Vietnam Veterans Are Suing the Military Over PTSD
Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) January 16, 2013 – Vietnam Veterans of America has joined a proposed class action lawsuit in Connecticut against the Armed Forces.
The lawsuit, which was filed by a veteran last year against the Army, Navy and Air Force, states that Vietnam War-era veterans who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were discharged under other-than-honorable conditions, which meant they were ineligible for disability and other benefits.
The military has not reviewed or attempted to upgrade the status of discharges for many thousands of those vets with service-related PTSD. According to the National President of Vietnam Veterans of America, John Rowan, those discharges were due to a lack of comprehension in step with the time; PTSD was not understood by mental health professionals when those vets were in service.
“Now that diagnoses have been updated,” says veterans’ disability lawyer James Fausone, “it seems perfectly reasonable that there are some vets who would like their discharge status changed to reflect that.”
The U.S. attorney’s office is currently reviewing the matter and plans to respond in court. The office is representing the military in this lawsuit, which was filed by John Shepherd, a Vietnam vet. Shepard says he was first diagnosed in 2004 with PTSD, but repeatedly has had his discharge upgrade requests denied. Shepherd is being represented by students at Yale Law School who are working at a Connecticut-based legal services clinic for vets.
According to those students, the Army has so far approved less than 2 percent of Vietnam vet upgrade applications since 2003, in sharp contrast to the 46 percent of overall discharge upgrades. And, say the students, some of the vets who are being denied an upgrade have been formally diagnosed with PTSD by Veterans Affairs.
The students estimate that some 85,000 of the 250,000 other-than-honorably discharged Vietnam veterans had PTSD. Their PTSD was likely a factor in the discharges that were based on conduct including drug use, unauthorized absence without leave, and shirking their duties.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is in support of the vets, and has reportedly been working in concert with the Yale Law Clinic and federal agencies to attempt to resolve the issue. He stated that though PTSD was not understood in the past, that should not preclude how cases are assessed now.
James G. Fausone is a Veterans disability attorney and Veterans attorney with Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC. To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability attorney or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit http://www.legalhelpforveterans.com.
Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC
41700 West Six Mile Road, Suite 101
Northville, MI 48168
Toll Free Phone: 800.693.4800
- Michigan Veteran and Amputee Melissa Stockwell is Ready for Her Shot at Rio
When Melissa Stockwell was young, she dreamed of becoming an Olympic gymnast. And although her life has taken a few unexpected turns, she has maintained her love of athletics and competitive spirit. Today, Stockwell is a national and global paratriathlon champion who is getting ready to compete for a spot on Team USA, headed to [...]
- World War II Veteran Laid to Rest in Michigan
The Year was 1944. Robert McConachie was 17 years old and wanted to enlist and defend his country in World War II. Because of his young age, his father, James McConachie, had to sign a waiver allowing him to join the armed forces. His father acquiesced and Robert McConachie joined the United States Marine Corps. [...]
- VA Accountability Act Inspires Hope, Doubt
In August, President Obama signed the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. The act seeks to provide a number of remedies to problems uncovered earlier this year within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including wait times for and inadequate access to health care. The cornerstone of the act is the requirement that VA facilities [...]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: attorney for veterans, lawyer for veterans, veteran attorney, veteran attorneys, veteran benefits attorney, veteran disability lawyer, veterans attorney, Veterans disability attorney