Victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting are one step closer to being awarded Purple Hearts.
The Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved adding Sen. John Cornyn’s legislation as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act during markup of the bill Thursday.
The amendment would grant Purple Hearts to the victims of that day and reclassify the shooting from workplace violence to terrorism. It also applies the same criteria to civilian employees in order to determine eligibility for the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.
“Since the days following the attack on Fort Hood in November 2009, we’ve been fighting to ensure justice is served for the men and women who lost their lives or were injured,” said Cornyn, R-Texas. “It’s been a lengthy fight and I’m glad to report today that the Pentagon’s misplaced notions of ‘workplace violence’ have been largely put to rest.”
Fellow Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a member of the committee, sponsored the amendment.
“This designation is long overdue for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting and their families who deserve our prayers and support in dealing with this horrific act of terrorism,” Cruz said.
“I applaud Sen. Cornyn for his leadership and vigorous inquiries to the FBI about whether this was, indeed, an act of terrorism. Getting the director of the FBI on record confirming the Fort Hood attack was inspired by al-Qaida and was not an act of ‘workplace violence’ was critical in giving the victims and families the benefits they need.”
The House added a similar amendment to its version of the authorization act, which it passed Thursday.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at email@example.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.