Our 19 year old son entered Army Basic Training on May 1st. On May 8th he was admitted to the Base Hospital for psychosis and remains in the same condition to date. We have been told by the psychiatrist that he will likely receive a release from the Medical Evaluation Board.One of our concerns is how he will be treated once he is released from medical care and placed in the discharge unit for roughly 4 weeks. Given his reaction to the treatment at the Reception Unit and his current state of mind, we fear that he could suffer further mental damage. So, our first question is, "can we do anything to compel the Army to accelarate the process and/or provide protection against further damage/relapse?"Also, is there anything we should consider with respect to preserving his benefits from the Army and VA?Thanks for your help.
State/Country relating to question: Missouri
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.To answer the question"can you force the Army to speed this up" the short answer is no.Your son is under contract. The Army can keep him for the duration of the contract. If they wanted they could keep him right where he is at (at the same base he is at) for his entire contract. There is no law that would allow the Soldier or the Parents of the Soldier to compel the Army to release him early. Period.Now...having said that, let me assure you that1. The Army in general and his Commanding Officer in particular have his best interests at heart. They will keep him safe.2. The Army has no desire to "drag this out". Period. It is in their interest to move him out so they can free up space for his replacement. It takes time for a MEB...but they will process him and keep him safe. This is what they do...your son is not the first and will not be the last to go through this.On your other question? He can apply for VA benefits after he is discharged. Frankly, it would not do much good to apply now...when released, have him bring a copy of his discharge to your county VSO...they can help him file for VA benefits.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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