WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Thursday applauded the news that the U.S. Army will reconsider thousands of other-than-honorable (OTH) discharges to service members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions following a lawsuit brought on by the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at Yale Law School:
“The men and women who put their lives on the line for our country deserve our full support and care—including those who were given a ‘bad-paper’ discharge from the military because of PTSD or other trauma. I’m thankful for the hardworking advocates at the Veterans Legal Services Clinic for relentlessly fighting on behalf of Connecticut’s veterans, and for making sure that the VA complies with the Honor Our Commitment Act—my legislation which requires the VA to provide appropriate mental health care to our combat veterans. Yesterday’s decision by the Army will have a lasting impact on our veterans across the country for generations,” said Murphy.
The Honor Our Commitment Act introduced by Murphy requires the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), for the first time, to provide mental and behavioral health care to hundreds of thousands of at-risk combat veterans and sexual assault victims who received OTH discharges. Before it became law in 2018, over 500,000 veterans were presumptively ineligible for any services from the VA. Last year, following reports that the VA was continuing to deny veterans with OTH discharges the services required under the Honor Our Commitment Act, Murphy led a group of senators, in sending a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie demanding the VA comply with the law.