Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gulf War Marine's wife saved him after betrayal

They still kick out servicemen and women for what combat does to them. Unlike earlier wars when they were shot for being cowards, they are betrayed to live with nothing.
Path To Reclaiming Identity Steep For Vets With 'Bad Paper'
NPR
by MARISA PE√ĎALOZA and QUIL LAWRENCE
December 11, 2013

Michael Hartnett was a Marine during the Gulf War and served in Somalia. He received a bad conduct discharge for abusing drugs and alcohol. His wife, Molly, helped him turn his life around.

When Michael Hartnett was getting kicked out of the U.S. Marine Corps, he was too deep into post-traumatic stress disorder, drugs and alcohol to care as his battalion commander explained to the young man that his career was ending, and ending badly.

"Do you understand what I'm saying to you son? It's going to be six and a kick!" Hartnett recalls the commander telling him.

The "six" was an expected six months of hard labor in the brig. The kick happened at Hartnett's court martial, and finally woke him up out of the haze.

"He said, 'bad conduct discharge.' When he said that, my knees buckled," says Hartnett.

In 1993, after combat tours in the Gulf War and Somalia, Hartnett joined tens of thousands of veterans with "bad paper." They served, but then conducted themselves badly — anything from repeated breaches of military discipline, to drugs or more serious crimes. Under current law the Pentagon, and in most cases the Department of Veterans Affairs, wash their hands of these veterans.
read more here

"Bad Paper" discharges left 100,000 veterans on their own

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