The Vietnam Veterans of America is going to sue the Department of Defense for, the group says, wrongfully discharging nearly 26,000 service members for Personality Disorder.
The veterans organization will hold a press conference call Friday to discuss the legal action.
The Department of Defense has violated the law by failing to release records showing that it has wrongfully discharged nearly 26,000 service members on the basis of so-called Personality Disorder, the VVA said in a release. This Personality Disorder designation has prevented disabled veterans from receiving the disability compensation and other benefits they have earned.
The organization is being represented by the Veterans Legal Services Clinic of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School.
The VVA said it hopes that the records they obtain through this lawsuit will convince Congress to mandate a systemic review of these discharges and compel DoD to repair the harm it has caused.
The military has been criticized in the past for the Personality Disorder discharge. The Pentagon, responding to published reports, conducted an in-house review of the practice in 2007, and found that the majority of service members discharged under the designation were properly diagnosed.
The Personality Disorder designation means that the military considers the disorder a condition existing before the individual joined the service.
The Pentagon said in 2007 that it's review found no evidence that the military was labeling people with Personality Disorder to avoid paying them disability and benefits.