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Connecticut Veterans Sue Army Over Less-Than-Honorable Discharges Due To PTSD

U.S. Army soldiers march in formation during a change of command ceremony.
Ted S. Warren
U.S. Army soldiers march in formation during a change of command ceremony.

Two combat veterans from Connecticut are the lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Army. They say an army review board failed to consider post-traumatic stress disorder when it decided not to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges. The Yale Law Clinic filed the suit Monday in New Haven.

The clinic says around 60,000 veterans may be in similar situations. The review board is supposed to help veterans who suffer from PTSD upgrade their discharges. Helen White with the Yale Law Clinic says the board rejected veterans despite their PTSD – in one case because a veteran hadn’t sought help for PTSD while still in the service.

“Most veterans won’t be diagnosed for PTSD during their service. They’ll be diagnosed afterwards.”

White says interns at the law clinic reviewed hundreds of decisions from the board and found it rarely consulted a federal order to consider PTSD diagnoses in discharge upgrades.

“The board just doesn’t seem to be even mentioning it most of the time. And when they do mention it, they don’t appear to be applying it or living up to its purpose.”

In 2015, the clinic got a similar upgrade in a class action suit that involved a Vietnam veteran’s less-than-honorably discharged for PTSD.

Copyright 2017 WSHU

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.

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