HELLO....I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF I QUALIFY FOR ANY VA BENIFITS IF MY HUSBAND WAS RELEASED WITH "UNDER OTHER THAN HONORABLE CONDITIONS" ? HE HAD SEVERAL MEDALS, SUCH AS ...NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, SHARPSHOOTER (RIFLE), VIETNAM CAMPAIGN MEDAL, AND VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL W/2 BRONZE SVC STARS, 1 O/S BAR. HE HAD WENT AWOL FOR 53 DAYS, AND WAS DISCHARGED FOR THE GOOD OF THE SERVICE. THAT'S WHAT HIS PAPERS SAY. HE WAS A SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR AND SERVED IN VIETNAM AND INDOCHINA. HE DIED 6 YEARS AGO, AND I HAVE BEEN ADVISED TO PERSUE THIS MATTER. CAN YOU GIVE ME ANY INFORMATION?I AM GREATFULLY APPRCIATED!K. DIANE NORMAN
State/Country relating to question: Ohio
I HAVE WENT TO MY VA OFFICE IN MARYSVILLE, OHIO SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND WAS TURNED DOWN. TODAY I GOT ADVISE FROM A VET REP AND HE SAID I SHOULD PURSUE IT FUTHER.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.I work as a Veterans Services Officer and file claims with the VA for vets every day of the week.Ma'am, I am very sorry to have to bear bad news.The Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge is going to prevent your receiving benefits.The rule that the VA is required to follow is that they provide benefits to veterans discharged "under other than dishonorable conditions"So in theory a vet with an OTH or a Bad Conduct Discharge BCD could qualify. And they can apply.But in my experience I have never seen the VA grant benefits for anything but an honorable or a general, under honorable conditions discharge. The reason you were turned down was the OTH discharge. If you could somehow have the military grant an upgrade to the characterization? Then you would qualify.But the fact is that the military will only change the characterization on a showing of mistake...you would need to present evidence that he deserved a better discharge and did not get it...and what you describe that does not seem to be the caseAgain, I am sorry to have to bear bad news Let me know if you have more questions.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
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