The UKS Pro Bono Program, in conjunction with the Connecticut Veteran’s Legal Center, has been working for the past several years to assist a U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran upgrade his discharge.
The veteran and client is a life-long resident of Southeastern Connecticut who joined the Marines immediately after graduating from high school. His unit deployed to Iraq during the initial push to Baghdad where he engaged in combat operations in An Nasiriya and Bagdad. After returning from Iraq he began to suffer from the effects of PTSD, relating to his actions in combat. Daily life became a struggle, eventually leading to his separation from the Marines.
The Firm is pleased that a UKS associate recently presented this Veteran’s case before the Naval Discharge Review Board at the Washington Navy Yard – Joint Base Anacostia, in Washington, DC.
The in-person hearing was the culmination of several years of work on this matter and is the best chance of a favorable result for this deserving veteran. With its own regulations, evidentiary standards, and proof burdens, the discharge upgrade process is a lengthy administrative review procedure. The procedure begins with a full review of the applicant’s personnel, medical, and other pertinent records. An “on-the-papers” application is then made. In this case five Marine officers, ranging from Major to full Colonel, as well as a Physiatrist, represented the Government at the veteran’s in-person hearing. The hearing itself took several hours, during which time he gave direct testimony and was subjected to cross examination.
Through his own perseverance our client is now happily married with two children. UKS is extremely grateful to those who have served in the Armed Forces, especially those who saw action in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror. We are proud to have done our small part in assisting one such Veteran with his transition back to civilian life.