In 2013, an investigation by the Colorado Springs Gazette revealed that an increasing number of wounded combat veterans were being kicked out of the Army for misconduct, often with no benefits, as the military downsized after a decade of war. For many, this misconduct was a manifestation of the injuries they incurred on the battlefield. At home, the traumatic brain injuries and the post-traumatic stress disorder could show up as behavioral problems like a short temper and forgetfulness. Young and inexperienced commanders dealt with soldiers with health issues as problem soldiers. “It is time to start teaching these kinds of soldiers a lesson,” Fort Carson's lead prosecutor at the time, Maj. Javier Rivera said in an email. The “lessons” were handed down as misconduct discharges, which surged 67 percent at Fort Carson alone. The men in the photographs above were dealing with the effects of war when the Army threatened some, and kicked others out of the service.
To read the full story from the Pulitzer prize winning series, Other than Honorable, visit gazette.com/soldiers