New York Times
By DAVE PHILIPPS
FEB. 19, 2016
Since 2001, more than 300,000 people, about 13 percent of all troops, have been forced out of the military with less-than-honorable discharges.
Mr. Goldsmith, center, and other veterans met with Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, right, in January to discuss the military’s discharge process. “I’ve been fighting for eight years, and I can’t get anywhere,” Mr. Goldsmith said. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesWASHINGTON — Kristofer Goldsmith was discharged from the Army at the height of the Iraq war because he was not on a plane to Baghdad for his second deployment. Instead, he was in a hospital after attempting suicide the night before.
On the sergeant’s first deployment, his duties often required him to photograph mutilated corpses. After coming home, he was stalked by nightmares and despair. In 2007, he overdosed on pills, and his platoon found him passed out in a grove of trees at Fort Stewart, Ga., that had been planted to honor soldiers killed in combat.
Instead of screening Mr. Goldsmith for post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, records show that the Army wrote him up for missing his flight, then forced him out of the military with a less-than-honorable discharge. When he petitioned the Army to upgrade his discharge, arguing that he missed his flight because of undiagnosed PTSD, it rejected his appeal.
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