Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Wounded soldier says Army tried to oust him

May. 20, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — A badly wounded combat veteran said the Army punished him for minor missteps while he was recovering and tried to give him a less-than-honorable discharge after he failed a drug test — a test he said was inaccurate.

Jerrald Jensen was eventually given a medical retirement, but only after his family asked a two-star general to intervene, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported Monday.

Of 10 wounded soldiers in Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Unit who faced misconduct charges over the past two years, Jensen was the only one to get a reprieve, the newspaper reported.

The Gazette reported previously that the number of soldiers discharged for misconduct Army-wide has increased more than 25 percent since 2009, mirroring the rise in wounded.

Jensen won praise from his combat commanders for courage, honor and integrity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His jaw was shattered by an insurgent attack on the Humvee he was driving in Iraq in 2007. Despite requiring 16 surgeries over two years to rebuild his jaw and face, he volunteered to return to combat.

In 2009, he was deployed to a remote and embattled outpost in Afghanistan, where he fell and re-injured his jaw and cracked his kneecap. The Army refused to send him back to Afghanistan, so in 2010 he transferred to a Warrior Transition Unit — designed to care for seriously injured soldiers — at Fort Carson outside Colorado Springs.

Jensen said he was treated harshly by sergeants running the unit, written up for minor infractions and forced to wait for badly needed care.

The Army declined to discuss Jensen’s conduct but said soldiers in the Warrior Transition Unit have to abide by standard Army rules.

In 2012, Jensen tested positive for amphetamines during a routine drug screening, which he insisted was inaccurate. He said the Army refused to retest him and moved to give him a less-than-honorable discharge, potentially denying him veterans medical benefits for life.

After his family appealed to Maj. Gen. Jimmie Keenan, former commander of the hospital at Fort Carson and now head of the Army Public Health Command, Jensen was told he would get medical retirement, with benefits.

Jensen left the Army in December and said he is focusing on healing and pushing for improvements in the way the wounded are treated.

“I’m doing this for the same reason I went to Afghanistan,” he said. “I can’t just walk away. I can’t leave comrades behind. It’s wrong.”

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

'Get on the trail'
Drill sergeant duty is tough, but offers serious rewards

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook