Accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan is receiving full pay while he awaits trail, but some of the shooting victims struggle to pay their bills because the Army will not classify the attack as terrorism.
Hasan has received $278,000 in pay since the Nov. 5, 2009 incident that killed 13 and wounded 32 on the Texas Army base, NBC5 in Dallas/Fort Worth reports
. The station obtained the data under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Army said the Military Code of Justice prevents it from suspending Hasan's pay unless he is convicted.
If Hasan, a psychiatrist, had been a civilian Defense Department employee his pay could have been suspended after seven days, NBC5 reports.
While Hasan continues drawing his salary, many of the wounded still face medical bills they have trouble paying. Soldiers wounded in combat get pay and medical benefits, but the Fort Hood shooting has been labeled "workplace violence" by the Army rather than a "terrorist attack."
Without a "combat-related" designation for the attack, shooting victims cannot get pay, retirement, and medical benefits given to soldiers wounded in war on in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Many consider the attack terrorism because Hasan, who is Muslim, reportedly grew upset that America was waging a war on his faith as he talked to patients returning from combat. He made statements about Islam in a lecture on the Koran that unbelievers should have their throats slit and set on fire.
Retired Army Spc. Logan Burnett, who was wounded, told NBC5 the shooting felt like combat to him.
"You take three rounds and lose five good friends and watch seven other people get killed in front of you. Do you have another term that we can classify that as?" he said.
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