logo

Fort Hood Victims Denied Benefits 4 Years Later

image
Author: Wendy Innes
Created: 17 May, 2013
Updated: 14 October, 2022
3 min read

It's been nearly four years since a radical Muslim Army psychiatrist walked into a processing center on Ft. Hood, shouted "Allah Akbar," and opened fire. The shooter killed 13 people, including a pregnant woman, and wounded another 32.

In the years that followed, much attention has been paid to the gunman. However, after the initial media storm, little attention has been paid to the victims and their families, and this has caused many of them to file suit with the government, the shooter, and his Muslim leader.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Army and the Obama administration promised to take care of the families of the fallen and the wounded, but according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court on November 5, 2011, that hasn't happened. The lawsuit claims the government has done everything it can to protect the shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, and their own interests while marginalizing the victims. The suit is seeking $750 million in damages.

One of the biggest bones of contention is the way the incident is classified. Currently, the Department of Defense classifies the incident as "workplace violence," which gives victims a lower priority with regards to care and denies certain monetary compensation that would not be denied if the event was classified as "an act of terror".

According to the lawsuit, many of the victims have had to seek medical treatment outside of the military at their own expense and are struggling to coordinate proper care.

A bill introduced by Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), called "The Fort Hood Families Benefits Protection Act," would award victims the Purple Heart or the civilian equivalent from the Department of Defense and provide all the benefits that come with those honors. The purpose of the bill is to "ensure that the victims and victims’ families of the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas, receive the same treatment and benefits as those Americans who have been killed or wounded in a combat zone overseas and their families."

This is important from a financial standpoint, as those who are killed or wounded as a result of combat are eligible for care and benefits that those who are not killed in combat are not.

The Pentagon has no intention of changing the way this incident is classified which has led some to believe the Pentagon is more concerned about the shooter than his victims.

According to ABC News, a Pentagon position paper issued on March 29 seems to partially confirm this by saying that giving the victims these awards has the potential to "irrevocably alter the fundamental character of this time-honored decoration" and "undermine the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan by materially and directly compromising Major Hasan's ability to receive a fair trial."

Victims had some hope that the classification of the attack would be changed under the new U.S. Secretary of Defense, but those hopes were dashed as well. Secretary Hagel has said the position of the department remains unchanged.

IVP Existence Banner

This is not the first time that an issue such as this one has occurred. In fact, the Pentagon victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were awarded purple hearts -- or the civilian equivalent -- and the incident was quickly classified as a terrorist attack. So what's so different about these two incidents?

Both were carried out by radical Islamic terrorists and records go even further to indicate that both had ties to Al Qaeda. Evidence from the Ft. Hood investigation shows that Hasan had extensive contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim Imam and known Al Qaeda leader responsible for new recruitment and operational planning. Hasan even attended his mosque in Maryland while stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

While victims wait for medical and mental health treatments and continue to struggle financially due to the classification, the shooter remains on the Army's payroll, receiving more than $6,000 per month based on his rank.

Jury selection for Hasan's trial is set to begin on May 29.

Latest articles

Glenn Youngkin
The Irony of Gov. Glenn Youngkin Vetoing a Ranked Choice Voting Bill
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has said no to a bill that would clarify how ranked choice voting (RCV) is supposed to work in local elections -- which is odd considering the only reason Youngkin is governor is because of a RCV nomination process at the 2021 Virginia GOP convention. ...
12 April, 2024
-
3 min read
Trump and Biden Debate
If Trump or Biden Don't Want to Debate, Give The Stage to Someone Else
Major national news outlets reportedly are drafting an open letter to President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump's campaigns urging them to debate this fall. Biden has threatened not to debate at all, and Trump doesn't have a solid track record committing to debates....
10 April, 2024
-
3 min read
Electoral College
The Electoral College Reform the Nation Needs is Not What Either Party Wants
Nebraska is one of only two states that has a system that awards its Electoral College votes based on the popular vote in each of its congressional districts. However, there is a contingent of state lawmakers who want to change this with the support of former President Donald Trump....
08 April, 2024
-
11 min read
Joe Biden
Biden's Problem with Independents: His Party Is Constantly Insulting Them
Biden is connected to the Democratic Party. In fact, he is the Democratic Party. And there is no organization more oblivious to how it ignores and disrespects independent voters than the Democratic Party....
07 April, 2024
-
4 min read
ballot
New Campaign Launches to Ease Panic over Elections that Go Into 'Overtime'
The worse political polarization gets, the more anxiety people feel over close elections. Accusations surface about rigged processes, frustration builds when results aren't called on Election Night, threats against election workers surface, and errors in reporting are made....
07 April, 2024
-
2 min read
missouri state capitol
The Missouri Resolution Designed to Sucker Voters into Banning Ranked Choice Voting
There is a resolution in the Missouri Legislature that if approved by voters would ban the use of ranked choice voting (RCV). However, RCV isn't the sole subject. There is another provision meant to trick voters into supporting it. ...
05 April, 2024
-
4 min read