Those medically discharged with genetic diseases are left without disability or retirement benefits. Some are fighting back.
Eric Miller’s career as an Army Ranger wasn’t ended by a battlefield wound, but his DNA.
Lurking in his genes was a mutation that made him vulnerable to uncontrolled tumor growth. After suffering back pain during a tour in Afghanistan, he underwent three surgeries to remove tumors from his brain and spine that left him with numbness throughout the left side of his body.
So began his journey into a dreaded scenario of the genetic age.
Because he was born with the mutation, the Army argued it bore no responsibility for his illness and medically discharged him in 2005 without the disability benefits or health insurance he needed to fight his disease.
While genetic discrimination is banned in most cases throughout the country, it is alive and well in the U.S. military.