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Other-Than-Honorable Discharged Soldiers Are Struggling

Posted by on Oct. 26, 2015 at 11:04 AM
  • 4 Replies

Reposted from Military Times dot com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ā€” Two of three Fort Carson soldiers who faced other-than-honorable discharges over the past few years say they still struggle, despite getting federal benefits to help cover medical costs, because the discharge also affects pensions and other benefits earned for service.

Joe Moore, a Maryland lawyer who argues veterans claims cases, said the agency can't change a soldier's military discharge status, but it can go ahead and award benefits.

"(The) VA doesn't like to re-characterize discharges," he said.

Jerrald Jensen and Kash Alvaro said they still struggle despite getting federal benefits to help cover medical costs. Sgt. Paul Sasse, whose case was also reviewed, moved to Washington state and declined to talk.

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, says he is concerned that the Army improperly punished troops suffering from war wounds and is considering legislation that would force the Army to review past discharges for misconduct to determine if the behavior was triggered by their wounds.

"No doubt, there is a disconnect about the nature of the discharge and the ramifications relative to veterans benefits..." Coffman told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

The Army said it has a program in place to ensure that veterans get a fair hearing before an other-than-honorable discharge. The system now includes reviews for soldiers who suffered combat wounds and face misconduct discharges.

Discharge boards reviewing the dismissal of troops suffering mental illness must now by law include a mental-health professional, according to regulations passed in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

Thoughts?

by on Oct. 26, 2015 at 11:04 AM
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Replies (1-4):
Elle.tea.22
by Silver Member on Oct. 26, 2015 at 2:49 PM
2 moms liked this
All I can say is "You thought I was kidding when I said not even McDonald's will hire you? Sucks to be you."
chrlstoncharmed
by Melissa on Oct. 26, 2015 at 6:43 PM
1 mom liked this

Everything seems like a mental health issue these days. That line of thought grossly underestimates the capacity of our soldiers to be in combat situations and come out of it without mental/emotional "wounds" (as they are calling it). 

B1Bomber
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2015 at 8:41 PM
It's kind of difficult to get an other than honorable discharge. You really have to screw up. The civilian equivalent would be your reference telling your new job they would definitely NOT hire you again.
cocoroo
by on Oct. 27, 2015 at 3:04 AM
My cousin got an "other than honorable" discharge from the Navy when we were 22. He kept getting in trouble for drinking and he failed a couple of drug tests for marijuana. They offered to send him to rehab. He said, "I will quit drinking, but I'm not going to stop smoking." My dumbass cousin's situation obviously wasn't combat related at all, but it's not like they just hand out those discharges.
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