Toby Bowden — Marine, Overcomer, Hero

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Toby Bowden — Marine, Overcomer, Hero

Toby Bowden — Marine, Overcomer, Hero

I first met Toby Bowden loads of years ago in a court docket. A passe of the United States Marine Corps, Toby had bound into some appropriate worry and, comparatively than being bound by the usual court docket system, he turned into as soon as positioned in Used’s Court.

The court docket turned into as soon as established in Coweta County and turned into as soon as patterned after the already existent Drug Court which worked with non-violent offenders who had alcohol or substance abuse complications that had contributed to their unlawful acts. It supplied a manner for offenders to enter a program to get dapper and sober and turned into as soon as another option to jail time.

I turned into as soon as very accustomed to Drug Court and, when the Used’s Court, formally the Coweta County Used Treatment Court, turned into as soon as established, I turned into as soon as asked to be a mentor coordinator.

Why a selected court docket for veterans? At any individual time, solely one% of the population of the United States is serving in the protection force. In our up-to-the-minute society, the nation would possibly perchance well even be at battle — because it has been for many of the final 50-60 years — but life for the usual population goes on as even though there isn’t any longer always a battle at all.

It turned into as soon as reported that, everywhere in the desert wars, when a journalist queried a Marine about how he felt about his nation being at battle, he said, “The nation isn’t any longer at battle. The Marines are at battle. The nation is at the mall.”

It is correctly known that many protection force personnel dangle experienced battle, demise, trauma, and effort incredible to non-protection force kinds. When a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine is discharged, they on occasion lift with them an dependancy to alcohol or pills. Or, in the occasion that they undergo from Put up Annoying Stress Disorder, they’ll additionally simply strive to self-medicate to address what they’ve viewed and experienced, which can dangle gruesome results. This would possibly perchance additionally simply lead to the passe committing unlawful acts.

That’s no longer an excuse for contemptible habits but it for sure does wait on as an rationalization for some scenarios. Some veterans commit suicide — about 22 each and on every day foundation.

Drug Court turned into as soon as established to strive to lend a hand those that had served their nation honorably, and had troubles after returning to civilian life, to enhance their lives and get encourage on a healthy and profitable observe.

One in every of essentially the most memorable issues I witnessed in attending drug court docket on time and all another time turned into as soon as the glory and dignity proven to those violators who came sooner than the think. He consistently honored their carrier and sacrifice, as did the workers, and, while there had been both rewards and punishments that you just would possibly perchance well well presumably take into consideration, that admire turned into as soon as consistently proven.

And that’s the keep I met and talked loads of times to Toby Bowden. I didn’t know what precisely had introduced him to drug court docket and it didn’t topic. He turned into as soon as there for a 2nd likelihood at life, and he turned into as soon as resolute no longer to extinguish it or treat it lightly.

He turned into as soon as occupied with leaving no topic his dependancy turned into as soon as at the encourage of him and in constructing a profitable enterprise. He turned into as soon as working a towing and wrecker carrier. Toby turned into as soon as a mannequin participant and successfully carried out the program. As a Coweta County newspaper lately reported, Jennifer Barnett described Toby as “One in every of our brightest success reviews.”

He turned into as soon as so profitable that he turned into a Used’s Court mentor, helping different apprehensive veterans to work by their complications and get encourage on their toes. Barnett said of him, “He would possibly perchance well well dangle gotten a job anyplace. He’s power, legitimate, and never hunted for a shortcut.” His enterprise success reflected that work ethic. Life stored wanting up as Toby and his fiance spot a marriage date for September of this twelve months.

Toby turned into as soon as assisting with a car shatter final Wednesday morning on the facet of the facet toll road on I-85 when he turned into as soon as killed by a 31-twelve months-veteran man who, in a gruesome irony, is suspected of using beneath the have an effect on (DUI).

The driver has been arrested on a alternative of predominant prices, including first degree vehicular homicide. Toby has been described as “selfless, a caretaker, a protector of his family and ‘any individual you would possibly perchance well well presumably name … day or night, and he’d be there.’”

He turned into as soon as also a particular person that served his family, built a profitable enterprise, a Marine who served his nation, and a particular person that overcame his demons. An unofficial motto of the Marine Corps is “improvise, adapt, and overcome.” Toby lived out that motto after which helped others to develop the same. If that’s no longer a hero, then I don’t know what one is.

[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King ( Worship services are on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and on livestream at He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South ( He may be contacted at]

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