PHOENIX - Nearly 50 years after serving during the Vietnam Conflict, a Phoenix area veteran is finally receiving an honorable discharge from the Army.
Silvestre Primous, now in his 70s, received his honorable discharge during a small ceremony held in Phoenix. The ceremony was filled with food and music, as well as family and friends.
Primous served in the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam Conflict. His status with the Army took a turn after he was wounded. Primous says he was told to return to battle before he had healed, and years later, he realize he had been court martialed without ever knowing it.
Primous blames poor paperwork and pervasive racism for what happened, and so did Rep. Ruben Gallego (D), who helped right the wrong.
"They just assumed that he was a black man who is dishonorably discharged, but now, we know from the records that that was not the case," said Rep. Gallego.
"They brought me my discharge papers. Honorably served. I’m happy," said Primous.
Due to the previous dishonorable discharge, Primous missed out on decades of veterans benefits, from help with jobs and education to housing and healthcare. Primous will get veterans benefit, going forward.