(WASHINGTON) — The Congressman whose district includes Ft. Hood is reintroducing a bill that will help victims of the 2009 shooting at the Texas Army base receive full benefits and make them eligible for the Purple Heart or the civilian equivalent.
“Shortly after the shooting, I introduced The Fort Hood Families Benefits Protection Act, which would award both military and civilian casualties of the Fort Hood attack combatant status,” said Rep. John Carter, R.-Texas. “It became clear early on that the Obama administration was reluctant to officially refer to the November 5, 2009 attack on Fort Hood as a ‘terrorist attack.'”
Carter announced the reintroduction of the bill in the wake of an ABC News investigation detailing claims by victims that they have been neglected by the military. In a report that aired on ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline, former police sergeant Kimberly Munley, who helped stop the Ft. Hood shooting, said she felt “betrayed” by President Obama and that he broke a promise to make sure the victims would be well taken care of.
There was no comment from the White House about Munley’s allegations.
Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others wounded in the Nov. 5, 2009 rampage by the accused shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, at the Army base in Killeen, Texas. Hasan now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
Despite extensive evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, the military has denied the victims a Purple Heart and is treating the incident as “workplace violence” instead of “combat related” or terrorism.
In a statement, Carter said the Fort Hood Families Benefits Protection Act “would award the military and civilian casualties of the 2009 Fort Hood attack the same status that was awarded to the casualties of the Pentagon attack on Sept. 11, 2001. All of the casualties would be eligible for the Purple Heart Award or the Department of Defense civilian equivalent.”
Carter is also reintroducing the Military Whistleblower Enhancement Act, which he said would protect service members and civilian defense employees for being “persecuted for political correctness” for alerting law enforcement to radical Islamic and other terror threats.
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