Less than 8 percent of veterans expelled from the military under the "don't ask, don't tell" policy have applied to upgrade their discharges to honorable or strip references to their sexual orientation from their record.

In the nearly five years since the repeal of the policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, fewer than 1,000 people have sought corrections.

That's out of the more than 13,000 people who were expelled, the military tells The Associated Press.

The head of the Board for Correction of Naval Records says many veterans don't know it's an option.

Veterans and the veterans' advocates agreed there's a lack of awareness but cited many reasons why veterans wouldn't correct their record. Going to the board could open up old wounds, for example.