VA Struggles To Reach Other-Than-Honorable-Discharge Vets In Need Of Help
October 18, 2018
Onan is taking advantage of the program. After years of being rejected by the VA, Onan now is getting his PTSD treatment paid for by the agency, and he hopes it helps him get back to being the person he was before the injury.Former Marine Lance Cpl. Josh Onan was in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2006 when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.
"I remember laying down in the truck," Onan said. "Waking up, there's dust, there's debris all over me, and there's an Iraqi colonel who's sitting in the truck with us, and he's just screaming, screaming. I don't understand what he's saying."
Onan suffered a head injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. During the next year, he was in and out of trouble with military officials, mainly for small infractions, which he chalks up to the medications he was taking.
Then, while on leave, he was caught with a small amount of cocaine and kicked out of the Marines.
Onan is one of the thousands of veterans who have other-than-honorable (OTH) discharges. They don't typically qualify for VA benefits, even though many have service-related trauma. And as a group they have a high suicide rate.
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