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Bridget Johnson


May 9, 2014 - 7:01 am

A provision to make sure that those wounded in the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood get due recognition and benefits as victims of a domestic terror attack has been included in the FY2015 defense reauthorization.

The bill was marked up this week in the House Armed Services Committee, and the final version integrated the Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act, which was introduced in the upper chamber in September by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and in the House by Reps. John Carter (R-Texas) and Roger Williams (R-Texas). Carter and Williams share Fort Hood in their district boundaries.

The bill specifically states the attack was “not merely workplace violence,” notes the attack on Fort Hood “could and should have been prevented,” recognizes that former Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan “had become radicalized while serving in the United States Army and was principally motivated to carry out the attack by an ideology of violent Islamist extremism,” and adds “Hasan proved himself to be not just a terrorist, but also a traitor and an enemy of the United States.”

It stipulates that the Purple Heart should be awarded to service members killed or injured in the attack, and civilians killed or wounded should get the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom. Benefits would be the same for those killed or wounded in a combat zone, and post-traumatic stress disorder treatment would be covered.

The bill has 225 co-sponsors in the House. In November, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told PJM he wasn’t hearing “pushback” on the bill in the upper chamber. “I think we’re going to have broad support; we just haven’t had a vehicle to get this done,” Cornyn added.

On Thursday, Cornyn cheered the House committee for weaving the legislation into the behemoth defense bill.

“I applaud the members of the committee for their leadership in approving this important piece of legislation for Fort Hood and the surrounding community,” Cornyn said in a statement. “The 2009 Fort Hood victims should be eligible for all the honors and benefits available to U.S. troops who fall victim to an international terrorist attack, especially Purple Heart medals, and this would make that a reality.”

Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) sponsored the legislation as an amendment to the defense bill in committee.

“The House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment that I offered to FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Department of Defense to award Purple Hearts to soldiers killed in the 2009 Fort Hood shootings. I offered this amendment on behalf of Congressman John Carter (R-TX31) and Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX25), who are not on the Committee,” Conaway said in a statement. “The amendment awards the Purple Heart to service members who are victims of an attack that was inspired or motivated by a U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization.”

“The service members who lost their lives on November 5th, 2009, were fighting a terrorist,” he added. “As we know too well, the battlefield in the War on Terror is not limited to foreign lands. Men and women who defend America against terrorism on American soil, should be eligible to receive the Purple Heart and other medals that recognize their heroism.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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I wonder if Hassan's getting a medal from the Obama
Administration also. After all he Was wounded.
31 weeks ago
31 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bout damn time !
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
What asses the military brass are. Did you see the front page photo in the WSJ of a half-dozen HIGHLY-PAID 4-star generals testifying that the ENLISTED men who actually fight our wars were overpaid. Cut their pay and give us more expensive toys to buy.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe they should have just stuck the amendment in the bill without announcing it. The way the Dems like to pass bills without reading them maybe they would miss it and pass the bill just to get their hands on the money.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bowing to the Saudi king, siding with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, not declaring Boko Haram a terrorist group, calling Fort Hood "workplace violence"; there are simply too many data points now to not believe Dear Liar is on the other side.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Strange times, when you need to move mountains to state the obvious.

It's a pre-totalitarian condition.

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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