Tags: fort hood | attack | purple heart | benefits

Fort Hood Attack Purple Heart Recipients to Get Added Benefits

Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 03:33 PM

The U.S. Army said on Thursday it will provide additional benefits to the dozens of soldiers awarded Purple Heart medals stemming from a 2009 shooting rampage by an Army psychiatrist at the Fort Hood Army base in central Texas.

The Army also said it would award the Purple Heart medal to a soldier who was killed and another who was wounded in a 2009 attack on a recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Three-dozen Purple Heart medals were awarded last week at Fort Hood to wounded survivors and relatives of those killed in the shooting rampage by then-Army Major Nidal Hasan following years of lobbying by politicians and lawyers.

Army Secretary John McHugh said on Thursday he has ordered benefits including payment of hostile-fire pay for Purple Heart recipients "killed, injured or wounded" in the attack, and combat-related special compensation for retired soldiers disabled in the attack.

McHugh said in a statement the Fort Hood and Little Rock awardees should receive all the benefits traditionally conferred on recipients of the Purple Heart, which traditionally has been given to those wounded in overseas fighting.

Last week's ceremony came after Congress expanded eligibility criteria for the Purple Heart, allowing the medal to be awarded to soldiers wounded or killed in incidents that were previously ineligible.

In February, the Army cleared the way for the military and civilian awards after the shooting was declared an act of international terrorism.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, opened fire on unarmed soldiers preparing for overseas deployment, killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in what he later called retaliation for U.S. wars in the Muslim world.

He was convicted of murder in 2013 and sentenced to death. His case is being appealed and an execution date has not been set.

The Army had previously designated the Fort Hood shooting as "workplace violence" on the grounds that Hasan was a fellow soldier, and there was no evidence the attack was directed by a foreign enemy.

Congress in 2015 expanded the eligibility for the Purple Heart by stating it should cover an attack if the perpetrator was in communication with foreign terrorists or inspired by one.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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The U.S. Army said on Thursday it will provide additional benefits to the dozens of soldiers awarded Purple Heart medals stemming from a 2009 shooting rampage by an Army psychiatrist at the Fort Hood Army base in central Texas.
fort hood, attack, purple heart, benefits
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2015-33-16
Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 03:33 PM
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