Purple Heart?

[deleted account] ( 10 moms have responded )

I was listening to NPR the other day (I LOVE NPR!) and there was a story on there about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury - the mild form of this is a concussion and TBI is a physical injury to the brain but it is most often misdiagnosed as PTSD). There was a doctor on there that said a soldier who gets a concussion in the line of duty gets a purple heart, but a soldier who gets TBI or PTSD does not. He is actually currently trying to get the rules about this changed. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story... - listen to the story using the link on the top of the page fore the interviews and such - a very moving story!)

What do you ladies think? If a soldier goes through something so horrific (i.e. battle) that they get PTSD or TBI, should they get the purple heart?

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[deleted account]

The NPR guy was saying that many cases of TBI are misdiagnosed as PTSD and therefore going unoticed and untreated. He also said that in many cases the military is unable (or unwilling) to retest those who think they may have TBI as opposed to PTSD.

I do think that soldiers who have PTSD should receive the purple heart though. I think emotional and mental issues caused by the stress and distress of combat is an injury...

Sharon - posted on 09/06/2010




The original Purple Heart, designated as the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington—then the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army—by order from his Newburgh, New York headquarters on August 7, 1782.[1] The actual order includes the phrase, "Let it be known that he who wears the Military Order of the Purple Heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen."

Injuries or wounds which do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart include frostbite or trench foot injuries; heat stroke; food poisoning not caused by enemy agents; chemical, biological, or nuclear agents not released by the enemy; battle fatigue; disease not directly caused by enemy agents; accidents, to include explosive, aircraft, vehicular, and other accidental wounding not related to or caused by enemy action; self-inflicted wounds (e.g., a soldier accidentally fires their own gun and the bullet strikes their leg), except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence; post-traumatic stress disorders;[4] and jump injuries not caused by enemy action.

It is not intended that such a strict interpretation of the requirement for the wound or injury to be caused by direct result of hostile action be taken that it would preclude the award being made to deserving personnel. Commanders must also take into consideration the circumstances surrounding an injury, even if it appears to meet the criteria. In the case of an individual injured while making a parachute landing from an aircraft that had been brought down by enemy fire; or, an individual injured as a result of a vehicle accident caused by enemy fire, the decision will be made in favor of the individual and the award will be made. As well, individuals wounded or killed as a result of "friendly fire" in the "heat of battle" will be awarded the Purple Heart as long as the "friendly" projectile or agent was released with the full intent of inflicting damage or destroying enemy troops or equipment. Individuals injured as a result of their own negligence, such as by driving or walking through an unauthorized area known to have been mined or placed off limits or searching for or picking up unexploded munitions as war souvenirs, will not be awarded the Purple Heart as they clearly were not injured as a result of enemy action, but rather by their own negligence.

A "wound" is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required; however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.

According to wikipedia - your NPR guy is talking out his ass. The information they have shows that brain injuries do qualify.

Caitlin - posted on 09/06/2010




I think they should recognize it more, but I don't necessarily feel that they should get a medal. I don't agree with a medal for getting hurt, the better resognition would be treatment, not more accoutrement!

Dana - posted on 09/06/2010




I think they deserve a purple heart. They've been mentally injured and could possibly have trouble for the rest of their lives. It's very sad to see that our military doesn't want to acknowledge how many people actually end up with PTSD, nor do they want to treat it.

[deleted account]

I honestly don't think I'm qualified to answer this! I'm interested to hear what some of you have to say. But in all honesty, I just don't have any military background or experience. Yes, ALL wounded soldiers deserve special recognition, but I need to read more about the criteria of receiveing the purple heart to make more of an opinion.

[deleted account]

That's my opinion as well JuLeah, but the guy was saying (you have to listen to the story to hear it) that the military is failing to recognise these cases and even treat them, much less give the soldiers a purple heart...

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