On Friday the Austin American-Statesman reported that Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced that the Texas Veteran Land Board will treat the surviving spouses of the Fort Hood massacre as if their loved ones were killed in combat.
The article reports:
Over 150 victims and family members are suing the federal government seeking to have the attack classified as an act of war, which would lead to increased retirement, medical and disability benefits. The federal government has not called Maj. Nidal Hasan, convicted in the shootings on Friday, an enemy combatant, which would open the door to Purple Hearts and expanded benefits.
The details of the arrangement are currently being worked out by the lawyers, and it is not clear how the decision will affect those surviving family members living outside the state of Texas.
If Major Hasan was not an enemy combatant, what was he? If he was a terrorist, then it was a terrorist attack and the families should receive full benefits. The idea that what happened at Fort Hood was workplace violence does not work. The excuse used to call it that was that the government did not want to interfere with the trial of Major Hasan. The trail is now over. Let’s call what happened at Fort Hood a terrorist attack. That’s what it was. Unfortunately it was a terrorist in our own military–a fact that the government had chosen to ignore.