Resources expo hosted at Oshkosh Correctional for incarcerated vets
OSHKOSH, Wis. (WLUK) -- The Department of Corrections says it's especially important to give imprisoned veterans the tools they need to succeed once they're released.
"You are not forgotten" was a message that stuck for Jeremy Forseth, an inmate at Oshkosh correctional institution.
"I deserve a chance just like anybody does, despite the fact that I've made some really bad decisions, it doesn't make me lesser of a person," Forseth said.
Forseth served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Africa, but then struggled with PTSD and substance abuse when he got back. He says being successful in the workforce has been hard.
"I'm very familiar with the stigma that gets placed on somebody, because this is not my first incarceration, this is my sixth incarceration," Forseth said.
Issues like this are something the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and Department of Veterans Affairs are looking to help with.
To do that, a resource expo for incarcerated veterans was hosted at Oshkosh Correctional Institution Wednesday.
"If you've got individuals that have served their time, and they're ready to come back in, reenter into society, and do good things, why not give them the opportunity," Dan Zimmerman, state Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary, said.
"If we can assist them in finding respectable housing, employment, benefits, and medical care, then we have done part of our service in reentry," Jon Litscher, the state Department of Corrections Secretary, said.
They say that service is especially valuable for these men who have served our nation.
About 150 incarcerated vets attended the expo at Oshkosh Correctional, and got the chance to discuss their options with various organizations.
"I got a lot of information that I needed to get out of it, and I think it's a very productive and positive thing for us, because it gives us a sense of hope," Forseth said.
This is the first time that the DOC has hosted an expo like this at its prisons, Oshkosh Correctional is one of three locations hosting the event.
The other locations for the expos are at Stanley Correctional Institution in western Wisconsin, and Racine Correctional Institution in the southern part of the state.