Saturday, December 31, 2016

Combat PTSD Bad Discharges May Not Be Lifetime Scarlet Letter

Pentagon review could help veterans shed ‘bad paper’ discharges linked to trauma
STARS AND STRIPES
By WYATT OLSON
Published: December 30, 2016
“So many of our servicemembers have developed PTSD and brain injuries while on active duty," he said. "Many...were undiagnosed until long after their service was completed."
The Defense Department announced Friday that it is reviewing and potentially upgrading the discharge status of veterans who might have been improperly discharged for reasons related to post-traumatic stress syndrome, sexual orientation, sexual assault and other circumstances.

“With today’s announcement, the department is reaffirming its intention to review and potentially upgrade the discharge status of all individuals that are eligible and that apply,” a Pentagon news release said.

The announcement comes a week after President Barack Obama signed the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a bipartisan provision to help veterans who may have been erroneously given a less-than-honorable discharge due to bad behavior arising from mental trauma, such as PTSD or traumatic brain injury.
“Too many service members have lost access to their VA benefits because of mental health injuries that were not recognized when they left the military,” said Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee Personnel Subcommittee, in the same statement.

The provision will let veterans with mental health injuries and those who experienced military sexual trauma more easily have their discharges upgraded “so that they can get the care they need and the benefits they earned,” she said. read more here

They would not have PTSD or TBI if they did not risk their lives. Why should they have to pay for their service the rest of their lives just because we did not help them while they were still in? The DOD told them it was their fault when they pushed "Resilience Training" making them think they were weak instead of having a strong emotional core. How could they ask for help when they believed there was something wrong with them instead of right with why they served in the first place? They did not get the help they needed and it is up to us to make sure they get justice now.