a3Genealogy - Accurate, Accessible Answers - specializes in military, naturalization records, Native American and African American ancestry. The a3Gen blog is penned by Kathleen Brandt, an international genealogy consultant, speaker and writer. a3Gen clients span from Europe, Asia and Africa to the Americas.
Often the Purple Heart Medal is awarded post-mortem and is not easily obtained by family members. However, with a bit of organization, the medal is presented to the family (or veteran) once all the strict requirements are met. Before hiring a researcher for assistance, you may wish to be aware of the requirements and criteria. I have outlined the criteria below. This is relevant for all branches of service.
WWI, WWII and Korean War
Purple Heart Medal is awarded to individuals who were wounded or injured as a DIRECT result of action by the enemy of the United States.
Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm
Purple Heart Medal is awarded to individuals who were wounded as RESULT of enemy action (DIRECT or INDIRECT).
Prisoners of War
If a Prisoner of War (POW) is eligible for a Purple Heart, the POW will be limited to a single Purple Heart covering the entire period of the captivity.
What is a wound?
A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent, sustained while IN action. Also, except in the case of a prisoner of war, the wound for which the award was made MUST have required treatment by a medical officer at the time of injury. Only one award is authorized for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant from the same missile, force, explosion or agent.
Proof that individual was wounded/injured under the conditions stated above.
Proof that medical attention was needed due to the injury.
Proof of direct/indirect involvement (deck log record)
Kathleen Brandt, Professional Genealogist