VFW Applauds New Military Discharge Upgrade Decision

National commander Stroud calls it the right thing to do

WASHINGTON  — The national commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is applauding a new Department of Defense decision that will enable Vietnam veterans and others to request upgrades to their less than honorable military discharges due to an extenuating factor not known at the time of their separation: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“This decision will not be a blanket approval for every upgrade request, but it does open an avenue for those veterans who may have been diagnosed with PTSD years after separation to submit new evidence and hopefully correct an injustice from the past,” said VFW National Commander John W. Stroud, a retired Air Force first sergeant from Hawthorne, Nev.

“PTSD is a normal human reaction to an abnormal traumatic event, but similar experiences can affect people differently, from virtually no impact to extremely debilitating,” he said. “You can learn to cope with PTSD by avoiding stressors, but one thing that’s very difficult to live with is a Bad Conduct Discharge, which back in the day the military was more apt to give instead of delving into why this super troop all of a sudden isn’t.

“This is a good decision, and the VFW joins with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in calling it the right thing to do for our veterans.”

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