Secretary of the Navy: I respectfully request correction of my military record to Honorable discharge with permission to reenlist

Secretary of the Navy: I respectfully request correction of my military record to Honorable discharge with permission to reenlist

    1. Graciela Saraiva
    2. Petition by

      Graciela Saraiva

      Olney, MD

Three years ago, I was other than honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy under reason of misconduct/drug abuse after having a couple wisdom teeth pulled.  

Upon my transfer from active duty to the reserves, I was required to take a routine urinalysis exam.  Unfortunately, I had undergone dental surgery a few days prior and failed to notify my command of the medications I was prescribed.  On Aug 10, 2010, I received a notice of administrative separation with reason of "Discharge due to misconduct/drug abuse".  The letter stated that I had 30 days to submit any documentation refuting the charge.  I submitted copies of the prescriptions signed by my dentist for the medications detected in my system the same week I received the letter.  The envelope itself, however, stamped May 7, 2010, was missing my apartment number and was never delivered to my home.  Although the personnel department of my command had my full address on file, a lack of communication between departments resulted in the three month delay.  

I was officially discharged on Aug 11, 2010, one day after receiving notification of threat of discharge.  One of the reasons being that I had not submitted the necessary documentation on time.  

Upon request by my command for reevaluation of my lab results, on Jan 21, 2011, the Navy Drug Screening Laboratory determined "Acetaminophen-Codeine can produce a positive urinalysis result for codeine and/or its metabolite morphine".  When I received this confirmation that there was no abuse, I elected to have my case reviewed by a board.  
My case was sent to the Navy Counsel of Review Boards for revision.  On Nov 09, 2011, I received a notice from the Executive Secretary of the Navy Counsil of Review Boards stating their unanimous decision that, by a vote of 5-0, the characterization of discharge was to be changed to Honorable. 

On May 05, 2012, I received a letter from the Navy Personal Command affirming that they had made a mistake.  The letter stated that "Under the decision of the Naval Counsil of personnel Records...we have corrected your naval record."  

Now almost a year later, on May 02, 2013, I received a letter from the Board for Correction of Naval Records stating that a three-member panel considered my application for correction of record and found the evidence I submitted to be insufficient to establish injustice. 
We elected to have the board reconsider its decision.  Today, Oct 31, 2013, the board replied stating that as there was no new evidence presented, my request was again denied.  

Throughout the last three years, my family has requested assistance from Maryland's state senator, and my story was recently published in the local paper.  Neither of these outlets appear to have achieved results.  During the time I've spent fighting to have the charges against me revoked, I have lost both time and money from my military career.  More importantly, I am losing faith in this institution I had once been willing to give my life for.  

Following the chronology of events, it's apparent that I should not have been discharged.  I strongly challenge and resent that such a misunderstanding should earn me the consequences that I have been branded with.  As this is such a clear-cut case, I cannot fathom why there is still need for additional evidence.  I was an exemplary sailor with a clean record.  Had the Navy accepted responsibility for its mistake in wrongfully discharging me, I would still be serving my country.  
I am innocent of what I have been accused and deserve not only a clear record, but also reinstatement.  Please sign my petition calling on the Secretary of the Navy to correct my military record to Honorably discharged with a reentry code of RE-1.

To:
I respectfully request correction of my military record to Honorable discharge with a reentry code of RE-1 after being erroneously discharged due to a routine dental surgery.

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Our persistence paid off!

      Graciela Saraiva
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks to my family and friends, Senator Mikulski, The Gazette, NBC 4 News, and The Washington Post, my record has been corrected! We received news yesterday that I have been mailed a new DD214 with an Honorable discharge and a re-entry code of RE-1.

      I am so grateful for all of you who took the time to read and sign my petition! I don't believe I would've achieved justice without the support of all those involved.
      NBC 4 news posted a follow up story that went national today. The link is posted below.
      Again, thank you all for your support! As of now, I plan on finishing my undergraduate degree at which point I will consider re-enlisting in the armed forces as an officer.

      http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Md-Woman-Wins-Appeal-After-Discharge-From-Navy-233601571.html

      Md. Woman Wins Fight to Fix Navy Discharge Record

      local A Maryland woman has won the fight to clear her name after being discharged from the Navy. The U.S. Navy gave 23-year-old Graciela Saraiva an " other than honorable" discharge three years ago after she tested positive for codeine.

    2. Reached 250 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • James Lyons ARLINGTON, VA
      • 5 months ago

      Fundamental fairness!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • george dunca GAINESVILLE, VA
      • 5 months ago

      Standing for justice

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Ken Gazzaway ARLINGTON, VA
      • 5 months ago

      As a veteran Navy officer myself, I find the situation of Petty Officer Saraiva entirely unacceptable. If the Navy is all about Honor, Courage, and Commitment, then it should be completely ashamed of the lack of honor it has shown her service, the lack of courage to acknowledge blatant mistakes, and the lack of commitment to the women and men who are willing to sacrifice everything. Her situation must be addressed, and it should be done now.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Thomas Jenkins HAGERSTOWN, MD
      • 5 months ago

      As a retired service member, it saddens and embarrasses me to see a military office display such arrogance in the face of their own ineptitude. The Navy should not require Ms. Saraiva's humble request. They should correct their error and extend their sincere apologies. It's the right and honorable thing to do.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Catherine Welker CROFTON, MD
      • 5 months ago

      This is unjust and short sighted of the Navy - why release a dedicated young person and besmirch her reputation and her future?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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