Author Topic: White House Denies ’09 Fort Hood Victim's Request for Meeting With Obama  (Read 206 times)

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http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/white-house-denies-09-fort-hood-victim-meeting/story?id=23288867&singlePage=true

White House Denies ’09 Fort Hood Victim's Request for Meeting With Obama
April 11, 2014
By LEE FERRAN

 As President Obama spoke of old "wounds” at Fort Hood this week, the White House declined a request from a survivor of the 2009 massacre there to meet with Obama for a few minutes so the veteran could explain face-to-face how he believes the government has mistreated and disrespected the victims of that attack.

Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford (ret.) was shot seven times in November 2009 when Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood, killing 13 people. Despite Hasan’s admission that he carried out the attack on behalf of the Taliban and revelations that he had been in contact with high-profile al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki, the Department of Defense has refused to classify the shooting as “terrorism,” which the survivors claim in lawsuit against the government has meant they’ve been denied Purple Hearts and combat-related benefits afforded to victims of other terrorist attacks.



“As you may know, the President and high-ranking members of the military promised me, my family and the other Fort Hood terror attack survivors that the federal government would 'make them whole.' After more than four and one-half years, however, the government has yet to make good on this promise,” Lunsford wrote to Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough a day before Obama's visit. “We believe that if the President could hear, first-hand, our plight and our mistreatment at the hands of his bureaucracy, that he would take the steps needed to set things right. Therefore, we ask for ten minutes of his time.”

The White House had announced days before that the President would be coming to Fort Hood this week to honor three people who were killed in another shooting earlier this month – this one carried out by an Army specialist with “mental health issues” who purportedly became enraged after an employee wouldn’t give him a leave of absence form.

“Part of what makes this so painful is that we’ve been here before,” Obama said at Fort Hood Wednesday, standing at a podium behind the boots, rifles and helmets of the three fallen, arranged in the same manner as 13 others in 2009. “This tragedy tears at wounds still raw from five years ago. Once more soldiers who survived foreign war zones were struck down here at home, where they’re supposed to be safe.”

Though he spoke of figurative wounds from 2009, Obama did not meet with Lunsford, who suffered actual wounds that day.

“After receiving your letter yesterday, and consulting with the White House Counsel’s office, we forwarded your letter to the Departments of Justice and Defense, who are leading the government’s efforts to ensure the victims of the 2009 shooting receive the justice and benefits they deserve,” McDonough said in a letter to Lunsford dated April 10, a copy of which was provided to ABC News by attorney Reed Rubinstein. “Unfortunately, we were unable to meet your specific request for a meeting with the President yesterday.”



Rubinstein, who represents Lunsford and other 2009 Fort Hood survivors in a pending lawsuit against the government, told ABC News earlier this week that the nature of the most recent shooting, and its contrast to the 2009 attack, shined a light on the “underlying fallacy of what the government has tried to tell people.”

“The idea that the [2009] Fort Hood shooting was workplace violence is a lie,” Reid said. “They know it’s a lie. Everyone knows it’s a lie.”

In documents, the Pentagon obliquely referred to efforts to reduce “workplace violence,” including self-radicalization, to prevent another shooting like 2009. In a statement to ABC News earlier this week, the Army said that evidence has shown Hasan acted as a “lone wolf” and that “investigations… concluded that Nidal Hasan committed criminal acts of murder and attempted murder.” It wasn’t terrorism, the Army said.

The Army defines terrorism as the “calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.”



The gunman in the most recent shooting, identified as Spc. Ivan Lopez, killed himself when confronted by military police in the midst of his rampage, military officials said. Hasan was found guilty of murder and has been sentenced to death.

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Offline EC

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has meant they’ve been denied Purple Hearts

That bit comes up every single time this story gets aired, and really bugs the shit out of me.

Ton of vets here and wives/mothers of vets, and I am betting at least half have no idea where the various bits of ribbon and tin they earned are. Sure, respected, but not exactly important in the scheme of things. Most of them are "I was there" awards, or ribbons for good attendance and keeping your bunk neatly made.

The media don't get that. You don't do the job for a bit of colored ribbon, this isn't first grade. You do the job because it's the job.
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Online 240B

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That bit comes up every single time this story gets aired, and really bugs the shit out of me.

Ton of vets here and wives/mothers of vets, and I am betting at least half have no idea where the various bits of ribbon and tin they earned are. Sure, respected, but not exactly important in the scheme of things. Most of them are "I was there" awards, or ribbons for good attendance and keeping your bunk neatly made.

The media don't get that. You don't do the job for a bit of colored ribbon, this isn't first grade. You do the job because it's the job.

You are, of course, very correct. I saw commanders issue medals to the entire company, just so they could get it for themselves. Half the people in the company, did not even know why they were getting the medal, or what it was for. There are a lot of bogus medals in the military, and it goes both ways. People, especially people in higher ranks and people with connections to people with higher ranks, tend to get medals that they in no way possible deserve, and there are frontline guys who save the day and are overlooked or the medal goes to the wrong person. This does happen frequently. But a Purple Heart is much different.
 
First, a Purple Heart is not based on someone's perception. Either you are bleeding, or you are not. There is really not much discretion there. Second, a Purple Heart has a direct effect on everything, including your discharge status, benefits, pension, disability, and it even has an effect on your civilian life.
 
No. A Purple Heart is not a shiney bit of ribbon and tin, as many of them are. It is in a whole different class by itself.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 12:06:06 PM by 240B »
You cannot "COEXIST" with people who want to kill you.

Offline EC

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I looked up. To my shame I didn't know - ignorance is no excuse, but still. My fault.

It's like our DSO (with or without bars).

It means something.

Not like the rest of them.

If you want a small laugh, we had a dinner recently. Formal, so mess dress for me. Could I find my crowns? Not anywhere. My eldest grand daughter has been wearing them as earrings!  :shrug:

« Last Edit: April 12, 2014, 12:14:16 PM by EC »
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