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A U.S. Army veteran from Connecticut is among the lead complainants on a class-action federal suit on behalf of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with trauma that are seeking to have their basic discharges upgraded.

“I invested 14 months in Iraq anticipating that I was going to be exploded,” stated Stephen Kennedy, of Fairfield, who established PTSD while serving overseas. “And eventually when that surge I was anticipating still never ever came, I started to prepare to take matters into my own hands.”

The army kicked the 30-year-old out after he absconded to attend his own wedding, he said Monday morning at an interview at the Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Solutions Organization.

“Currently handling anxiety and after that undiagnosed PTSD,” Kennedy recalled. “I was told my service was less than completely respectable.”

The grievance filed against the Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer argues that in spite of a 2014 Department of Defense order for the Army Discharge Review Board to give “liberal consideration” to veterans declaring their discharges were linked to PTSD or psychological health, the ADRB is methodically failing veterans like Kennedy.

“Instead, the ADRB regularly and callously denies the upgrades to veterans who raise mental health as a consider their applications,” stated Jonathan Petkun, a veteran and law trainee in the Yale Veterans Legal Provider Clinic representing the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.Kennedy submitted an application to have his discharge updated in 2015, but his demand was denied.Conley Monk is one of the lots of Vietnam War veterans to experience PTSD. After waiting practically 45 years, his less than honorable discharge from the Marines was lastly updated after the Yale Law School won a legal battle on behalf of Vietnam War veterans in 2014.” It stigmatized me,”Monk said at the press conference.”It prevented me from getting real estate, jobs and likewise services that I needed for my PTSD and I hope that everything exercises for Steve. “Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Senate Committee on Armed Providers, pointed out that Kennedy and the complainants are not seeking monetary settlement. “This cause refers justice, plain and easy,”Blumenthal stated.”I strongly support this legal action to guarantee that veterans experiencing post-traumatic stress receive the healthcare and recognition they deserve. A lawsuit is required since the Pentagon is failing to sufficiently evaluate bad paper discharges resulting from post-traumatic tension and other invisible injuries of war. Having actually worked on this cause for years– assisting lead legislation– I am proud to stand with these brave veterans.”A Department of Defense spokesperson said she could not discuss the pending litigation or Kennedy’s specific case. She said in an email that not offering adequate proof of a psychological health medical diagnosis is one of the most typical factor the ADRB denies a discharge upgrade.

Source

http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/national-international/Iraq-Afghanistan-Veterans-With-PTSD-Sue-to-Have-Discharge-Statuses-Upgraded-419660844.html