Saturday, February 27, 2016

Less Than Honorably Treated Oregon Veteran Wins VA Claim

Local veteran wins VA battle in Portland
Tillamook Headlight Herald
By Brad Mosher
Updated 18 hrs ago
Vietnam-era veteran Bill Minnix talks to Sen. Ron Wyden during the Oregon senator's recent town hall in Tillamook. Minnix credits Wyden's office for helping his case with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Headlight Herald photo / Brad Mosher

Bill Minnix got some good news Tuesday.

He was told that a Department of Veterans Affairs hearing in Portland recently had decided his service from February to July in 1973 in the U.S. Air Force is considered honorable for VA purposes.

The hearing was focused on the character of Minnix’ discharge from the military in 1973, when he was given a less than honorable discharge.

The decision doesn’t change the discharge, but it opens the door to Minnix receiving full veterans benefits.

It also is considered to be a ground-breaking decision which could impact other veterans who were victims of sexual assault while in the service.

“I am quite excited. I talked to Tiffany Kelley, the attorney for the National Veterans Legal Services Program, and she said this is huge because they have had these veterans just waiting. She said that this was a huge precedent,” Minnix said.

“Monetary-wise, that is not the thing. What I am getting out of this and I feel really good about is all the people this (decision) is going to help from here on out.

“They are many other ‘other than honorable’ discharges. Some are called undesirable. Some are called personality disorder discharges,” he added.
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