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Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I served in the Marine Corps from Nov 95 to Sept 09. I was a Staff Sergeant in the communications field. I completed 3 combat tours in Iraq. I recently filed for compensation due to a number of factors to include PTSD. After completing almost 14 years of service to my country I was given a Other than Honorable discharge. The following information is a back brief of the events that led up to my discharge.

In Aug 09 I was stationed at a RS in Garden City NY. A few friends and I went out one night for some drinks and I was involved in a terrible accident. To make a long story short I hit two pedestrians with my vehicle that were intoxicated and running across a parkway. I was arrested and charged with manslaughter X2 and DWI. The marine corps started my separation paperwork immediately and I was discharged with an OTH pending civilian prosecution. I went to trial and was found not guilty on the manslaughter charges but guilty of criminally negligence homicide and DWI. It was proven at trial that my alcohol consumption did not cause the accident. I was not speeding down the road nor did I run a traffic signal, I honestly didn't see the young men running across a 6 lane highway until it was to late.

As stated before I have completed 3 combat tours and after the tours were completed and prior to my last assignment to the RS in NY I had 2 suicide attempts and I was even put in the hospital for a period of a few weeks after the second attempt. I knew something was wrong with me but I just couldn't figure it out, so I drowned the pain with alcohol. At the time of my suicide attempts PTSD was just making its way around the services.

Last November I filed for disability compensation and the VA stated the Marine Corps filed my service as other than honorable so I will not get help.

I just need advice on what if anything can I do. I have accepted responsibility for ever action during my life. I'm the one that decided to drive that evening of the accident. I just find it hard that once I graduated HS I joined the Marine Corps. During that time I served my country with honor and because I was involved in a terrible accident everything I've done has been erased.

I honestly need help,

We train for war and fight to win....

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I assume the VA gave you a “Character of Service Discharge “determination , in the denial, that prevented you from attaining VA compensation.

“Last November I filed for disability compensation and the VA stated the Marine Corps filed my service as other than honorable so I will not get help. “

You can appeal the VARO decision within one year of it's date.

This form is the first step in applying for a review by the Discharge Review Board. The instructions are detailed enough to explain the way to fill out the form.


These types of discharges are not easy to overcome but it sometimes can be done.

Not too much time has passed since your discharge and you might be successful in obtaining any witness statements from your former unit members, or anyone else ,that could support your appeal to the VA and to the Discharge Review Board.

Your unit surely has a web site and maybe even a reunion roster.

Item # 6 on the 293 form gives examples of what “issues” the Review Board will consider.

The PTSD regulations changed in August 2010 and are here in our PTSD forum.

However , since you filed a claim prior to those regulations, did you have a formal PTSD diagnosis and treatment from a private doctor and,if so, was the VA aware of that.

"I completed 3 combat tours in Iraq."

Is the CAR or CIB on your DD 214?

GRADUATE ! Nov 2nd 2007 American Military University !

When thousands of Americans faced annihilation in the 1800s Chief

Osceola's response to his people, the Seminoles, was

simply "They(the US Army)have guns, but so do we."

Sameo to us -They (VA) have 38 CFR ,38 USC, and M21-1- but so do we.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

were any of your combat tours done before in a previous enlistment, even though you have 14 years every time you re-enlisted you were given an honorable discharge to -re-enlist with a DD 214 issued to show service and awards and time etc, your only bad service was in the last re-up. Yes you accept you deserved the bad discharge but that still does not negate the prior years of GOOD service, PTSD as we all know can and may not surface right away and if it is from any of his good time he might still be entitled to benefits. Need someone smarter than I to ask though.

100% SC P&T PTSD 100% CAD 10% Hypertension and A&A = SMC L, SSD
a disabled American veteran certified lol
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

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I went through this with a combat veteran about 3-4 years ago. His initial claim was denied. We submitted an appeal, completed the DD FM 293, attached letters from his employer, minister and others as character references. This appeal process took about 14 months and was ultimately denied. The VA had stated that his last discharge was an Other Than Honorable and that discharged trumped his 3 previous honorable discharges.

I would still go through the appeal process. Complete the DD FM 293, get character reference letters and submit it. You never know what will happen with VA.

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They may be able to do a conditional discharge and give the first few enlistments as long as there was no willful and persistent episodes. Also start the dd form 293 just in case.

Look at 38 cfr 3.12

38.usc 101(18)

M21-1mr partIII subpart v 1

And m21-1mr part III subpart v 1.B.9

Edited by T8r
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Posted Today, 03:44 PM

The VA had stated that his last discharge was an Other Than Honorable and that discharged trumped his 3 previous honorable discharges.

Hey Meghp0405, I don't understand this statement. If a Veteran has multiple periods of service and some are honorable and there is one that is Other than honorable, VA will recognize the honorable period of service.

If the Veteran claims conditions or injuries or illness and there is a record of it during the honorable period the Veteran would be entitled to service connection for that period.

On the other hand if the veteran is claiming something during the Other than honorable period and whatever the veteran did was a "bar" to benefits he/she would not be eligible for compensation benefits for the OTH period of service. NOT all periods of service.

I would love to be able to see the actual decision on the claim you are referencing, as I think something is wrong with the deicision, if it says what you are telling us. If the Veteran had 3 distinct periods of service and three different discharges then something is wrong.

However, if the Veteran had concurrent periods of service and no separate discharges then what you are saying can happen and it is something a Veteran should fight to have his discharge upgraded. In my opinin it is diffinately not fair to a Veteran especially if he has combat and emmient danger area service.

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My last reenlistment was in Aug 08 and prior to that I reenlisted 3 times with honorable discharges. The accident was 1 year into my last enlistment. My DD214 does contain my Combat Action Ribbon along with my other awards.

I just don't understand how the VA can deny a claim when everything I'm claiming to include impatient, outpatient and 2 suicide attempts along with my 3 combat tours were all completed on pervious enlistments in which I received Honorable Discharges.

I understand and accept the Marine Corps giving me an OTH for the events that happened that evening, I just don't understand that you have a Vet in need and I'm stranded on the battlefield for which I fought with all my heart.

We train for war and fight to win....

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