NBC Connecticut is reporting today that three recipients of the Medal of Honor will present the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s highest civilian award, the Citizen Honors Medal posthumously to the six educators that were killed trying to protect their students in Newtown. Connecticut on December 14th. I think that is wonderful–they are being awarded this medal because they were killed trying to protect their students.
However, there is another group of shooting victims that is being denied the honor they have earned. The Department of Defense is refusing to award the Purple Heart to those soldiers killed on the attack at Fort Hood, Texas.
On April 2, Military.com reported:
A position paper, delivered by the Pentagon to congressional staff members Friday, says giving the award, for injuries sustained in combat, to those injured at Fort Hood could “irrevocably alter the fundamental character of this time-honored decoration.”
If you are attacked at your base and people are killed, isn’t that combat? Admittedly it is unplanned combat, but isn’t a lot of combat unplanned?
The article at Military.com further reports:
Thirteen people were killed and 32 injured in the November 2009 shootings on the base. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the alleged shooter, awaits a military trial on premeditated murder and attempted murder charges.
Fort Hood was a terrorist act–it was not ‘workplace violence.’ Maj. Hasan yelled “Allahu Akbar” as he fired. We are at war–this was an attack by the enemy. We need to acknowledge that and make sure that all the victims of that attack receive the honor and benefits they are entitled to. Meanwhile, we do not hesitate to honor civilians in equally awful situations. Both groups should receive medals in a timely fashion.