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Medical Discharges for Returning Veterans of OIF and OEF
By Lane Anderson
Many returning disabled vets are being given honorable discharges instead of medical under honorable discharges. This places them exclusively in the VA system. With a medical discharge they are eligible for treatment in military hospitals and clinics or VA facilities at the expense of the DOD. The DAV was banned from Walter Reed after counseling returning veterans about this distinction! The DOD does not want the responsibility of treating these young disabled vets for the rest of their lives. The military hospitals and the military - where vets are discharged -deliberately encourage vets to take an honorable and usually do not advise them of the medical.
The medical discharge gets vets better health care in more facilities, takes stress off the VA and allows the VA to recover some funds from the DOD returning the cost of war (treating these vets) to the DOD where it belongs.
Vets given honorable discharges before PTSD or TBI symptoms disabled them can still appeal and get a medical discharge.
Support the DAV and counsel disabled vets to refuse an honorable discharge and ask instead for the medical discharge under honorable conditions. Ask your representatives to attach a mandate to offer all disabled vets medical discharges to congressional funding for the VA.
R. Lane Anderson is a member of VVAWas well as an Adjutant, Disabled American Veterans Ch. 37,VFW Post 1649 ,VVA Ch 218