Since the Trojan Wars soldiers have been getting clocked in combat. I suspect that thousands of the men who fought in the trenches in World War l and ll were knocked silly with blast injuries from which they never recovered nor were ever known for the permanent damage done to the neurological system.
If Grampa sat in his rocking chair a bit long, sipping whiskey and staring into space, he was very likely the victim of a serious concussion.
Now, both the Army and Marine Corps have adopted criteria to give consideration for the awarding of a Purple Heart if a soldier/Marine experience a concussion on the battlefield.
Mild traumatic brain injuries caused by a blast or blow to the head can now qualify for a Purple Heart if the Medical Officer in charge determines that the combatant is not fit for duty for more than 48 hours as a result of lingering symptoms. The decision must be made withing seven days of the battlefield occurrence.
The Marine Corps announced the criteria in Marine Administrative Message 245/11 on April 15th. The revised memorandum states that no longer is a loss of consciousness the sole criteria.
This change is retroactive to the beginning of the Global War on Terrorism that began on September 11.2001
Marines, including veterans, whose medical records show that a prior mild traumatic brain injury was caused by enemy action since September 11, 2001 may submit a claim via the administrative chain of command.
The award criteria can be found at “http://www.marines.mil/news/messages/Pages/MARADMIN245-11.aspx/. “
Submit your request to “Commandant of the Marine Corps (MMMA) Headquarters Marine Corps, 3280 Russel Road, Quantico, Va. 22134-5103
Members of the U.S. Army can call 888-276-9472
The advances that have been made by way of military medicine are stunning. This decision to award a Purple Heart for TBI is the right thing to do, as the complications from head injuries are for life and often much more intrusive than a scar from a bullet or shrapnel.
I know, I had two of them, and always felt sad and a bit isolated by the fact that my injuries never seemed to count, even though I have been compromised by them for 42 years.