Veterans discharged for misconduct often suffer from mental illness

Veterans

By Peggy McCarthy

A federal report has found that 62 percent of military personnel discharged for misconduct from 2011 through 2015 had been diagnosed with mental illnesses that could have caused their behaviors.

The Government Accountability Office report concluded that the military failed to follow policies designed to prevent inappropriate discharge of service members with post traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The result is many veterans received less than honorable discharges, making them ineligible for health care, disability benefits, or education aid from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Fairfield resident Stephen Kennedy, a founder of the Connecticut chapter of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said he was “heartened to see the GAO acknowledge what many of us have known for a long time: Veterans with PTSD, TBI and other mental health issues are being hung out to dry.”

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