Bad Paper Discharge requests for review and upgrade numbers about 26,000 with about 14,000 of those being with the Army. And a member of Congress wants to combine all branches of service review boards to expedite the process.
Although the Navy says it won’t produce any better or faster results, I’d have to agree with that comment, but putting more people on each branch of Service review boards would!
The discharge upgrade requests have come under extra congressional scrutiny in recent years as advocates have found growing evidence of troops dismissed with dishonorable or other-than-honorable status because of misconduct caused by undiagnosed war wounds, mental health issues or mishandled sexual assault claims.
Many have been dishonorably discharged to expedite paperwork, create less paperwork, and reduce possibilities of having to pay out benefits through the VA for various problems such as mental health issues and sexual assault claims which in all reality has created an even bigger mountain of paperwork.
Veterans fighting for benefits and medical and mental healthcare, and fighting the DoD to get their discharges upgraded. So who or what did it save since it’s costing way more now to review each persons records individually to make determinations as to whether or not an upgrade in discharge is warranted?
Seems to me the higher up’s in the Military were working hand in hand with members of Congress, trying their best to find more ways to waste taxpayer money, and prevent having to pay out to all those who served and have more than earned the right to benefits and care!
Michigan has been in the news lately about a shortage of “Benefits Experts”, meaning Service Officers!
I believe this is a nationwide crisis, not just in one or two states. I also feel that those who are service officers fall into two categories, those “who truly care” and go the extra mile, and those who “are there for a paycheck!”
I can say this after many years of talking with Veterans, many having to re-work their claim, or assist them on their appeals and thoroughly listening to them and what was said and done prior. But the one thing I do emphasize most is that if you’re filing a claim, TAKE CHARGE of your own future medical care and benefits, participate in your claim, don’t expect any Service Officer to do it all for you.
Be diligent, keep copies of all medical records, never give originals to anyone ever, keep a log with the date, time, action (whether a phone call, dr’s visit, C&P, everything including time of meals, medications taken and dosage taken, side effects from medications, did you inform your dr., etc.) so that in the future should there be any problem you will have a track record of keeping notes and detailed information to back up your claim.
If you’ve filed a claim, yes it does take time to process, but keep in touch with your Service Officer at least once a month, and document the time, date, and if you spoke to him/her or left a voice message. It’s really important to keep that daily journal.
This weeks newsletter will be missing things that we’d normally put in as I am in the process of just taking a couple of days for myself. So I will close this section for now.
On behalf of our Volunteers nationwide and myself, we wish you and your family good health! And have a great weekend!