Vietnam Veterans of America sent letters Tuesday night to bothPresident Obama and President-elect Trump asking them to work together to help veterans who were kicked out of the military for behavior linked to post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injury.
John Rowan, the national president of the veterans' service organization, wrote that he would like to see Obama issue a blanket pardon to post-9/11 veterans who were administratively separated with an other-than-honorable discharge because of service-connected PTSD or TBI, and that he would like to see that executive action upheld by the Trump administration next year.
"Through an executive order, President Carter erased the felony-level offense of draft-dodging for thousands of men who refused to serve their country during the Vietnam War," Rowan wrote. "We believe that veterans who have done their duty and served their country deserve similar consideration before President Obama leaves office."
At least 22,000 troops have been kicked out of the military with other-than-honorable discharges for behavior that likely stems from post-traumatic stress suffered during combat ranging from repeatedly being late to formation to drunken driving to getting into fights. These behaviors can be caused by symptoms of PTSD, such as insomnia or self-medication.