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Majority of US Troops Discharged for Misconduct Diagnosed With Mental Illness

© AP Photo / Matt YorkThis photo from Saturday, May 17, 2014 shows the Department of Veterans Affairs in Phoenix
This photo from Saturday, May 17, 2014 shows the Department of Veterans Affairs in Phoenix - Sputnik International
A majority of the soldiers discharged from the US armed services for misconduct over the last four years have some form of mental illness, according to the Government Accountability Office, news that’s likely to fuel scrutiny over whether the military is doing enough to support its troops.

In some cases, that mental illness may have occurred as a direct result of soldier duties.  

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Of 91,762 soldiers dismissed from service for misconduct in the time period examined, 62 percent had been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the preceding 24 months, Business Insider observed.

A quarter of US soldiers relieved from service between 2011 and 2015 were tagged with “other than honorable” discharge, which jeopardizes veterans’ ability to get healthcare access through Veteran Affairs.

GAO recommended the Pentagon “increase its assurance” that troops are evaluated for PTSD and TBI before they get slapped with “other than honorable” discharge, particularly since these conditions might make it more likely that a soldier break with standard conduct. It also advises the Defense Secretary to actively monitor the implementation of policies relating to PTSD and TBI. 

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