Posts Tagged ‘Department of defense’

On its front page, the New York Times (1/8, A1, Alvarez, Eckholm) reports that the Department of Defense (DOD) “has decided that it will not award the Purple Heart, the hallowed medal given to those wounded or killed by enemy action, to war veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because it is not a physical wound.” The decision, which was “made public on Tuesday, for now ends the hope of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans” suffering from PTSD who “believed that the Purple Hearts could honor their sacrifice,” as well as “help remove some of the stigma associated with the condition.” A Department of Defense “advisory group decided against the award because, it said, the condition had not been intentionally caused by enemy action, like a bomb or bullet, and because it remained difficult to diagnose and quantify.”
        In its statement announcing the decision, the DOD said that “the Purple Heart has never been awarded for mental disorders or psychological conditions,” the AP (jan 8th) explains. According to DOD spokeswoman Eileen Lainez, “PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event,” and “not ‘a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an outside force or agent.'” She added that “veterans diagnosed with PTSD ‘still warrant appropriate medical care and disability compensation,” and the Pentagon “is working hard to encourage service members and their families to seek care for PTSD by reducing the stigma, and urging them to seek professional care.” CNN (1/7, 1:18 p.m. ET) also broadcasted the story

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