Episode 1006 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will deal with the unpleasant issue of veteran’s bad paper (bad paper referring to anything less than an honorable discharge from the military). The Defense Department on Monday issued a sweeping policy change to afford more leeway to veterans seeking upgrades to their other-than-honorable discharges.
A memorandum dated Aug. 25 instructs the Army Review Boards Agency, the office charged with changing military records, to give “liberal consideration” to veterans looking to upgrade their less-than-honorable discharges, or “bad paper.”
There was a story on this development in the Star and Stripes titled: Pentagon expands policy to upgrade vets’ bad paper discharges submitted by Nikki Wentling, a Stars And Stripes writer. In her story, Wentling laid out the basis of the argument made by various veterans groups for the Defense Department to exercise more leniency in granting upgrades in discharge status of veterans who received less than honorable discharges.
A report put out in May of 2017 by the Government Accountability Office indicated more than 57,000 service members suffering from PTSD, TBI or adjustment, anxiety, bipolar and substance abuse disorders were separated from the military for misconduct from 2011 through 2015. The majority of those service members were given a “general” discharge, which unfortunately for them this action makes them ineligible for some services through the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Vietnam Veterans of America president, John Rowan said that the memo was a “step in the right direction but it’s nowhere near enough.” He continued with the statement: “Countless veterans who have suffered from PTSD, TBI and [military sexual trauma] have been issued bad paper and unfairly denied access to critical services and benefits.”
So the move is on to change the rules in treatment of our veterans. Your opinion on the subject would be greatly appreciated.
Go to episode 1006 and speak your piece on the subject in the comments section.