Survivors of the Fort Hood attack in 2009 received Purple Hearts this past Friday at a Purple Heart ceremony in Texas. The awarding of this honor to survivors of the Fort Hood attack is now without controversy as many combat veterans deemed the attack more an act of “workplace violence rather than combat.” And one survivor says he is still fighting for military benefits even as he is being awarded a the Purple Heart. Watch parts of the ceremony in the video below.
In a reversal of its initial decision to not award the Purple Heart, the Army released a statement earlier this year that military service members and veterans who were victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings would now receive the Purple Heart and civilians who were Fort hood shooting victims would receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.
[tweetthis]#FortHood Attack Survivors Receive #PurpleHearts. Still denied #USmilitary benefits.[/tweetthis]
Close to 50 Fort Hood attack survivors lined up at the ceremony held at Fort Hood, Texas on Friday. These survivors were given either a Purple Heart or Defense of Freedom medal for their injuries.
Purple Heart Ceremony for Fort Hood Attack Survivors
Battle for Military Benefits Ahead
One survivor of the deadly Fort Hood attack says other survivors can expect a battle ahead when it comes to getting the military benefits they deserve.
Retired Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times by Maj. Nidal Hasan in the Fort Hood attack, told Fox News, “It sounds like there’s going to be some more fighting ahead of us with the Army, at least in regards to benefits.”
Why is Manning having trouble getting benefits? It seems the Army is claiming the injuries were not combat related.
When Fox News asked Senator Ted Cruz about Manning’s problems receiving military benefits and how other Fort Hood attack survivors may face the same denial, Cruz said that it is “outrageous” and “indefensible” what the military is doing.
Ruz went on to say, “I intend to reach out to the secretary of defense personally — enough games. We need to acknowledge the heroism of these soldiers.”
On another note, make sure to read this previous post which tells the story of 1st Lt. John Arroyo, an Army officer severely wounded in last year’s Fort Hood shooting. Arroyo’s story is one of courage, determination, miracles and purpose. “I want everyone to realize that if they’re breathing, they have the opportunity for a second chance.”
It’s truly an inspiring read.