I-Team: Army vet files discrimination suit against CCRI
CRANSTON, R.I. —
Sgt. Jason Morel served his country in the U.S. Army. He's now retired.
He told NBC 10 he saw combat, and death.
"I'd rather not get into the details of that if I could ask you kindly because I lost a lot of my buddies out there and I can't get any of them back," Morel said.
The weapons Morel now has are in prescription bottles.
"I've been diagnosed with (post-traumatic stress disorder)," he said.
Morel told NBC 10 he takes 17 medications every day and night.
After five overseas tours, which included two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, Morel's enemy is no longer holding a gun.
"I have flashbacks. I have nightmares. Sometimes I can't sleep," Morel said.
Morel said he hasn't been able to keep a job, and for a time was homeless.
However the one constant in his life was magic. Yes, magic.
"I'm the only soldier in military history where the Army spent my GI bill to send me to magic college," Morel said.
He competed on two seasons of "America's Got Talent", found an apartment and reconnected with a daughter he barely knew.
Life was improving for Morel.
He signed up for theater classes at the Community College of Rhode Island last year, but there was a problem.
He said he was ordered off campus by police, given a no trespass order and a letter that said he was not welcome in class anymore.
CCRI called Morel's conduct erratic, confrontational, rude and alarming saying he described himself as "a powder keg that can go off anytime."
Morel said he thinks the school was ill-equipped to handle someone with PTSD.
Morel told NBC 10 he doesn't deny he yells when he gets excited. But the move by CCRI caused him to file an anti-discrimination case against the college.
"I want CCRI to apologize because they are in the wrong. They kicked me out because they can't facilitate my medical condition. They should see my service record," he said.
Morel's also fighting to get permanent benefits from Veterans Affairs for PTSD. It's a fight going on eight years now.
"The government sends you to war. You come home and it's like leaving a soldier on the battlefield to die. And part of me is dead," he said.
A spokesman for CCRI told NBC 10 that they could not discuss a pending legal matter.