Jul 5, 2017
From WYNC and PRI
Americans who have never served in the military might think that there are only two types of discharges: honorable and dishonorable. In reality, many veterans are released with what are known as “less-than-honorable” discharges. Also called “bad paper” veterans, they are often denied benefits after being released, despite being twice as likely to commit suicide as veterans granted honorable discharges.
Last week, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin announced a rule change to aid the “bad paper” vets. Starting July 5, they will be eligible to receive care, lasting for up to 90 days, in the event of a mental health emergency.
Kristofer Goldsmith is an Iraq War veteran and army sergeant who served from 2004 to 2007. Last year he spoke with The Takeaway about his own struggles following a 2007 suicide attempt that led to a general discharge. With that general discharge, he receives full VA health care, but not G.I. Bill benefits. Today, he returns to The Takeaway to explain why, for many veterans, the new Veterans Affairs rule changes don’t go far enough.
This segment is hosted by Todd Zwillich.
Listen to the report below