Quantcast

Veterans allege Army did not factor PTSD in discharge decisions - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Veterans allege Army did not factor PTSD in discharge decisions

Posted: Updated:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A federal lawsuit filed Monday alleges the U.S. Army has issued less-than-honorable discharges for potentially thousands of service members without adequately considering the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
    
The plaintiffs, two Army veterans from Connecticut who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, say in the lawsuit that they were wrongly denied honorable discharges. The lawsuit filed in Connecticut by Yale Law School Veterans Legal Services Clinic is seeking class-action status.
    
An Army spokeswoman said the branch doesn't comment on pending litigation.
    
One of the plaintiffs, Steve Kennedy, said he developed PTSD and depression after fighting in Iraq in 2007 and 2008 and began abusing alcohol and cutting himself. After going absent-without-leave to attend his own wedding, he was diagnosed by the Army with depression, and he received a general discharge because he had gone AWOL, according to the lawsuit.
    
Kennedy was later diagnosed with PTSD by the Department of Veterans Affairs, but his discharge status prevented him from receiving benefits including tax exemptions and scholarships that are open only to honorably discharged veterans, the lawsuit said.
    
"As my PTSD became impossible to manage on my own, my commander told me that the only way I could receive treatment was by leaving the Army with a bad paper discharge," said Kennedy, who is now pursuing a doctorate in biophysical chemistry. "Just like that, the Army wiped away years of distinguished service to my country and deemed it less than Honorable."
    
The lawsuit targets the review boards that give veterans a chance to contest discharges that may have been unjustly harsh.
    
It is the first lawsuit to argue that the Army Discharge Review Boards are inconsistently following a requirement that they apply a liberal standard to considerations of veterans' claims alleging PTSD or related conditions, according to Mario Gazzola, a law student intern with the Yale clinic.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Trending Videos

WEATHER
Drive the Doppler
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Tractor-trailer crashes kill 3 in Baca County

    Tractor-trailer crashes kill 3 in Baca County

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 2:11 PM EDT2017-05-24 18:11:41 GMT

    Highway 287 north of Campo was closed for several hours Wednesday morning due to a crash involving three tractor-trailers. Three people died in the incident.

    Highway 287 north of Campo was closed for several hours Wednesday morning due to a crash involving three tractor-trailers. Three people died in the incident.

  • Deadly crash on Highway 78 in Pueblo County

    Deadly crash on Highway 78 in Pueblo County

    Thursday, May 25 2017 4:11 AM EDT2017-05-25 08:11:37 GMT

    Colorado State Patrol says one person was killed in a crash on Highway 78 in Pueblo County Thursday morning.

    Colorado State Patrol says one person was killed in a crash on Highway 78 in Pueblo County Thursday morning.

  • Former Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette does not graduate

    Former Air Force wide receiver Jalen Robinette does not graduate

    Wednesday, May 24 2017 4:46 PM EDT2017-05-24 20:46:09 GMT
    Air Force Falcons wide receiver Jalen Robinette (9) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)Air Force Falcons wide receiver Jalen Robinette (9) in the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 25, 2016, at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Former Air Force Academy wide receiver Jalen Robinette did not take part in the Academy's graduation ceremony Wednesday. The Academy said its decision was not related to his desire to play in the NFL, or any criminal activity.

    Former Air Force Academy wide receiver Jalen Robinette did not take part in the Academy's graduation ceremony Wednesday. The Academy said its decision was not related to his desire to play in the NFL, or any criminal activity.

Powered by Frankly

© KOAA.com 2017, KOAA.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?