Pentagon Nixes Purple Heart for Mental Wounds

Post-traumatic stress is not a wound, officials declare
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2009 4:15 AM CST
Pentagon Nixes Purple Heart for Mental Wounds
President Bush presents a wounded soldier with a Purple Heart. The Pentagon announced there will be no purple hearts for soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.   (AP Photo/The White House Eric Draper)

US troops who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder from their tours in Iraq and Afghanistan will not receive the purple heart given to soldiers wounded in combat, reports CNN. The Pentagon announcement came after weeks of review. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 11% of Iraq veterans and 20% of those who served in Afghanistan suffer from the disorder.

An anxiety disorder is not a wound "intentionally caused by the enemy  but is a secondary effect caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event," said the Pentagon statement. "The Purple Heart recognizes individuals wounded to a degree that requires treatment by a medical officer, where the intended effect of a specific enemy action is to kill or injure the service member."
(More Pentagon stories.)

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