UNDERSTANDING
THE ISSUE

UNDERSTANDING
THE ISSUE

1.

Service Members
Develop PTSD

An estimated 15-20%% of Post-9/11 veterans who deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

1 in 4 female veterans and 1 in 100 male veterans in the VA healthcare system report experiencing Sexual Assault and Harassment. PSTD.VA.GOV

2.

Military
Fails to Screen
Veteran’s PTSD

As early as 2003, DoD “did not comply with its own force health protection and surveillance policies for many active duty service-members, including the policies that they be assessed before and after deploying overseas.” Even frontline combat troops were sent home without any medical screenings, despite federal law requiring them.

GAO 03-1041. Quality Assurance Process Needed to Improve Force Health Protection and Surveillance

3.

Undiagnosed
PSTD Leads to Minor
Infractions

For example, between 2009-2019 over 25,000 Marines were administratively separated from the Marine Corps and given Other Than Honorable discharge statuses ; 11,765 were for drug and alcohol offenses, while 13,571 were over unspecified misconduct. Thousands of these veterans were suffering from PTSD at the time of their misconduct.

Task & Purpose. The U.S. Marine Corps Has Lost More Than 25,000 Marines to Misconduct

4.

Military Issues Veteran Bad Discharge for PTSD-related Infraction

The U.S. military has kicked out thousands of soldiers for misconduct in recent years — even though those soldiers were diagnosed with brain injuries or mental health problems that might have triggered their misconduct, the General Accounting Office says in a new report. Colorado Public Radio

“As a result of policy inconsistencies and limited monitoring, DOD has little assurance that certain service members diagnosed with PTSD or TBI receive the required screening and counseling prior to being separated for misconduct and that all service members, including officers, have been trained on how to identify symptoms of mild TBI in the deployed setting,” GAO-17-260. Actions Needed to Ensure Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury Are Considered in Misconduct Separations”

Administrative Other Than Honorable “discharges are often the result of minor disciplinary infractions that are actually symptomatic of trauma sustained during military service.” Brown University. Tayyeb, Ali. “Bad Papers: The Invisible and Increasing Costs of War for Excluded Veterans”

5.

Veterans with Bad Discharges more likely to be homeless, addicted, incarcerated or die by suicide.

500,000 Post-9/11 Veterans Separated with OTH Discharges Since 2001

The Hagel Memo was a game-changing legal directive issued by former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that directs review boards to give “Liberal Consideration” to discharge upgrade applications from veterans with service-connected PTSD. This “Liberal Consideration” standard has since been codified at 10 U.S.C. 1553.

Settlements from two class-action lawsuits now allow some veterans to reapply for discharge upgrades even if they were previously denied or the time period for filing had expired. Others, who applied and were denied more recently, will receive automatic reviews.

Tens of thousands of veterans who never applied for a discharge upgrade are not covered by these suits, and need representation before the boards. Lincoln’s Promise attorneys will represent these veterans with PTSD, TBI and MST who have never applied for their discharge upgrades, and any other veteran that is not guaranteed automatic review by the Kennedy & Manker settlements.