Vets with less than honorable discharge may get second chance at benefits

MICHIGAN — An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the U.S. Senate will help give some of our nation’s heroes a second chance at receiving military benefits that may not be currently be available to them.

The amendment is co–sponsored by Michigan Senator Gary Peters. It helps veterans who have a less than honorable discharge from the military due to negative behavior as a result of suffering from mental trauma, such as post–traumatic stress disorder.

A less than honorable discharge makes veterans ineligible for certain things, such as G.I. Benefits and home loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“If they have evidence, if they have medical evidence that they indeed are suffering from these injuries, they can go back to the Department of Defense,” said Peters. “There will be a review board that will look at that and if indeed they’re suffering from PTSD, they will change the designation to an honorable discharge. That’s significant because now they will have access to the VA and the specialized treatment that’s available for veterans who are suffering from these conditions.”

According to the National Journal, 13% of Post 9/11 veterans– about 318,000 people– left the service with a less than honorable discharge.