On May 2, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that awarding the Purple Heart to veterans afflicted with PTSD was an “interesting idea.” “I think it is clearly something that needs to be looked at,” said Gates. Yesterday, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell confirmed that the department was considering the issue, but cast doubt that the policy would actually change:
MORRELL: You know, I don’t think it’s for the secretary to make a decision on. I think the question was broached to the secretary; he answered it as best he could. [...]
I should point out they’ve looked at this before and they determined — the had determined that it was not appropriate to make PTSD a qualification for a Purple Heart. But I can tell you that the department is exploring PTSD as a qualifying wound through the DOD Awards Advisory Group. There is no timetable at this point for them to produce a recommendation. But that’s the status of it as of right now.