While watching Purple Hearts awarded to the Fort Hood victims after 5 years, we could only think that at last someone was doing the right thing by these honorable soldiers. Although it is VERY belated, it was finally being referred to as a “terrorist act” and not “workplace violence”, as they had first determined it to be. But then, as we look deeper into this belated recognition, we find that it does not include any benefits. In plain language they get nothing but a hunk of metal.
It appears that the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act included language that stated Fort Hood victims were eligible for the Purple Heart honor; but nowhere in the act does it offer combat benefits for service members permanently disabled in attacks inspired or motivated by foreign terrorist organizations. In short, what this means is that the survivors of this egregious attack will not receive benefits from their injuries because they were not sustained as “a direct result of armed conflict.”
In an interview with Fox News Shawn Manning, who was seriously injured in the 2009 attack said:
"I think it's almost unheard of for someone to receive the Purple Heart but not have their injuries deemed combat-related…"
"I know that was not what Congress intended to have happen, but it is what currently the Army has determined is going to happen."
During that attack on Nov. 5, 2009, then-Staff Sgt. Manning was shot six times by Maj. Nidal Hasan. Two bullets are still in his body, one in his leg, the other in his back, and he suffers from PTSD. But he’s not entitled to any benefits after being targeted by a terrorist?
Fox News contributor and former Army Chief of Staff retired Gen. Jack Keane said:
“…the Purple Heart is much more than a medal. It is also a promise to care for the injured. This country has made a commitment for some time to take care of people who have those disabilities and to provide, not just medical support but financial support as well…”
Army spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith told Fox News in a statement:
“All recipients of the Purple Heart Medal under section 571 of the NDAA 2015 will receive the benefits to which they are legally entitled. In the case at issue, no final decision has been rendered, and the Soldier will have a full opportunity to present evidence at a formal hearing."
But I have to ask why they need to go through a formal hearing? Haven’t they gone through enough? This Administration and the Army should be apologizing to them for not keeping them safe on their home turf. They should be tripping over themselves to make things right by them.
This country is constantly giving money to other countries in foreign aid, billions and billions of dollars to countries that don’t even like us. In 2012,the amount was over $37 billion and the only one on that list even close to being a friend is Israel. Yet they cannot afford to guarantee benefits to these 13 soldiers’ families and to the 32 who were wounded on a military base at the hands of a terrorist?
At least in a combat zone they would have had weapons to fight back, but on their own base they were denied even that.So now they need to fight for what should have been theirs 5 years ago.
This Administration should be ashamed for treating our American soldiers so shabbily! But then our soldiers seem to be in the crosshairs lately with benefits and salary cuts, VA not delivering the care that was promised, and now this.
Shame on you Obama and all your lackeys for targeting these brave Americans…Shame on you!