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Episode 14: Discharges and Their Effect on the VA

In today’s episode, we welcome Amanda and her dear friend, Aaron Drake. Aaron has spent over 14 years as a military lawyer and practices law out of Utah.

Amanda starts the podcast with her first question:

What made you want to join the military? It may sound “cheesy” according to Aaron but after 9/11 happened, he heard the nation’s call. As such, he spent the last 20 years in uniform.

Aaron was a law student when 9/11 occurred in his first year. He thought he could be a part of what was happening and joined the Air Force ROTC.

Aaron, a retired veteran, is currently in the civilian world as an attorney. He practices different aspects of law but focuses on the veteran community military law, veterans law and family law.

Further in the podcast, Aaron talks about discharges and their effect on the VA.

Amanda explains that when a veteran gets out of the military on a discharge, it bars them from certain benefits. Sometimes a dishonorable discharge has to do with mental health issues related to the veteran’s time in service.

Later in the podcast, Aaron educates the categories of discharges and their definition. Aaron states that a discharge is an involuntary discharge. When a military member is involuntarily discharged, their service gets characterized.

What this means is that the basis for this charge could be a pattern of misconduct or something else. He discussed that before a discharge happened because of a military member’s sexual orientation.

Aaron explains that his mind started to change about how he wanted to be in the military. This happened when the military forced him to discharge someone because of their sexual orientation.

He further explains that today, discharges have the characterization as honorable, general under honorable conditions or under other and honorable conditions. He focuses on the first two and mentions that this qualifies veterans for the VA disability compensation.

However, getting characterized as under other and honorable conditions, court martialed, receiving a bad conduct discharge or dishonorable discharge from the court marshall stops veterans from the VA disability compensation.

Amanda and Aaron are advocates and attorneys who help veterans get their VA disability compensation that every veteran deserves.

Join Amanda and Aaron as they talk about VA disability compensation in discharge and more.