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Lawmakers Pass Fairness For Veterans Act

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Dealing with invisible scars.

An estimated 20,000 veterans who were given less than honorable discharges from the military will get the help they need.

Thursday lawmakers passed the Fairness for Veterans Act.

President Obama is expected to sign it into law soon, which would let thousands of service members have their discharges reviewed.

Since 2009 alone, an estimated 22,000 veterans suffering from mental health issues were discharged for misconduct.

Those behaviors are triggered by mental trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder, or traumatic brain injury.

Senator Gary Peters helped introduce the bill.

We spoke with him Thursday afternoon.

“We have a situation where people may have exhibited behaviors that got them a less than honorable discharge. Those behaviors are a direct result of PTSD or traumatic brain injury. Now they will have an opportunity to go back to a board if they have credible medical evidence and get that changed. Now these individuals will have access to the VA and the treatment necessary. This is certainly treatment they have earned and certainly deserve,” said Senator Peters.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11 and 20 percent of people who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year.