Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Rep. Tim Walz Writes Bill on Bad Discharges But Doesn't Know Numbers?

I was just reading Group works to reclassify discharged vets with PTSD when something made me scream. It seems that Walz wrote a bill he doesn't even understand.
On March 3, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz introduced the Fairness for Veterans Act. The bill essentially does many of the same things Nordgaard is trying to do with his group in Red Wing.
"Walz said the problem is potentially very widespread. Since 2009, at least 22,000 veterans have been discharged who have suffered PTSD or a TBI for misconduct. While not all of these incidents of misconduct can be linked to combat trauma, the potential there is big."
Big? Sure it is since it is a lot bigger than what he just said. He's writing a bill but reports do not indicate he has the slightest clue. I checked and these links are still active. Too bad Walz didn't. 

On June 7, 2013. Rep. Mike Coffman introduced an amendment to the 2014 Defense Authorization Act because of a report from the Gazette.
Coffman said his amendment came in response to a three-day series of stories in The Gazette last month detailing how the number of soldiers discharged from the Army for misconduct has surged 67 percent since 2009 at posts with the most combat troops.
This was reported on December 9, 2013 on WAMC
(Eric) Highfill and more than 100,000 other troops left the armed services with "bad paper" over the past decade of war. Many went to war, saw combat, even earned medals before they broke the rules of military discipline or in some cases committed serious crimes. The bad discharge means no VA assistance, no disability compensation, no GI Bill, and it's a red flag on any job application. Most veterans service organizations don't welcome bad paper vets, and even many private sector jobs programs for vets accept honorable discharge only.
April 1, 2015 LA Times reported this.
More than 140,000 troops have left the military since 2000 with less-than-honorable discharges, according to the Pentagon.
October 24, 2015 The Gazette reported this
The Army parted with 24,611 soldiers for discipline issues in 2012 and 2013.
The New York Times reported this February 19, 2016
Observers say the boards are overwhelmed. And, despite a growing caseload from Iraq and Afghanistan, the staff at the Army Review Boards Agency has steadily shrunk. In 2014, it had 135 employees to process 22,500 cases, according to an agency briefing.
That is just for the Army alone.

KPCC reported this number on March 16, 2016
According to data obtained by KPCC from the Defense Manpower Data Center, more than 615,000 Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force veterans were discharged with less-than-honorable discharges from 1990-2015.