Veterans with mental illnesses sue Navy over discharges

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Navy and Marine Corps veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems have accused the Navy of offering them less-than-honorable discharges that prevent them from getting Veterans Affairs benefits.

The lawsuit filed Friday in federal court in Connecticut seeks class-action status for thousands of Navy and Marine Corps veterans. The veterans are represented by students from Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic, which filed a similar lawsuit against the Army last year.

Navy officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.

The veterans say they were given less-than-honorable discharges for minor infractions linked to untreated mental health problems.

They also say the Naval Discharge Review Board has unlawfully denied their applications to change their discharge characterization.