The Army, according to a report from The Hill, will award Purple Hearts to 39 soldiers who were previously denied the award after Iran struck their base.
After the attack on Jan. 8, 2020, there were no reports of deaths or injuries. But it was later confirmed that 110 soldiers had suffered traumatic brain injuries.
The decision to award the Purple Hearts was made after a CBS News report, published last month, indicated that the soldiers were denied Purple Heart status along with its accompanying benefits despite being qualified for the honors. Iran struck the soldiers’ base in retaliation for the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
In May 2020, Navy Cmdr. Zachary Harrell, a Centcom spokesman, said that “it is important to note that a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) diagnosis does not automatically qualify a service member for Purple Heart eligibility or awarding.”
But following the CBS report, the Army’s Human Resources Command said it would review the Purple Heart status of the soldiers.
On Wednesday, the soldiers were notified of their award.
The Purple Heart comes with many benefits, including priority medical care at Veterans Affairs hospitals and preferential hiring in federal jobs.
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