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Library > POW Purple Heart information

POW Purple Heart information for next of kinPurple Heart
The Department of Defense has authorized the expansion of Purple Heart
eligibility criteria which allows representatives, on behalf of prisoners of war who died in captivity, to receive the award.  Click here for the
Department of Defense policy letter.  

The revised policy is as follows:  "For servicemembers who die in captivity as a
qualifying prisoner of war, that their death was the 'result of enemy action,' or the
result of wounds incurred 'in action with the enemy' during capture, or as a result of
wounds incurred as a 'result of enemy action' during capture, unless compelling evidence is presented to the contrary."

The revised policy allows the Purple Heart to be retroactively awarded to qualifying prisoners of war since Dec. 7, 1941.  The posthumous award will be made to the deceased servicemember's representative, as designated by the secretary of the military department concerned.

Family members can submit a request by completing a SF-80 (Request Pertaining to Military

Click here for information on how to submit and download the form.

If assistance is needed, call 210-565-2516 (DSN 665-2516) or send an e-mail to  For after hours assistance, call the 24-hour Air Force Contact Center at (800) 616-3775. 

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