Congress is set to make victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings eligible for Purple Hearts and combat injury benefits after the Obama administration has denied them the status for the past five years.
House Republicans, working with the Democratic-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee, added a provision to the defense authorization bill that would give battlefield recognition for the victims of the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history. It passed on a voice vote with strong bipartisan support.
The measure, which is expected to pass Congress next week, also would end a five-year effort by Texas GOP Reps. John Carter, Michael Conaway and Roger Williams to give the victims the status, the Military Times first reported. Texas GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn introduced the bill in the Senate. …
The new language in the defense bill says Purple Heart medals can be awarded to “members of the armed forces killed or wounded in domestic attacks inspired by foreign terrorist organizations,” according to the Military Times.
Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 32 in the assault on the army post in Killeen, Texas. Survivors, many who suffered from multiple bullet wounds, have spent the past five years trying to rehabilitate their bodies and rebuild their lives. Many have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills out of pocket and the new benefits provided through legislation would be a windfall for them.