James Joyner agrees with the Pentagon that the Purple Heart should not be awarded for PTSD:

While I take PTSD more seriously than Stacy McCain, who asks “What next? Medals for dysentery?” I share his credulity that this was even under serious consideration.  To award the Purple Heart for psychological scars would be a slap in the face to the long line of combat wounded who have earned the medal the hard way, instantly cheapening it.

I find both judgments devoid of a real understanding of trauma and its profound mental effects. The mind can be wounded too in the line of duty. In the twenty-first century we should have some way of acknowledging that, even if the Purple Heart may not be the right way to go.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.