In the late 1970's to early 1980's i enlisted in the Army. As an Iowa farm boy from a small community of less than 1400 population I wasn't all that wordly however I was a huge hippie and was willing to try virtually any drug and was addicted to pot at the time of entrance. While in stationed in Zirendorf, Germany I became addicted to herion. I spoke to my command about it and they suggested I use my 30 leave and have some time off and that would resolve it. I was looking for a PERMANT resolution and asked for help which was ignored then asked to assigned ANYWHERE including crap duty stations as long as Herion wasn't easily accessable wherever they wanted to send me as I had no intentions in becoming a permant intra-venious user of herion! They declined EVERY EFFORT in fact I sincerely doubt it ever made it out of our command regarding reporting. I doubt anyone beyond my captain and master sargent ever knew because they choose to ignore the problem EVEN when I showed them FRESH tracks in my arm. So, after my 30 day leave was over I remained in the US and did not return. I was arrested in Orlando, Florida taken to Fort Bragg and given the choices of returning to Germany OR an other than honorable discharge. I was asking for help with addictions long before it became trendy or simply the right thing to do. I told the panel who discharged me the situation and the arm tracks and they added no other options so I took the other than honorable discharge and feel they most certainly should have taken care of the soldier, me and failed me miserably. I have NEVER put another needle in my arm since leaving Germany and am vehemtly opposed to any type of herion, morphine or similiar new crap I have however struggled my entire life with drug addiction. I have had periods of sobriety time 4 years, and 2 years 3 times. Perhaps had they taken care of me, my life would not have been such a struggle and set back after set back because I HAVE seen the different me when clean and sober which the Army could have and should have dealt with when I was young, for God's sake. So, my questions are...#1-Can someone at least get the discharge changed so I get my vet benefits? #2-Are there damages which could be collected?
Thank you for your time and consideration in this important matter. I haven't spoken of this in over 30 years to ANYONE so even getting it out is great as I have been holding the shame in for years