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Fox News: Army to Award Purple Heart to Fort Hood Massacre Victims

Image: Fox News: Army to Award Purple Heart to Fort Hood Massacre Victims
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By    |   Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:16 PM

The Army has decided to award the Purple Heart to victims of the November 2009 Fort Hood massacre, Fox News reported Friday.

Sources said the decision would be announced by next week. Victims of the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage by Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan, who shot 13 people to death and wounded more than 30 on the Texas military base that day, have been pressing for the Pentagon for years to award them the Purple Heart and the benefits that come with it for years.

Attorneys representing the victims said the benefits would be a lifeline for their clients, some of whom suffered such major physical and mental trauma that they have been unable to work since the massacre.

In 2011, Fox News reported that the Defense Department had classified the murders as "workplace violence."

The department and the Obama administration opposed classifying the Fort Hood massacre as terrorism. By doing so, it would make military victims eligible for the Purple Heart thereby enabling them to receive healthcare and other benefits granted to personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But substantial evidence emerged suggesting that Hasan, who opened fire while shouting "Allahu Akbar," regarded the murders as a jihadist attack on the United States. He exchanged scores of emails with Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who had become a senior official with the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula terror organization prior to the massacre.

And after he was convicted in August 2013, Hasan directed his attorney, John Galligan, to release letters in which he pledged allegiance to the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.Hasan and requested "to be made a citizen of the Islamic State," saying it would be an "honor."

Neal Sher, an attorney representing Fort Hood victims, said last month that the Obama administration and the Pentagon lobbied intensely against efforts to designate the massacre as an act of terrorism and enable victims to receive the Purple Heart.

"For these people, many of whom have been struggling mightily since this event took place and since they've been given the back of their hand by their own government," the benefits "will make a difference in the way they live," Sher said. "And it's long, long overdue."

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The Army has decided to award the Purple Heart to victims of the November 2009 Fort Hood massacre, Fox News reported Friday.
Fox News, Army, Fort Hood, massacre victims, Purple Heart
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2015-16-06
Friday, 06 Feb 2015 02:16 PM
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