Thursday, December 8, 2011

Purple Heart Earned

By Jim Fausone
Veteran Disability Lawyer

We get asked about how to obtain a Purple Heart by veterans on a regular basis. This issue has even infiltrated pop cultures. The CBS show "Harry's Law" about a quirky law firm recently had a story line about an Iraq veteran who suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), but did not get a Purple Heart. Since this is the military, it starts with filling out a form. DD Form 149 is a request to correct military records. The veteran is asking the Department of Defense (DOD) to adjust its military records to reflect that a combat injury was received, sufficient to require medical treatment, and that a Purple Heart was earned. You must explain, document, and prove the nature of the injury. As you start the process you should obtain a copy of your discharge papers, otherwise known as a DD214, and see if it reflects wounded in combat. If not you will have to gather service or medical records to prove the combat injury. A recommendation for the citation from your unit commander will go a long way or a buddy statement about the conditions under which the injury was received. It is a long process but worth it to prove ones status and obtain the recognition and benefits that go with the Purple Heart. Once the forms and evidence are sent into your service branch for review and the waiting will begin. A veteran service organization (VSO), or other veterans advocate, should be contacted to help you. The link to DD149 is below.

To learn more or to contact a Veterans disability lawyer, Veterans disability attorney, Veterans lawyer, or Veterans attorney call 1.800.693.4800 or visit

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