.

Veterans Court Program Director Mark Teachey said the court is important to Mr. Wise.

“He just lives for this veterans treatment court,” Mr. Teachey said. “He is a mentor for those participating in the program and he is great man.”

Mr. Teachey said Mr. Wise was made sergeant-at-arms of the court in order to allow him to sit in a prominent position on the court.

He said he is a loyal participant in the court.

“He became so upset because he hurt his leg and couldn’t come to court to help these veterans,” Mr. Teachey said. “He’s just a wonderful man.”

The Veteran’s Service Court meets once a week in Lillington. It is an avenue for military veterans charged with some crimes to navigate the court system.

Harnett County is one of only four similar courts in the state. The other veterans services courts are in Buncombe, Cumberland and Forsyth counties.

-Dunn Daily Record