20 May 2009
Dear Congressman Bishop,
The latest press release from the Department of Veterans Affairs reawakened the dark matter that haunts veterans with PTSD:
http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1677. You see, PTSD warriors have been unjustly disenfranchised by the DoD by not including us in awarding of the Purple Heart...or any official recognition, for that matter. I would like to ask, "When will the DoD or Congress recognize PTSD warriors with an official medal?"
The research and statistics clearly show that PTSD victims have endured some of the most painful psychological wounds resulting directly from combat. I suspect that the DoD is waiting until sometime after the current wars are over to recognize this gaping deficiency--but that is unsatisfactory. There is a saying in the military regarding medals: "pin 'em where you win 'em." That simple fact should not be overlooked just because the DoD is scared of some sort of potential pandemic resulting from doing the right thing--pinning our Purple Hearts on us.
In closing, I urge the U.S. Congress to do the right thing and recognize ALL combat wounded personnel in bestowing them with the Purple Heart. If not the Purple Heart, then I urge Congress to bestow a new or similar medal that does justice for PTSD wounded warriors. The DoD is hiding behind the cover of war in procrastinating bringing justice to psychologically scarred wounded warriors. However, Congress and the President have the obligation and duty to correct injustices such as this obvious malfunction.
Thank you for your conscientious efforts in caring for America's wounded warriors.
Patrick B. Monahan