LANSING – State Representative George T. Darany (D-Dearborn) is working to make sure that all members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are wounded in battle, including those who suffer increasingly common traumatic brain injuries, are honored with the Purple Heart medal they deserve for defending our freedom and safety.
“Our armed forces are completely deserving of our respect and admiration,” said Darany, who is a member of the House Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. “To acknowledge the tremendous sacrifices of our military men and women, our nation has awarded Purple Hearts to individuals who have been wounded in combat. However, some injuries are not always visible, as is the case with traumatic brain injuries which are often caused by improvised devices in combat zones overseas. The brave men and women coping with these types of injuries have proudly served our country. Our way of honoring these members of our armed forces must change to acknowledge their sacrifices.”
Darany sponsored a House Concurrent Resolution today urging the U.S. Department of Defense to apply uniform standards for awarding the Purple Heart.
For many years, the eligibility criteria for the Purple Heart have been interpreted to be injuries that are visible in nature.
The weapons found on today’s battlefields are designed to cause life-altering damage and traumatic brain injuries are becoming more common because of the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that are used widely by enemy forces. Thankfully, the quality of emergency care and equipment on the front lines has contributed to an increased survival rate in military personnel sustaining traumatic brain injuries.
The Army recently set new guidelines for awarding Purple Hearts, and other branches have been examining their own practices. In spite of this notable progress, the fact remains that the application of these standards is still uneven.
“Despite the type of injury, every veteran who has been wounded in combat has displayed a heroic amount of devotion to defend our country and they are without a doubt deserving of recognition for their sacrifices,” Darany said.