The Army recently announced that the Purple Heart can be awarded for those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) on the battlefield. Previously, concussions were technically eligible for the honor, but the decision on whether to award a Purple Heart to a solider who suffered a battlefield concussion was in the hands of doctors and commanders. Now, the Army clarified the eligibility standards, and even brief periods of dizziness or headaches, due to traumatic brain injury, meet the criteria for eligibility.
TBI is one of the most common injuries suffered on the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. Expanding Purple Heart eligibility to include battlefield concussions is an acknowledgement that even though the injury may not be visible, a soldier is still deeply affected both physically and mentally by brain injuries. Thus far, the Army is the only branch to expand eligibility this broadly, but other branches are evaluating their standards.
The Purple Heart is prestigious, symbolizing the sacrifice a servicemember made for his or her country. It also carries with it VA benefits, such as a waiver of co-pay fees for VA Healthcare.
For more information, please visit: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/medical/story/2011/03/More-Purple-Hearts-after-Army-clarifies-concussion-/44961418/1
If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury and have filed a disability claim with VA, please visit www.vetlawyers.com to learn more about what help may be available to you.