Vietnam Vet Hopes New Pentagon Guidelines Help Him And Others Gain Benefits
The Hartford Courant
September 5, 2014
Conley Monk, a Vietnam War veteran who has been fighting for decades to have his military discharge status upgraded, expressed hope Friday that new Pentagon guidelines will help him and other Vietnam Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder finally get federal benefits.
PTSD was not designated as a medical condition until 1980. Some 70,000 Vietnam veterans who suffered from undiagnosed PTSD were given less-than-honorable discharges for their behaviors and many were denied medical, educational and other federal benefits and had trouble securing employment.
"I'm a fighter. I won't quit," said Monk, who left the military in 1971. "I pray that this makes a difference. I've been waiting for 43 years for my discharge to be changed," he said.
After lobbying by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and others, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this week issued guidelines which Hagel said would ease the process for Vietnam veterans who apply to upgrade their discharges and "ensure fair and consistent results across the military services."
Tens of thousands of Vietnam veterans could be affected by the new guidelines that take effect in late October.
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Vietnam Veterans with PTSD and bad discharges may finally get justice