In a hearing before the House Appropriations Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie told Congress that service members who have earned the Purple Heart will now be "at the front of the line when it comes to claims before the department."
Wilkie didn't explain exactly how the VA will implement his plan but said the changes are designed to emphasize "recognition of wounds taken in battle."
Obviously, men and women with combat-related injuries often have the most pressing medical issues, and prioritizing their treatment can be seen as an important measure to improve their care while the VA sorts out its long-standing backlog.
But that won't make the delay easier for anyone who didn't receive a Purple Heart and might even add time to their wait.
What's your take on this? If you've received a Purple Heart, do you think your care should be first priority for the VA? If you don't have one, are you willing to wait so that others who might have more pressing medical issues get treated first?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.