Military

4:56am

Wed December 11, 2013
Other-Than-Honorable Discharges

Path To Reclaiming Identity Steep For Vets With 'Bad Paper'

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 9:19 am

Michael Hartnett was a Marine during the Gulf War and served in Somalia. He received a bad conduct discharge for abusing drugs and alcohol. His wife, Molly, helped him turn his life around.
Quil Lawrence NPR

When Michael Hartnett was getting kicked out of the U.S. Marine Corps, he was too deep into post-traumatic stress disorder, drugs and alcohol to care as his battalion commander explained to the young man that his career was ending, and ending badly.

"Do you understand what I'm saying to you, son? It's going to be six and a kick," Hartnett recalls the commander telling him.

The "six" was an expected six months of hard labor in the brig. The kick happened at Hartnett's court-martial, and finally woke him up out of the haze.

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4:06am

Mon December 9, 2013
NPR Story

Other-Than-Honorable Discharge Burdens Like A Scarlet Letter

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 9:21 am

Reed Holway spent 13 months in Iraq. He says PTSD brought on a drinking problem when he returned to the States — and that eventually led to a bad-conduct discharge. Vets with "bad paper" have trouble getting any VA health benefits — even for PTSD.
Quil Lawrence NPR

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."

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1:17am

Thu December 5, 2013
World

China's Military Buildup Reignites Worries In Asia, Beyond

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:18 am

Chinese naval soldiers stand guard on China's first aircraft carrier Liaoning as it travels toward a military base in Sanya, Hainan province, in this undated picture made available on Nov. 30.
China Stringer Network Reuters/Landov

China has been building up its military strength for some time now, and pushing ever farther from its coastline and into international waters. The real concern now is for miscalculation — particularly with Japan — that ends up in gunfire.

Just six months ago, the Pentagon released its annual report on China's military. Its defense budget was growing. The country was building more stealthy aircraft and submarines. It even bought an aircraft carrier from the Ukraine.

Pentagon official David Helvey highlighted particular areas of concern.

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6:32am

Mon November 11, 2013
Veterans Day

Homeless Veteran's Makeover Goes Viral: VIDEO

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 7:18 am

Jim Wolf of Grand Rapids, Mich. The Army veteran was transformed for a video that the maker hopes will convince people to look at the homeless differently.
Screen grabs from the RobBlissCreative video

4:32pm

Thu November 7, 2013
Politics

Bennet Bill Would Study Other Than Honorable Discharges

Colorado Springs Gazette

Last spring, the Colorado Springs Gazette investigated the connection between war wounds, military misconduct and other-than-honorable or bad conduct discharges. Now Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet wants to officially study the topic.

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