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Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Open Discussions about Combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby PTSD_Vet » Fri May 13, 2011 8:12 pm

Wow after this posted I saw how old the thread is. Oh wlel, maybe someone will post there view on purple hearts being awarded for TBI lol. Sorry to dig up old topics ><
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Postby ghost5of7 » Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:03 pm

Incorrigible wrote:Nah, too many people would fake having PTSD to get the heart. It would bring the value of it down. Guys would want one just to impress the girls back home.


Good point. And the OP nailed why my instinct was to say "No". PH. is given for being wounded by direct enemy action (and has to be witnessed)... But PTSD is caused by the environment and situation. It's the same principle as giving it to a heat casualty because he ran outta water before the enemy ran outta bullets.
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Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby black & white » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:04 am

Comes down to some extent to that separation between physical problems and mental problems. Its archaic- but so is much of the military. Perhaps if they introduced a comparable award 'a purple brain' the Pentagon would be happy.

Having worked with many WW2 and Vietnam vets- PTSD is as real and debilitating as anything a bullet can inflict.
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Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby ghost5of7 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:30 pm

black & white wrote:Comes down to some extent to that separation between physical problems and mental problems. Its archaic- but so is much of the military. Perhaps if they introduced a comparable award 'a purple brain' the Pentagon would be happy.

Having worked with many WW2 and Vietnam vets- PTSD is as real and debilitating as anything a bullet can inflict.



It's not a question of whether it's debilitating... Or a question of it's being a result of military service... Or a question of the disorder being a result of exposure to combat. It's a question of whether the disorder falls into the criteria set forth as being for wounds inflicted by direct enemy action.
PTSD IS real and debilitating but it's a result of exposure to an environment. I dunno if it lends credence, but I'm a veteran diagnosed with PTSD... I can sympathise with both sides, but... I have to side on the view that it's not a purple heart qualifier.
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Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby cgrove » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:47 pm

I'm a vet and I really don't think any normal person leaves a combat zone without some level of PTSD. But in my opinion it is not what the medal was intended for.

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Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby Myotherlife » Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:06 am

I have a Purple Heart, well deserved I might add. I almost got my right leg blown off by a sniper in Vietnam when I was starting to work on a grievously wounded marine. But I feel I doubly deserve the medal because, some 43 years after I was wounded, I was diagnosed with combat-related PTSD, and now receive compensation for that as well as for my leg wound. But the issue not whether I should have a Purple Heart for PTSD, but whether the military will ever acknowledge that bodies and minds cannot be separated. Trauma to one equals trauma to the other, although PTSD is not an inevitable outcome of physical trauma. And, of course, there is the question of what causes PTSD in the first place.

In my case, I had already suffered a good deal of psychological trauma and emotional neglect when I joined the military. In Vietnam, I witnessed or was an unwilling participant in 10 incidents, any one of which would have made headlines back in the U.S., had a reporter been present. By the time I was wounded, I was already a psychological basket case. When I was wounded, my company had already lost several men; by the end of the day, my battalion and one other had lost 100 men KIA, and perhaps another 200 were wounded.

Psychologists have told me that I was a very poor candidate for combat because of my childhood history. I have little doubt that if the military had cared, I never would have been allowed to enlist because of the high likelihood that I would be psychologically traumatized in combat.

I do believe that combat PTSD should qualify a veteran for a Purple Heart. But I don't think that's likely to happen any time soon. No government could possibly afford to pay compensation for all of its physically and emotionally wounded veterans.

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Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby BiB » Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:33 pm

There are simply too much veterans with PTSD to publicize that war means heavy psicological disorder.
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Sorry for my English, Im not a native.
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Re: Do Soldiers with PTSD Deserve Purple Hearts?

Postby Lionel2100 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:16 am

I did twenty three years and two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I also did time in Germany, Kuwait, Croatia and Macedonia. The notion of a purple heart for PTSD is an utter disgrace. I've had too many sleepless nights to count, before and after an operation. I'm retired now and still have them but thats nothing compared to what the soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines who were wounded have.

Three of my soldiers from Iraq were wounded in Afghanistan and were airlifted to my base for treatment. You have no idea the impact it was on me to see them busted up with one in a coma. Those guys EARNED that medal. Pretty much anyone who's seen real combat is going to get PTSD. That's what war is. Every frigging infantryman and tanker in WW2, wounded or not, along with every infantryman in Vietnam likely came home with PTSD. But thats not what the medal is for. Its for people who were shot, lost limbs and were physically scarred.

A real veteran who lived though war has his PTSD medal on the inside. We talk to each other about places we were at and who we were with. Our medal comes from a shared feeling of respect. For us in the army, our PTSD medal comes from that shoulder patch worn on the right side of the uniform. It says who you are and where you were. I remember a time in the Army when almost no one had one.

There are campaign medals and bars and ribbons for all that crap where you served and we all know what goes on "over there". As has been discussed before, the world has enough fakes already. Anyone that has seen combat is going to look at a fellow soldier asking for a purple heart for PTSD as a fob rat or worse.
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