Am I entitled to wear The Purple Heart?
February 26, 2013 8:21 AM   Subscribe

I was diagnosed with P.T.S.D by V.A. doctors 19 years after I was discharged from the Navy in WWII. My discharge reads that I am entitled to wear The Asiatic theater ribbon with 1 star, The American theater ribbon, The Victory ribbon, The China liberation ribbon and The Japan Occupation ribbon. Since P.T.S.D. had been included in "wounds received as a result of combat," many years later, Am I entitled to wear the Purple heart. The sweeping of mines was considered, "combat with the enemy."
posted by bo mar 914 to Law & Government (4 answers total)
This article from the NY Times, dated January 7, 2009, begins:

The Pentagon 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 because it is not a physical wound.
posted by jabes at 8:27 AM on February 26, 2013

Speaking from an Army standpoint, and only from my experience in the Army, Purple Hearts come with Certificates and a set of Orders. They are also annotated on a DD214.

You can contact the Military Personnel Records center, as any appeal or inquiry would likely start there.
posted by Master Gunner at 8:30 AM on February 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

The Army manual on Military Awards (pdf) specifically excludes PTSD. The Navy manual does not explicitly exclude PTSD, but the Navy rules (pdf) require that you have to have been treated by a medical officer at the time of the injury and that the injury have been directly caused by the enemy.

Regardless, you'd have to submit a request to be awarded the medal if you weren't awarded it at the time.
posted by Jahaza at 8:46 AM on February 26, 2013 [2 favorites]

Nobody has, to date, thus far, been awarded the Purple Heart based solely on PTSD. It's been tossed around but never changed. You are not entitled to wear the Purple Heart.
posted by corb at 9:22 AM on February 26, 2013

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