Sen. Richard Blumenthal Praises New Purple Heart Criteria

HARTFORD, CT (WCBS 880) – A change in the criteria for recipients of the Purple Heart is drawing praise from Connecticut‘s junior U.S. Senator.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau with Sen. Blumenthal

Under the new rules of the Army, soldiers suffering traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, during roadside bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan are now eligible to be awarded the Purple Heart.

“The fact that there is no bleeding and no physical injury may still disguise a very severe brain injury,” says Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Blumenthal is among those who have been fighting for this military recognition.

He is grateful that the lasting impact of a brain injury is now considered on par with physical wounds suffered in combat.

“We need to do outreach to veterans who may have suffered concussions,” says Blumenthal.

The Army estimates tens of thousands of soldiers have suffered concussions during these two wars.

Awarding the Purple Heart exempts soldiers from VA medical co-pays, raising financial concerns among critics of this criteria change.

  • Chief D

    What does the regulation say?

  • Daniel Faflik

    I was a part of OIF in 03-04 during the initial push and suffered a concussion as well as lost consciousness for a couple minutes and temporary hearing loss for 4-5 hours. I can only pray to god that the brigade medic that treated me annotated somewhere of his findings. Myself and some other members of my unit that were involved in the blast were put in for the award and the only one to receive the Purple Heart was my buddy who had a tiny cut on his hand. I think the Arcom I received has this incident annotated on the narrative section on the back and hopefully that will be enough.

  • Kit

    How about they give Purple Hearts to everyone that deploys?! Seems like they Congress does everything to kiss butt starting with the CAB now Purple Hearts

    • Aaron

      I have a CAB. I am not infantry, but worked on a buffalo during route clearing operations. Operation Iron Claw, and we were blown up on numerous occasions. So since I am not infantry I do not deserve an award? Listen Kit, Brain injury and PTSD are real. And while somebody who got shot yet heals in a few weeks gets a purple heart, I haven’t had a night sleep without a nightmare, and have struggled through therapy and ingestion of so many different medications to deal with the PTSD over the last 4 years. My quality of life has suffered substantially since my sacrifice a sacrifice that i believe is on the same level as any soldier that shed blood in our common fight against evil. It’s not about the award KIT, it is about the treatment when you come home. And having those awards is what helps your claim at the VA to get the medical treatment you deserve instead of being forgotten like so many vietnam vets. So my PTSD was severe enough to warrant a MEB (medical evaluation board) to get a medical RETIREMENT, and be released from the army that i love serving in yet, I wasn’t injured enough to receive the purple heart. KIT…. It is ignorant people like you that keep the stigma’s of mental health alive, and encourages those who should seek treatment, to keep their mouths closed when they need help the most. If you are in the service you should be ashamed of your treatment of your comrades, and if not shut the H*ll up because you do not know what you are talking about. I would rather have a missing arm and be able to get treatment and deal with it and move on. the fact is, i cannot see, touch, feel, quantify my injury, making it that much harder to treat. I have been hospitalized numerous times. My family suffers as they try to take care of me the same as any physical injury would. My injuries were caused by the enemy and an instrumentality of war the same as any other soldiers injury. Please explain to me your rational as to why you think that The CAB and Purple Hearts for brain injuries is merely an attempt by congress to “KISS BUTT,” you ignorant twit. I pray for all my brother in arms that were injured or could be injured in the line of duty, not just those who match CRITERIA to get a medal.

  • GlassJAw667

    Maybe now I will finally qualify for a Purple Heart since I was diagnosed with TBI back in 07, and have been on medications since then and still have short term memory loss, with severe rage issues. I have been in therapy for the last year, and have been seeing a psychiatrist for the same. It’s about time.

  • the bandid

    how about giving the same privileges to the thousands of Viet Nam veterans that like me were blown up by 122 mm rockets and the suffer any open wounds, but have broken backs and other internal injuries. it should be the same for combat vets

  • Whoopsy Daisy

    Who better than a decorated Vietnam veteran to help push this change?

    Oh…wait… he’s just another lying self-aggrandizing politician.

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