When I was in Iraq, the most common wound behind the many Purple Hearts we awarded was the "perforated eardrum," an eardrum punctured by the concussion of a nearby explosion...
Admittedly, I was dubious about the "recognition" of these and other lesser wounds... But my own commander stood fast by the rules, affirming: "A combat wound is a combat wound, no matter how small..."
A year later, back at Camp Lejeune, N.C., I was making calls to the families of wounded marines...I noticed during that time that I never once made a call to a family about a marine's psychological wounds...Never once.
Why, I asked myself, if a combat wound is a combat wound no matter how small, shouldn't those people suffering from the "invisible wounds" of post-traumatic stress also receive the Purple Heart?