The Army has overturned a decision that would have kicked quadriplegic Green Beret Timothy Brumit out of the military and stripped him of benefits. The Army initially decided to discharge Brumit and block him from receiving any benefits due to evidence that shows Brumit was allegedly drunk and under the influence of narcotics when he severely injured himself. Brumit was paralyzed while trying to rescue a drowning girl at sea. The incident occured in July 2015 when he dove off a boat in an attempt to rescue what he thought was a missing girl. Brumit broke his neck instead of saving the girl, who later turned up on shore.
The Army denied Brumit his benefits because they found he was intoxicated at the time of the incident and trace amounts of cocaine were in his system. The Army ignored information that showed Brumit desperately tried to seek treatment for his PTSD-induced alcoholism. For over two years Brumit attempted to enroll in various military alcohol and substance abuse programs but was unable to complete the programs because he was repeatedly removed from the programs against his will to carry out missions with the 7th Special Forces Group. Military psychologists denied he suffered from PTSD despite repeated pleas for help.
Brumit attended 20 different medical, psychological, and substance abuse-related meetings but was unable to complete them due to his job obligations. He commented on his repeated attempts to seek help and the frustration of being unable to face his demons despite admitting he had a problem. He said before the decision was overturned:
“The Army broke me. I believe they owe me an honorable discharge, my record clean, and a lifetime of medical care that I’m going to require to live a normal life,”
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has been a major defender of Brumit. Being a former Marine himself, Hunter understood the difficulties of seeking treatment. He told reporters:
“They took a look at it and said, ‘Hey, this isn’t right, They are going to give him an honorable discharge,”
Burmit also received help from several other congressmen and military officials. Lt. Gen. Ken Tovo, Army Secretary Eric Fanning, and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley all stood up to support Burmit after hearing his story.