The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold hearings Wednesday morning into the impact of "personality disorder discharges," and allegations raised in The Nation in April that the Department of Defense is cheating veterans of health benefits through faulty "personality disorder" diagnoses. The Committee, chaired by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA) will call both reporter Joshua Kors and the subject of his investigation, former Army Sgt. Chuck Luther, as witnesses.
Information about the hearing is here. You can read Joshua Kors’s "Disposable Soldiers" here. For media inquiries, contact ben [at] thenation [dot] com. In "Disposable Soldiers," Kors provides an overview of the investigation and the issue at stake:
For three years The Nation has been reporting on military doctors’ fraudulent use of personality disorder to discharge wounded soldiers [see Kors, "How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits," April 9, 2007]. PD is a severe mental illness that emerges during childhood and is listed in military regulations as a pre-existing condition, not a result of combat. Thus those who are discharged with PD are denied a lifetime of disability benefits, which the military is required to provide to soldiers wounded during service. Soldiers discharged with PD are also denied long-term medical care. And they have to give back a slice of their re-enlistment bonus. That amount is often larger than the soldier’s final paycheck. As a result, on the day of their discharge, many injured vets learn that they owe the Army several thousand dollars.
According to figures from the Pentagon and a Harvard University study, the military is saving billions by discharging soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan with personality disorder.