More Purple Hearts after Army clarifies 'concussion'
Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > General Discussion Forums > The Club House > More Purple Hearts after Army clarifies 'concussion'

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-26-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
canebrake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: 150 miles NE of Sloppy Joe's Bar
Posts: 21,941
Liked 1419 Times on 808 Posts
Likes Given: 1290

Default More Purple Hearts after Army clarifies 'concussion'

More Purple Hearts after Army clarifies 'concussion'
WASHINGTON — The Army will allow more battlefield concussions to be eligible for a Purple Heart, embracing the latest scientific findings that even brief periods of dizziness or headaches are evidence of the wound.
The decision to expand the definition for concussions will mean thousands of Purple Heart medals going to soldiers denied them in the past.

For decades, Army award regulations used the term "concussion" for the injury, but left it to doctors or battlefield commanders to decide whether a blow to the head during combat warranted the medal.

Many held the view that "you've got to be bleeding to get (the medal)," says Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the Army vice chief of staff, who has pushed for the clarification on awarding a Purple Heart for concussion.

The new rules spell out precisely what constitutes a concussion, with symptoms such as any momentary loss of consciousness or memory, dizziness, headache, nausea or light sensitivity. Medical treatment, also required for the medal, is defined by the rules to include merely rest and Tylenol.

More than 80,000 GIs have suffered concussions since 2001, many in combat and often from exposure to roadside bomb blasts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The figure dwarfs the 26,000 Purple Hearts given to soldiers for other wounds in the two wars. How many concussion injuries will qualify for the award remains uncertain.

Chiarelli, who has worked to reduce a stigma in the Army about mental health problems, says he pushed for the changes in order to correct misconceptions that more subtle forms of concussions cannot be true war wounds.

"We're trying to change our culture. We're trying to get rid of the stigma. And it's hard to do," he says.

"The confusion among Army doctors," says Col. Jonathan Jaffin of the Army surgeon general's office, "was how much head injury qualified for the concussion diagnosis warranting a Purple Heart." The changes now provide clarity, he says.

Col. Tom Quinn of the Army office that oversees awards is urging soldiers who believe they were wrongly denied the award to seek a review of their case. "We think that some deserving soldiers may not have been appropriately recognized," says Quinn, urging soldiers to re-apply at 888-276-9472 or hrcawards.tagd@conus.army.mil.

The Army began reviewing how Purple Hearts are awarded for battlefield concussions last year.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., co-chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, hailed the changes as long overdue and called for similar criteria for other service branches.

"It is imperative that the Pentagon makes it crystal clear that all servicemembers, no matter what branch they serve in, will be awarded the Purple Heart when they are wounded in any way," Pascrell says.

The Marine Corps awards a Purple Heart only for a concussion that causes a loss of consciousness, says Marine Capt. Patrick Boyce, a Marine Corps spokesman. New standards have been proposed that could broaden the definition, much as the Army has done, Boyce says.

Apart from the prestige of earning a Purple Heart, the award also entitles the recipient to priority enrollment for VA benefits, exempting them from co-pays for hospital and outpatient care.
Some are cautious about the changes.

"Anything that can be done to erase the stigma so that (soldiers) will not be embarrassed to seek treatment I'm definitely in favor of," says Army Capt. Jonathan Entrekin, a chaplain who served in Iraq. "At the same time, the Purple Heart is one of the most sacred medals that can be received by somebody. We've got to be careful that we're not just giving them out for any reason. We don't want to cheapen that."

Vietnam Army veteran Rua Petty backs the new rules.

"An injury is an injury. And just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't a wound," Petty says. "If it's a clear-cut indication you've had a brain injury, then I think you deserve it as much as anyone else."
__________________
http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/v...brake02jpg.jpg

http://i1060.photobucket.com/albums/...ps18cfbeae.jpg

Get her dirty, then clean her so she starts to respect you. When her trust is complete, she will serve you well for a lifetime!

"...if doves shot back, there wouldn't be a need for a bag limit."
- orangello
canebrake is offline  
 
Reply With Quote

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today - It's Free!

Are you a firearms enthusiast? Then we hope you will join the community. You will gain access to post, create threads, private message, upload images, join groups and more.

Firearms Talk is owned and operated by fellow firearms enthusiasts. We strive to offer a non-commercial community to learn and share information.

Join FirearmsTalk.com Today! - Click Here


Old 03-26-2011, 10:48 PM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Yunus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: |,Maryland
Posts: 4,808
Liked 1109 Times on 657 Posts
Likes Given: 348

Default

I would agree that "just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't a wound". However I don't like medals like the Purple heart being handed out like candy. I've heard of people being awarded purple heart's in the Air Force for injuring themselves while working as a mechanic, I'm not talking losing a leg or something, I mean injury due to stupidity like not following proper safety procedures.

The standard to get a medal like the Purple heart should be high. If in doubt I say deny it. That might piss off some people but I want that medal to mean something and lowering the standard to obtain it can also lower what it means.

__________________

"Good people drink good beer."
Hunter S. Thompson

Yunus is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
U.S. Army~Between the .38 and .45 ACP Bob Wright Ammunition & Reloading 4 08-16-2011 02:22 PM
The Afgan Army Jo da Plumbr Politics, Religion and Controversy 16 12-19-2009 05:39 AM
Civilian Army KAG Politics, Religion and Controversy 26 09-01-2009 11:01 AM
Red Army Vodka? hkusp45 The Club House 0 09-28-2008 05:52 PM