WASHINGTON, DC -- Texas Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn announced today that the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act passed by the Senate Armed Services Committee includes an amendment to allow the victims of Nidal Hasan’s terrorist attack at Fort Hood to receive the Purple Heart.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Cruz, expanded Purple Heart eligibility to include members of the armed forces who have been killed or wounded in an attack inspired or motivated by a foreign terrorist organization.
There will be a retroactive review as of September 11, 2001, and the Secretary of Defense will also specifically conduct a review of the 2009 Fort Hood attack, applying the same criteria to civilian employees in order to determine eligibility for the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.
“This designation is long overdue for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting and their families who deserve our prayers and support in dealing with this horrific act of terrorism,” said Sen. Cruz. “I applaud Sen. Cornyn for his leadership and vigorous inquiries to the FBI about whether this was, indeed, an act of terrorism. Getting the Director of the FBI on record confirming the Fort Hood attack was inspired by Al Qaeda and was not an act of 'workplace violence,' was critical in giving the victims and families the benefits they need.”
“Since the days following the attack on Fort Hood in November 2009, we’ve been fighting to ensure justice is served for the men and women who lost their lives or were injured,” said Sen. Cornyn. “It’s been a lengthy fight and I’m glad to report today that the Pentagon’s misplaced notions of ‘workplace violence’ have been largely put to rest. Last November, I authored a floor amendment to make sure the victims of this 2009 terrorist attack are eligible for the honors and benefits they so rightly deserve, but Senate Democrats blocked its consideration. Today, my amendment was adopted by the Senate Armed Services Committee, taking us one step closer to our goal. I’m grateful to Sen. Cruz for sponsoring it, and I’m hopeful the Defense Authorization bill will be brought to the Senate floor immediately.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Cornyn asked the Director of the FBI James Comey if he believed Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 people, including a pregnant woman, was inspired by Al Qaeda to carry out the attack.
FBI Director Comey said, “Yes, sir, based on everything I've read. Again, I wasn't in office at the time, but I've read about it since, and I – and I do.”