The Pentagon has decided that those suffering for post-traumatic stress disorder will not be eligible for the Purple Heart. The decision was just announced this week but has been in the books since this past November.
After months of deliberations the Pentagon decided that those dealing with stress disorders from serving their country do not deserve the Purple Heart. Had the ruling gone the other way thousands of soldiers would have been in line to obtain the medal after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan according to stats at the Pentagon.
“The Purple Heart recognizes those individuals wounded to a degree that requires treatment by a medical officer, in action with the enemy or as the result of enemy action where the intended effect of a specific enemy action is to kill or injure the service member,” according to a statement released by the Pentagon.
“PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event; it is not a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an ‘outside force or agent’ but is a secondary effect caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event,” the statement continued.
In the past the Purple Heart was given to those who had bodily injuries from “an outside force or agent” during war times. The panel though decided that psychological conditions have never been a component in giving the Purple Heart.
The panel did not rule out a future change in this decision. They may re-examine the issue in the future if medical science advancements change the way PTSD is diagnosed.