07:44 GMT31 October 2020
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    The US Army practice of unlawfully discharging tens of thousands of soldiers diagnosed with mental disorders, depriving them of healthcare and retirement benefits.

    NEW YORK (Sputnik) — The US Army practice of unlawfully discharging tens of thousands of soldiers diagnosed with mental disorders, depriving them of healthcare and retirement benefits, should be thoroughly investigated, US Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

    "The US Army has, since 2009, wrongfully dismissed more than 22,000 soldiers for misconduct after they returned from deployment and were diagnosed with mental health disorders," Blumenthal’s office stated.

    Blumenthal, joined by nearly a dozen of other US senators, urged Acting Under Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning and Chief of Staff of the US Army Mark Milley to order a full investigation into the matter.

    Acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning speaks to 300 members of the 106th Rescue Wing, New York Air National Guard during a visit to Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York on July 25, 2013
    © REUTERS / Chris Muncy/U.S. Air National Guard
    "We encourage you to conduct a full US Army Inspector General investigation into these allegations," the senators wrote in a letter to the Pentagon.

    In October, a joint investigation by National Public Radio and Colorado Public Radio revealed that the US Army sacked dozens of thousands of service members diagnosed with mental health disorders, who should have instead been medically discharged.

    "Dismissed soldiers will not receive the critical retirement, health care, and employment benefits that those with an honorable discharge would receive," the senator stated.

    According to a 2014 study conducted by the American Medical Association, nearly 25 percent of active-duty US Army soldiers tested positive for a mental disorder.


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