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New Program Began May 2014: Warrior Support Team
After 7 years of support to Purple Heart Heroes and Families, we've moved forward with a new program, Warrior Support Team, to focus on the needs of all returning warriors including wounded, ill, injured, and those living with PTS/COS (Post Traumatic Stress/Combat Operational Stress), as well as the needs of their family members and caregivers. To learn more and see our current work, visit WarriorSupportTeam.com.




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Terminology to Know

Thank You from Marines and Volunteers


“What your organization brings to the barracks is…important. You are there every week. We know and love you guys, and you bring that touch of home to us all. You're all our parents away from home.”

—Wounded Hero

"We hear so much appreciation from our Wounded Heroes, not only in their words, but in their eyes, their smiles, and hugs. We never know who we'll touch. We can't heal them, but we can be there to support and listen to them."

—Joyce, West Coast Manager

"Thanks for everything you guys do for us, we appreciate everything."

—Wounded Hero


Currently, meals are delivered weekly to Balboa and twice a month to Bethesda. As funding increases, we hope to add more hospitals to the program. If you would like to make a donation to help support the cost of our monthly dinners, use the "Donations" link to the left. Thanks to all our Purple Heart Hero Support™ benefactors. Our Wounded Heroes appreciate your dedication!

The best way to prepare yourself for your Marine’s deployment is through education. Along with learning proper action plans in case of notification, you should also consider familiarizing yourself with the terms below. Knowing the terminology used by the Corps will ensure you receive as much information about your Marine as possible.

Terms Pertaining to Casualties

The word "casualty" can be a very frightening term for families to hear, however, it is good to know that not all casualties are considered those who are Killed in Action. In fact, any servicemember who is lost to the organization by being killed, injured, missing, hospitalized or becoming ill is considered a “casualty.”

Once a servicemember is recognized as a Casualty, the Casualty type is classified. There are two distinct types:

  • Non-Hostile: A casualty resulting from circumstances not directly attributable to hostile action or terrorist activity. Succumbing to the elements, self-inflicted wounds, and combat fatigue are all considered Non-Hostile Casualties.

  • Hostile: A victim of terrorist activity or one who becomes a casualty “in action.” “In action” means the casualty is a direct result of hostile action, sustained in combat or relating thereto, or sustained going to or returning from a combat mission provided the occurrence was directly related to hostile action. Persons killed or wounded mistakenly or accidentally by friendly fire directed at a hostile force are included.

Casualty Status is then used to classify a casualty for reporting purposes. There are four casualty statuses: deceased, DUSTWUN, Missing, and Ill and Injured. Only three pertain to the wounded or potentially wounded:

  • Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN): A transitory casualty status, applicable only to military personnel, that is used when the responsible commander suspects the member may be a casualty whose absence is involuntary, but does not feel sufficient evidence currently exists to make a definite determination of missing or deceased.

  • Missing: Missing: Servicemember is not at his or her duty location due to apparent involuntary reasons and whose location may or may not be known. Unauthorized Absences (UA), deserters, and dropped-from-rolls status are not included in this status.

  • Ill or Injured: A status for those out due to illness or injury

Casualty Category is used to specifically classify a casualty for reporting purposed based upon the casualty type and the casualty status. There are 17 categories: Beleaguered, Besieged, Captured, Deceased, Detained, Died of Wounds Received in Action (DWRIA), Duty Status Whereabouts Unknown (DUSTWUN), Interned, Incapacitating Illness or Injury (III), Killed in Action (KIA), Missing, Missing in Action, Not Seriously Ill or Injured (NSI), Return to Military Control, Seriously Ill or Injured (SI), Special Patient (SpecPat), and Very Seriously Ill or Injured (VSI).

  • (DUSTWUN): A transitory casualty category, applicable only to military personnel, that is used when the responsible commander suspects the member may be a casualty whose absence is involuntary, but does not feel sufficient evidence currently exists to make a definite determination of missing or deceased.

  • Incapacitating Illnes or Injury (III): A person whose illness or injury requires hospitalization, but medical authority does not classify as very seriously ill or injured or seriously ill or injured; the illness or injury makes the person physically or mentally unable to communicate with the next of kin.

  • Not Seriously Ill or Injured (NSI): A person whose injury or illness may or may not require hospitalization but not classified by a medical authority as very seriously injured (VSI), seriously injured (SI), or incapacitating illness or injury (III); the person is able communicate with the Next of Kin (NOK).

  • Seriously Ill or Injured (SI): A person whose illness or injury is classified by medical authorities to be of such severity that there is cause for immediate concern, but there is no imminent danger to life.

  • Special Patient (SpecPat): A person whose illness or injury is not otherwise reportable but involves incurable or terminal disease, diagnosis of psychotic conditions requiring hospitalization, injuries such as loss of sight or limb, paralysis, or permanent and unsightly disfigurement of a portion of the body exposed to public view, or attempted suicide or suicidal gestures verified by medical authority.

  • Very Seriously Ill or Injured (VSI): A person whose injury/illness is classified by medical authorities to be of such severity that life is imminently endangered.

  • Wounded in Action (WIA): Injury incurred due to an external agent or cause. These injuries will usually be categorized as NSI, III, SI, or VSI.

Casualty Categories of interest as they could evolve into more injury related categories

  • Beleaguered: A member of an organized element that has been surrounded by a hostile force preventing the escape of the organized element’s members.

  • Besieged: A member of an organized element that has been surrounded by a hostile force for the purpose of forcing the element to surrender

  • Captured (POW): A person who is seized as the result of an action of an unfriendly military or paramilitary force.

  • Missing in Action (MIA): A category of a hostile casualty; When a person is not present at his or her duty location due to apparent involuntary reasons and whose location is unknown.

  • Interned: Definitely known to have been taken into custody by a non-belligerent foreign power as a result of and for reasons arising out of any armed conflict in which the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged.

After Injury Terms

After your Marine is wounded in combat, he or she may become apart of one of two disability lists:

  • Temporary Disability Retired List (TDRL): This provides temporary medical retirement for members unfit for active duty resulting from an illness or injury considered to be of temporary nature.

  • Permanent Disability Retired List (PDRL): This provides permanent medical retirement for members unfit for active duty resulting from an illness or injury considered to be of a permanent nature.

  • Retired: includes Marines on the Temporary Disability Retired List, Permanent Disability Retired List, Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, or the retired list.

  • Veteran: is, except as otherwise defined, a person who served in the Regular or Reserve component of the Armed Forces and has been released or discharged.

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