This week, NPR’s Quil Lawrence is reporting on veterans who did not receive an honorable discharge after service in the military.
Eric Highfill spent five years in the Navy, fixing airplanes for special-operations forces. His discharge papers show an Iraq campaign medal and an Afghanistan campaign medal, a good conduct medal, and that he’s a marksman with a pistol and sharpshooter with a rifle.
None of that matters, because at the bottom of the page it reads “Discharged: under other than honorable conditions.”
The “other-than-honorable discharged” have been turned away from medical care at the Department of Veterans Affairs and from programs offered by other veterans’ organizations.
… more than 100,000 other troops left the armed services with “bad paper” over the past decade of war. Many went to war, saw combat, even earned medals before they broke the rules of military discipline or in some cases committed serious crimes. The bad discharge means no VA assistance, no disability compensation, no GI Bill, and it’s a red flag on any job application.
Yet, many with a bad discharge said it is due to post traumatic stress and other conditions directly tied to their military service.
You can read the full story and listen to the report here.