Thousands of Navy and Naval Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, who developed a post traumatic stress disorder but deny them the health benefits of veterans, received the green light to sue the army, according to a federal government judge in Connecticut .
The senior US regional judge, Charles Haight Jr., in New Haven on Thursday declared a lawsuit against Navy Secretary Richard Spencer by veterans who say they are being handed less than remarkable rejections for minor offenses linked to unrecovered problems.
Their discharge rating prevents them from benefiting from mental health treatment.
"This decision is a victory for the tens of thousands of military veterans who suffer from PTSD and TBI associated with the service (traumatic brain injury)," the chief prosecutor and veteran Marine Tyson Manker of Jacksonville of Illinois . "The fact that the Court has now recognized this category of veterans is further proof of the shameful violation of the legitimate right of defense ministers of men and women who have served their country."
Manker developed PTSD after his intervention in the Iraq invasion in 2003 and received another exemption from the price for a single autoimmune incident with an illegal drug, according to the lawsuit. The Maritime Exemptions Committee has rejected its request to upgrade the discharge, as has been the case with similar requests from thousands of other veterans.
Navy officials did not immediately send comment messages Friday The Connecticut Prosecutor's Office, which defends the Navy against the lawsuit, declined to comment.
In a testimony from the court, the federal prosecutor stated several reasons why a class action should be dismissed, including the possibility for plaintiffs to resubmit an application for upgrading of exemptions under new rules that came into force the previous year.
The students of the Yale Law School represent the veterans and have filed a similar trial against the Army. They say that nearly one-third of the more than 2 million Americans serving in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD and related mental illness and the army issues less than significant discharges at historically high rates, often for minor offenses attributable to undiagnosed mental illness .
Last year, the Military and Air Force Exemption Revision Tables provided about 51% of PTSD landing upload requests, while the Navy's board of directors only granted 16%. Haight called the "hard" discrepancy.
Another plaintiff in the Navy, filed in March, is the National Veterans Council for Legal Entities based in Connecticut, a group of veterans with fewer than notable discharges.
"We filed this lawsuit to make sure that Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans with PTSD linked to the service do not suffer the same injustices as the Vietnamese generation," said Garry Monk, executive director of the veterans' group. "We are excited about the court's decision and we look forward to creating a world where it will not take years for us to go through the illegal procedures for these veterans to get relief."