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BRAIN WOUND UPDATE #6: Other Than Honorable (OTH) and Relation to BLAST, TBI / PTSD


This report brings you information about how service members are being separated from the service with Other Than Honorable (OTH) discharges. One organization,, is succeeding at ensuring that injured, ill, or wounded active-duty service members are separated with benefits, honors, and dignity intact.



SGT Jerrald Jensen is one of over 100,000 service members issued Other Than Honorable discharges since 9/11. The majority are combat veterans, most with undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed brain wounds.

A Pulitzer Prize-winning series catalogs SGT Jensen’s travails, along with multiple others caught up in a surreal legal web that is merciless, even when confronted with documented BLAST injuries and diagnosable brain wounds. Though changes in law may allow a Veteran with an OTH to get some health benefits, the losses are punitive and life-altering. OTH, bad conduct, or dishonorable discharges can prevent employment, ability to obtain a security clearance, and assuredly taint self-image and mental attitudes. While the system needs retributive justice for certain kinds of conduct, the use of diminished mental capacity due to brain injuries to expedite separation from service is a travesty.

This tragic misuse of military justice continues as more details come to light about the BLAST injuries sustained by combat veterans. Even firing your own weapon, much less larger caliber weapons and M777 howitzers, can cause brain damage. As we wrote about the Marine Battalion in Iraq, the damage done to dozens of Marines resulted from unprecedented combat.

‘The artillery battalion “fired more rounds in five months in Raqqa, Syria, than any other Marine artillery battalion, or any Marine or Army battalion, since the Vietnam War.” During a Marine Corps Times roundtable discussion in 2018, the former senior enlisted adviser to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said 35,000 artillery rounds [fired over several weeks] were used to kill ISIS terrorists “by the dozens.” ‘For comparison, 60,000 rounds were fired by the Marines and the Army during the First Gulf War. And during the initial invasion of the Iraq War, over 34,000 artillery shells were fired.”

Unprecedented firepower, and unprecedented and undocumented brain damage. True, mental health problems accompanied that wounding, but root cause analysis would have found mitigating circumstances for the behavior that followed.

The military is not alone in downplaying or ignoring the ravages of repeated brain wounding. The International Conference on Concussion in Sport once again failed in October last year to recognize brain wounding as a potential cause of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Even, perhaps especially, the world of sports appears willfully clueless about the links between brain wounding and physical, mental, and behavioral deterioration.

Dylan Hartley, former Captain of the all-England rugby team, is too familiar with brain wounds from his playing days. He is not part of the suit being brought a group of former players against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union, for “failure to protect (the claimants) from the risks caused by concussions”. He did, nevertheless, experience the plethora of traumas that led to his feeling “virtually broken” prior to his treatment and transformation with Hyperbaric Oxygenation in Dubai. Rugby worldwide is awakening to the long-term damage that can be inflicted on the brain playing high-level impact sports.

They are following a path being trod in many sports. The NFL is still not able to come to grips with the documented links between head trauma and the post-mortem proof of a life lived with degenerative CTE: 345 out of 376 brains of dead former NFL players riddled with brain wounds caused by CTE. Hundreds of former college athletes are suing the NCAA. The claims are that “For years (the NCAA) has kept players like Matthew Gee and the public in the dark about an epidemic that was slowly killing college athletes,” Alana Gee’s lawsuit said. “Long after they played their last game, they are left with a series of neurological conditions that could slowly strangle their brains. . . . problems ranging from headaches to depression and, sometimes, early onset Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.”

BLAST injury, contact sports, falls, assaults, strokes, concussions. In one sense, Other Than Honorable discharges are the least of a Veterans problems alongside the slow deterioration of the brain. As we continue to insist: Heal Brains. Stop Suicides. Restore Lives. Use a proven, scientifically validated treatment: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. TreatNOW.

Information provided by does not constitute a medical recommendation. It is intended for informational purposes only, and no claims, either real or implied, are being made.

Heal Brains. Stop Suicides. Restore Lives. TreatNOW