Senator Blumenthal Praises Army Clarification of Purple Heart

(Hartford, CT) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released the following statement today after the U.S. Army announced that it would clarify and expand the definition of concussions, awarding a greater number of Purple Hearts to soldiers who have sustained serious injuries on the battlefield: 

“I applaud the Army for recognizing that severe brain injuries caused by roadside bomb explosions or other combat can merit the Purple Heart. Even if there is no bleeding or other serious visible wound, traumatic brain injury can be as severe and painful, appropriate for this profoundly significant award. My office hopes to reach out to thousands of veterans, many who may have recently returned from Iraq or Afghanistan, where they suffered concussions or other brain injuries caused by roadside bomb blasts or other combat explosions, to ensure that they are aware of all available resources to access much-needed care and treatment. Added to the respect and prestige of the Purple Heart is the benefit of priority enrollment in VA programs, and exemption from co-pays for hospital or other health care. My hope is that this step will help eliminate the stigma sometimes attached to these brain injuries, leading to quicker and better treatment. The new standards announced by the Army will help provide a model for other services, consistent with the demanding criteria for the Purple Heart.”