U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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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1:16pm

Wed September 4, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Won't Enforce Laws Banning VA Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:03 pm

The Obama administration will stop enforcing two sections of a law that lays out benefits for U.S. veterans. The sections define marriage as between a man and woman and deny legally married same-sex couples Veterans Affairs benefits like health care and disability payments.

The Justice Department had in 2012 decided not to defend the statute in court. On Wednesday, in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, Attorney General Eric Holder explained the executive branch was going a step further.

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7:25am

Mon July 22, 2013

3:05pm

Thu June 27, 2013
Shots - Health News

How Head Injuries Seem To Affect The Risk For Stroke

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 1:47 pm

The cause of strokes in younger people remains largely a mystery.
iStockphoto.com

Twenty percent of strokes hit people under age 65, and the cause of many of those strokes remains a mystery. Having had a concussion or other traumatic brain injury might make the risk of a stroke more likely, a study says.

Back in 2011, researchers in Taiwan had unearthed an association between traumatic brain injury and stroke by combing through hospital records.

It's one of those "Oh, really?" findings that gets scientists itching to check it out themselves.

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