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Lawsuit Against Air Force Aims To Overturn Less-Than-Honorable Discharges Among Those With Trauma

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A Yale Law School clinic for veteran’s is suing the U.S. Air Force, claiming that thousands of veterans with disabilities or trauma are suffering unfairly due to less-than-honorable discharges.

Thousands of service members get less-than-honorable discharges every year, which can mean they lose job opportunities and VA benefits.

The military is supposed to give consideration to some veterans when it decides whether to upgrade their discharge. That includes those with mental health conditions, like PTSD, or with sexual trauma.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said that’s not happening.

“Many of these veterans are victimized again, after their unfair less-than-honorable discharge, by denial of treatment for the very condition that led to their discharge. When they’re denied jobs and education opportunities, benefits from the VA. This situation is an outrage,” Blumenthal said.

Alexis Kallen, a Yale Law School student, is part of the team bringing the lawsuit on behalf of two veterans.

“Instead of assisting them with adjusting to life living with a disability, the Air Force forced them both out of service with a bad behavior discharge. As a result, they have been denied key benefits and stigmatized by their discharges,” Kallen said.

The U.S. Army settled a class-action suit earlier this year with the same Yale clinic in a similar case. The agreement called on the army to go back and look at thousands of less-than-honorable discharges for soldiers who served during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.