Lawmakers want to avoid having troops disgracefully forced from the ranks because of behavior related to post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injuries, but Pentagon officials may already be on the way to fixing the problem.
A coalition of Republican and Democratic lawmakers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan introduced legislation to ensure that military discharge review boards must consider troops’ mental health issues, and must accept a PTSD or TBI diagnosis from a professional as an acceptable rebuttal to a dismissal.
The move could affect thousands of military discharges each year and open the door for a review of more. Army officials have confirmed that at least 22,000 combat veterans have received less-than-honorable discharges since 2009, many for minor offenses like alcohol use or lateness.
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