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Debate Swirls Over Purple Heart for PTSD

Proponents say honor would reduce stigma; medal devalued, foes counter
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2008 7:11 PM CDT
Debate Swirls Over Purple Heart for PTSD
A drawer from a cabinet full of purple heart medals is part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial collection in Hyattsville, Md. Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – Members of the US military are debating whether Purple Heart medals should go to troops with post-traumatic stress disorder, the Military Times reports. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said, "It’s clearly something that needs to be looked at,” but foes argue it would devalue the honor for those wounded in battle. Proponents say it would reduce the stigma attached to PTSD.

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One Army major said being awarded the medal should require “that you bled for your country.” Wrote a blogger: “It’s an insult to those who have suffered real injury on the battlefield." The director of a veterans care center rebuts that some of them "have paid at least as high a price as anyone with a shrapnel wound." (Read more US military stories.)

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