Lainez explained, "PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event." It is not, she said, "a wound intentionally caused by the enemy from an outside force or agent."
"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," she continued.
James: This is ridiculous!! Anyone with PTSD (or who knows someone with PTSD) knows that it is very much a "wound" because it has traumatized and altered your normal brain functioning. As for it being an intended effect by the enemy? Of course it was an intended "effect" as the enemy is looking to incapacitate the soldiers in anyway possible.
We all know that many of the militants in the Iraq war are terrorists and the main goal of terrorism is to create terror and a person traumatized by PTSD is very much terrorized. A physical wound is often (not always) easier to heal and so I would say that PTSD is in some cases worse than a traditional physical wound.
What they seem to be saying with this decision is that those who suffered a mental health trauma during the war haven't sacrificed as much as those who were wounded in a traditional way. This sends a terrible message to our troops about mental illness, which is something that is already still taboo in the military.
A wound to the brain via a psychological trauma is just as debilitating as a non-mental trauma wound--just ask the loved ones of veterans who have come home only to take their life due to mental health problems. Do they get a medal when they commit suicide? I don't think so as far as I know (but they should) and no one hears about their tragic death. We sweep that stuff under the rug and don't talk about it.
Every soldier who dies of suicide whether back home or still in the theater of battle should get a Purple Heart posthumously if they don't already. We all know that the war they served in had something to do with why they killed themselves so their loss should be recognized by the government and the American people through a Purple Heart. It's not like giving away more Purple Hearts will break the bank but maybe they want to give away fewer to up the value or something sick like that. Who the hell knows with these people.
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