Wednesday March 23, 2011 | 09:23 AM

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st, is continuing her campaign to persuade the military to ease the path to a Purple Heart for soldiers who received traumatic brain injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Pingree, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, asked the Department of Defense to reconsider its policies after reports last year by National Public Radio and Propublica alleged that deserving soldiers weren't getting the appropriate recognition. She notes in a release today that the Army last week agreed to overhaul how it awards Purple Hearts to give fair consideration to soldiers who have suffered brain injuries.

"Now, it's time for the other services to follow suit," Pingree said.

Pingree has written a letter to Clifford L. Stanley, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, saying that the Pentagon should "develop a consistant, service-wide policy that ensures our military members who receive concussion-like wounds at the hands of the enemoy are awarded the Purple Heart Medal. For many of these heroes, these invisible wounds last long after they return home from the battle field, and for that injury not to be recognized with the appropriate award is simply unacceptable."

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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