A U.S. Army soldier guards the remains of a burned-out military ammunition truck after it was attacked in Fallujah, Iraq, on Oct. 19, 2003. Fallujah and its surrounds were the site of some of the bloodiest fighting for U.S. troops during the Iraq war. Khalid Mohammed/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Khalid Mohammed/AP

Hal Faulkner (left), 79, receives his new papers from two Marines after having his military status changed to "honorable discharge" at a recent ceremony. Faulkner was kicked out of the Marine Corps in 1956 for being gay. Courtesy of Phil Latzman hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Phil Latzman

Michael Hartnett was a Marine during the Gulf War and served in Somalia. He received a bad conduct discharge for abusing drugs and alcohol. His wife, Molly, helped him turn his life around. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR

Reed Holway spent 13 months in Iraq. He says PTSD brought on a drinking problem when he returned to the States — and that eventually led to a bad-conduct discharge. Vets with "bad paper" have trouble getting any VA health benefits — even for PTSD. Quil Lawrence/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Quil Lawrence/NPR

Probationary firefighter and veteran Victor Ramos practices driving the fire truck at the 16th Street Firehouse of the North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue in Union City, N.J. Melanie Burford for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Melanie Burford for NPR

Ethel performs its Documerica program, featuring photos from Environmental Protection Agency archives, and music by composers including Vietnam veteran Kimo Williams, at the Park Avenue Armory in 2012. James Ewing/Brooklyn Academy of Music hide caption

itoggle caption James Ewing/Brooklyn Academy of Music

Janis Shinwari is seen wearing his body armor in 2008. Shinwari, an Afghan interpreter who assisted U.S. forces, has been waiting three years for a visa to enter the United States. He is now in hiding in Afghanistan. Matt Zeller hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Zeller