FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Three Texas Congressmen have proposed legislation in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that would give Fort Hood shooting victims the same benefits as soldiers who have been the victim of terrorist attacks.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn, U.S. Representative John Carter, and U.S. Representative Roger Williams, have proposed the “Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act,” which would classify the November 5, 2009 shooting massacre as a terrorist attack.
Currently, the attack that killed 13 and injured 32 people is defined as workplace violence, so victims and their families have received reduced benefits.
The proposed legislation would allow for combat-related special compensation for victims and their families, tax breaks, special pay, combat-related injury rehabilitation pay, and maximum coverage under Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance. These benefits have previously been denied. If passed, the legislation would enact them retroactively to the date of the shooting.
“We are a nation at war, and the location in which our men and women in uniform come under hostile fire from a terrorist should not unduly prejudice them and their families from receiving the full honors, recognition and benefits associated with their courageous service,” said Sen. Cornyn. “As a nation, we have a sacred obligation to take care of them.”
Last month, Nidal Hasan was convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and sentenced to die for his crimes.
“Justice was served when Nidal Hasan was found guilty and handed the death penalty. But justice has not been served for the victims of this horrific shooting. This legislation will ensure the victims of this obvious act of terrorism receive the benefits they not only need, but justly deserve,” Congressman Carter said.
“This injustice must come to an end, and the Fort Hood Heroes Act is the right thing to do. It will restore the benefits, treatment and honor these men and women so rightly deserve,” said Congressman Williams.
The bill would also allow for soldiers killed or wounded in the attack to receive Purple Hearts. Civilians killed or wounded would receive the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom, under the proposed law.
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