Fox News posted a story today about the treatment of the shooting victims of the Fort Hood terrorism attack. The Obama Administration has acknowledged that the people hurt and killed in the attack were victims of terrorism. The Obama Administration has also awarded Purple Hearts to the victims. However, the Obama Administration has also denied benefits for the injuries suffered in the attack.
The article reports:
The 2015 defense budget — known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA — included language that meant Fort Hood victims were eligible for the Purple Heart honor because the attack was inspired by a foreign terrorist group, and not workplace violence, as the Defense Department initially labeled it.
Manning (Shawn Manning), who was seriously injured in the 2009 attack) submitted new paperwork so the Army would recognize his injuries were sustained in the line of duty. But his appeal was rejected by a physical evaluation board, apparently based on a narrow interpretation of the law.
“Section 571 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act addresses both the awarding of the Purple Heart to service members killed or wounded in attacks inspired or motivated by foreign terrorist organizations and the Defense of Freedom Medal for those members and civilians killed or wounded during the Fort Hood attack on 5 November 20009,” the April 6 letter states.
“Nowhere in the act, however, does it offer combat benefits for service members permanently disabled in attacks inspired or motivated by foreign terrorist organizations. Although subsequent legislation and guidance may change, currently, the Board has no authority to award V1/V3 (service related) designation to soldiers disabled during the Fort Hood attack. “
Manning said, “it’s a great thing to finally be recognized, to stand up there and say, ‘Hey your sacrifice did mean something.’”
But he said the board’s decision means, on a practical level, his family will lose back pay, and $800 a month in benefits, adding he believes other Fort Hood survivors will face the same treatment. “I think you know it’s a huge let-down. I hope that’s not what the Army had intended to do.”
The people who were injured at Fort Hood were where they were as part of their military service. To deny them the full benefits that are paid to soldiers wounded in combat is a disgrace. Congress needs to correct this situation very quickly. This is another example of the Obama Administration breaking faith with the American military.