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Veterans' Suit Over 'Bad Paper' Discharges Moves Forward

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A class-action lawsuit involving veterans who say they’ve been wrongfully denied discharge upgrades will move forward. The suit -- which is being supported by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic -- was filed against the Navy in 2018.

Tyson Manker says his life spiraled after coming home from Iraq in 2003. He says he was forced out of the Marines with a less than honorable discharge.

He also says he suffered from post-traumatic stress and that in 2004, he was denied support from Veterans Affairs because of his discharge designation.

Now he’s fighting on behalf of others like him -- people with what are known as “bad paper discharges” -- who want fair treatment as veterans.

“We need to make sure that the military doesn’t continue to force service members out unlawfully who are suffering from mental injuries of war who then have to go to the review boards and hope that they follow the law,” said Manker.

Manker is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that seeks to have Navy and Marine Corps veterans treated fairly by the Naval Discharge Review Board when seeking discharge upgrades.

A judge recently ruled against a motion to dismiss the case, which means it now can proceed to discovery.

The Navy wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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