The Pentagon is considering awarding Purple Hearts to U.S. troops who suffered mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) during an Iranian missile attack against Al Assad and Erbil air bases in Iraq earlier this year.
Both air bases were hit with 12 ballistic missiles the night of Jan. 8, but no members of the military were killed, according to a dossier compiled by U.S. Air Force Central Command (AFCENT).
The Pentagon has said the Iranian missile attack in Iraq left 34 U.S. service members with concussions.
The Department of Defense (DoD) provided Fox News with a statement saying the cases are currently being reviewed.
“The Purple Heart submissions remain under review and are being processed in accordance with Defense Department and military service regulations," Defense Department spokesperson Jessical Maxwell said. "Upon completion, service members entitled to receive the Purple Heart will be notified by their leadership."
Following the missile attacks, more than 100 service members were diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries.
According to research from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a TBI is defined as “a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury."
Depending on the severity of the injury, patients who suffer a TBI may experience a change in consciousness that makes them dazed and confused, or they could lose consciousness altogether. They may also experience memory loss, headaches, irritability, sleep disruption and depression.
Many of the troops involved in the attack said they also experienced intense fear from being forced to face their own mortality.
"I wasn't ready to die," Master Sgt. Janet Liliu from Al Assad airb ase said. "But I tried to prepare myself with every announcement of an incoming missile. I had to. We all had to."