A week ago, Western Journalism told you about the outrage expressed by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas when the U.S. Army refused to provide expected benefits to Purple Heart recipients who were victims of the terror attack by a Muslim militant at Fort Hood. After leading a protracted battle with the Pentagon to get the military to award three-dozen Purple Heart medals to wounded survivors and relatives of those killed in the 2009 shooting rampage, Cruz said on Fox and Friends:
“It is outrageous and it’s indefensible,” [Cruz] said. “One of the reasons we fought so hard to pass the legislation to require the Purple Hearts to be awarded is precisely so that these soldiers get the benefits they deserve.
It shouldn’t have taken five years; this should have happened five years ago.”
Now, as Reuters reports, the Army has done a big about-face and agreed to provide additional benefits to the Purple Heart recipients.
“Army Secretary John McHugh said on Thursday he has ordered benefits including payment of hostile-fire pay for Purple Heart recipients “killed, injured or wounded” in the attack, and combat-related special compensation for retired soldiers disabled in the attack.”
The Los Angeles Times says the just-announced move will mean “full medical and financial benefits” for the Ft. Hood shooting victims.
Advertisement - story continues below
In a highly controversial decision, the Army had initially designated the Fort Hood shooting rampage as “workplace violence.” It took years for the service to declare it an act of terrorism.
Army psychiatrist Nidal Hassan, an American-born Muslim, killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in what he later described as retaliation for the U.S.-led wars in Muslim countries. Hasan, who last year said he wanted to become a citizen of the Islamic State, was convicted of murder in 2013 and sentenced to death.