A veteran’s character of discharge can have a significant impact
on their life after military service, affecting a veteran’s employability,
ability to find housing, and eligibility for benefits. If a veteran is
given a discharge that does not properly reflect his or her service, they
may find themselves unable to find housing, obtain a job, or receive healthcare.
Often, mitigating circumstances like PTSD or Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
can be the reasons behind the behavior that led to the discharge. In some
cases, the events leading up to a discharge are no longer considered even
worthy of punishment.
On March 15, 2016, Asheville attorneys Vincent Borden of The Van Winkle
Law Firm, Tod M. Leaven of Grimes Teich Anderson, and Garrett Artz teamed
up with the Buncombe County chapter of the Disabled American Veterans
(“DAV”), law students from the University of North Carolina
School of Law, and Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (“ABCCM”)
to hold a “Military Veterans Discharge Upgrade Clinic” for
homeless veterans. The clinic was held in East Asheville at the ABCCM’s
Veterans Restoration Quarters facility, and consisted of interviewing
veterans for discharge upgrade eligibility, ordering records and obtaining
background information, providing assistance with forms, obtaining favorable
evidence, and developing a theme for discharge upgrade applications. After
accumulating all of the needed records and other resources, the clinic
assisted veterans with the completion and submission of the upgrade applications
to their respective military branches and agencies.
Attorneys Borden, Leaven, and Artz are all military veterans. DAV representative
and chapter commander Andrew Clark is also a military veteran. The law
students who participated in this clinic are all members of Veterans Advocacy
Law Organization (VALOR).
To speak with an Asheville attorney at The Van Winkle Law Firm, please