"This is a good first step, however it is just one of many the Navy must take to protect its ill and injured Sailors and Marines from receiving less-than-honorable discharges," said Rowan. "This new directive is a welcome departure from previous Navy regulations, which allowed commanders to abruptly terminate Sailors and Marines for alleged acts of misconduct, without consideration or regard for the mental health of the veteran. We have written to Defense Secretary Ash Cater, Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, urging them to follow the Navy's lead and to implement this policy service-wide."
Said Rowan, "Vietnam Veterans of America has been fighting for veterans with 'Bad Paper' discharges since our inception, fighting to get their status upgraded. Bad Paper prevents the veteran from being able to seek care at the VA; Bad Paper forces the veteran into a broken appeals process that typically takes years to navigate, and despite convincing medical evidence proving service-related conditions, appeals boards have a pattern of denying veterans the honorable discharge that they deserve. Bad Paper is for life, forever stigmatizing the veteran."
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/vva-applauds-navy-sec-mabus-for-implementing-protections-for-sailors-and-marines-with-invisible-wounds-of-war-300279468.html
SOURCE Vietnam Veterans of America