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mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

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  • mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

    All,

    I'd like to informally poll the readership here, primarily the NCOs and Officers who have been around a bit.

    Here is the scenario:

    During our deployment here, we have received a large amount of direct and indirect fire on the FOB - over 70 events throughout the summer. In that span of time, we have sent almost two dozen Soldiers to Charlie Med for mTBI. No bloodshed, no fragmentation, but Soldiers and Officers out for 2-4 days with dizziness, nausea, balance issues, loss of hearing, etc, etc. Impacts were anywhere from 10 to 40 meters with a number of witnesses, so no malingering is involved or suspected. Of those in this category, possibly two or three may possibly require medical follow ups with the VA once we redeploy.

    Our Commander, a very good man and upstanding senior officer, believes that Purple Heart is best reserved for those truly "blooded"; physically wounded by the enemy's actions. He is well aware of what the AR and ALARACT indicate about mTBI. He has told the CSM that he will not sign any paperwork, but will not stand in the way of individual Soldiers requesting through HRC (as outlined in the ALARACT) consideration for the award.

    To be clear, none of the Soldiers have come out and said they "want" the award, but are curious if the command is considering forwarding any paperwork. FLL's have only recently learned from the CSM the Commander's intent on this subject.

    Just to put it out front, my (unsolicited) opinion is if a guy meets the criteria, he rates the award.

    I'm very aware that this is a sensitive subject amongst many, particularly those in combat arms.

    Where do you fall in on this?

    Wobbly Emu
    12
    Go!
    58.33%
    7
    No Go!
    41.67%
    5
    Last edited by Wobbly Emu; February 2nd, 2012, 04:19 PM. Reason: Left a word out...

  • #2
    Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

    Give me a quick breakdown of what it is you want to ask/answer choices and I can make a poll. (I know the gist of it, but I'd rather use your own words.)
    Last edited by SteveLord; February 2nd, 2012, 12:31 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

      Down and dirty:

      PH for mTBI w/o physical wounds?

      Go or No Go?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

        AR 600-8-22
        Chapter 2-8

        e. A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or
        more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made
        must have required treatment by medical personnel and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in
        action must have been made a matter of official record.

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        • #5
          Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

          My thoughts on it are that if the reg authorizes it, then it should be awarded. Now...if it is the case of a soldier asking for it, that of course raises red flags. I don't believe an officer should stand in the way though of what is supposed to happen just because of how he "feels".

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          • #6
            Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

            During our RFI, we received the new ACH that is now tailored to the soldier to gauge TBI if involved in an attack. Obviously, people on the FOB who are not involved in FOB security do not walk around with their helmets on so that determination lies upon the medical personnel.

            I received my CAB based on over 120 outside the wire missions that resulted in countless attacks and never felt that a person should receive a CAB based on IDFs on the FOB (unless they were directly hit) and I sat on many awards boards that with all the photos and sworn statements to justify it but I voted no. I feel that the CAB in some instances has been degraded based on many individuals receiving it for a one-event, small IDF attack that was nowhere near them. Honestly, I have seen people hunt for CABs to help with promotion or a PH so they will have the license plate or other benefits that go along with it. Sometimes people are not smart when they try to have quiet conversations.

            But anybody could submit someone for an award and usually there is a process (awards board); so if the panel feels that a soldier rates a PH based on what happened; then that should sway the Commander's decision. Just my two cents.

            OEF bound (again) for my third deployment. I leave in a few weeks. I will be at Kabul or FOB Fenty. I will also be in Bagram for a while.
            Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; February 2nd, 2012, 04:00 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

              Got busy and got to this later than I thought. I added it....see it on the thread link, but not in here. Hmmm

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              • #8
                Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                I will be at Kabul or FOB Fenty. I will also be in Bagram for a while.
                Headed in that general direction myself real soon.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                  We had a guy that witnessed a IED, that they want to put in for a PH. Now this guy wasnt in the vehicle nor was any vehicle in the attack. The timing was way off and missed the convoy by a long way. This soldier couldnt even see the blast and didnt know about it til it came over the net. He says that he is having mental problems due to this, and had to be removed from theater. I have my own ideas on how this award should be given but wont post them. All I can say, is I hope the history of this Award and its recipiants not be tarnished.

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                  • #10
                    Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                    A few years back, ArmyTimes did a big article about how some were pushing Purple Hearts for those suffering from PTSD.

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                    • #11
                      Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                      Originally posted by Phantom View Post
                      We had a guy that witnessed a IED, that they want to put in for a PH. Now this guy wasnt in the vehicle nor was any vehicle in the attack. The timing was way off and missed the convoy by a long way. This soldier couldnt even see the blast and didnt know about it til it came over the net. He says that he is having mental problems due to this, and had to be removed from theater. I have my own ideas on how this award should be given but wont post them. All I can say, is I hope the history of this Award and its recipiants not be tarnished.
                      Yes, I saw my share of those type situations as well. I too worry about how far awarding it will be taken. I also think there is a definite difference between TBI and PTSD.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                        I personally don't like commanders using opinion to counter the black and white print for any reason. I guess that comes with being a legal guy, so I live on regulations. So I say if it is legit, they should be awarded the award. I would rather see 100 fakers who dont deserve it get the award, then deny a single legitimate case when it comes down to a purple heart. I think it is too sensitive of a topic in that regard.

                        Now....If we start a poll on the Combat Action Badge, my vote will be that the award never should have been made in the first place. Im sure I will get some zingers sent my way for that comment, but I'm ready..so fire for effect.

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                        • #13
                          Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                          Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                          I personally don't like commanders using opinion to counter the black and white print for any reason. I guess that comes with being a legal guy, so I live on regulations. So I say if it is legit, they should be awarded the award. I would rather see 100 fakers who dont deserve it get the award, then deny a single legitimate case when it comes down to a purple heart. I think it is too sensitive of a topic in that regard.

                          Now....If we start a poll on the Combat Action Badge, my vote will be that the award never should have been made in the first place. Im sure I will get some zingers sent my way for that comment, but I'm ready..so fire for effect.
                          Nothing wrong with your opinion about the CAB but did you earn one and have you been in combat? I do not know if you earned your CIB as a Rakkasan (I am Bastogne) and would not make that assumption based on your signature.
                          Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; February 7th, 2012, 01:43 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                            Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
                            Nothing wrong with your opinion about the CAB but did you earn one and have you been in combat? I do not know if you earned your CIB as a Rakkasan (I am Bastogne) and would not make that assumption based on your signature.
                            I have a CIB. And if you can't make that assumption based on my signature then you need to google "Operation Anaconda". Im not saying that as a smartalic, but ever since we invaded Iraq (which I was there for too as a Rakkasan) people seem to have forgoten about that mission, which is unfortunate because it was huge. Im currently reading the book "Not a Good Day to Die". Highly recommend it.

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                            • #15
                              Re: mTBI and the Purple Heart - Your Opinion?

                              Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                              I have a CIB. And if you can't make that assumption based on my signature then you need to google "Operation Anaconda". Im not saying that as a smartalic, but ever since we invaded Iraq (which I was there for too as a Rakkasan) people seem to have forgoten about that mission, which is unfortunate because it was huge. Im currently reading the book "Not a Good Day to Die". Highly recommend it.
                              Hey! Were there any Navy SEALS there?!???!?!?! Let me know!

                              (jab at the only positive military news in the media as of late)

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