A news article from The Wall Street Journal reveals a group of Vietnam veterans suing the US government for denying to raise their discharges even when there’s proof that they’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The article states the condition of the lead plaintiff of the case, Mr. Conley Monk of New Haven, CN:
In 2011, Mr. Monk was diagnosed with PTSD attributable to his military service, a condition that has “impaired his ability to find employment and maintain stable relationships,” the suit said.
Military veterans with intense exposure to harsh conditions of combat, such as Mr. Monk, most likely exhibit signs of PTSD, a condition that haunts most soldiers who experienced life-threatening or traumatic events like combat or terrorist attacks. Formerly known as “shell shock”, PTSD is now considered as a serious disorder which undermines and negatively affects the sufferer’s day-to-day life.
All honorably discharged veterans who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines are eligible to receive tax-free compensation, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, especially when an injury or disability resulted from active service. They can enjoy various veterans’ health benefits like tax-free monetary remuneration in recognition of their courageous service.
A good military discharge and a high rating equate to better benefit packages for veterans and their families, enabling them to get proper medical treatments and other civil life options. However, the WSJ article reports that the government has continuously denied the appeals of some Vietnam veterans to promote their discharges for better compensation despite apparent evidence of their affliction:
“Tainted discharges, the plaintiffs claimed, led to decades of stigma, reduced job opportunities and denial of veterans benefits, including psychological care.
The plaintiffs said military review boards have consistently rejected discharge-upgrade requests from veterans claiming a PTSD connection at a far higher rate than boards deny other upgrade petitions.”
Denial of appeals to upgrade discharges has only burdened a number of disabled veterans who served during the war. This move has impeded several combat veterans from leading normal lives and from getting benefits that they are entitled to. With a skilled veterans disability attorney, veterans have someone to join them in their crusade to pursue and appeal for recognition and compensation they seriously need and deserve.
(Source: Vietnam Veterans Sue for Better Discharges, Claiming PTSD, The Wall Street Journal, 3 March 2014)