Ft. Hood Victims May Get Purple Heart, Lingering Questions Remain

Posted: Dec 08, 2014 12:01 AM

The House has finally approved recognition to the victims of the 2009 Islamic terror attack at Ft. Hood. The Senate may pass the legislation this week. However, lingering questions remain.

In June 2009 Islamic terrorist Major Nadal Hassan, a member of the U.S. military who had been promoted despite poor performance reviews and troubling sympathies to Islamic terrorism, opened fire on his fellow service members at Ft. Hood, Texas. Islamic terrorist Hassan killed 13 soldiers and wounded 32 others while screaming “Allahu Akbar! (God is Great!)”

Survivors of the attack, wounded and non-wounded, along with a majority of the American people, believe that these soldiers died just as their comrades did on September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon; because of Islamic terrorism.

The current administration classified the terrorist attacks, in politically correct Orwellian terms, as “workplace violence.”

Three defense secretaries, Robert Gates, Leon Pannetta, and Chuck Hagel refused to change that designation.

In an interview with Townhall.com, COL (ret) Kathy Platoni, an Army psychologist who survived the attack and has been a tireless advocate for the Purple Heart recognition for the survivors, said those who lived through the attack have suffered long enough and that “What this administration has not done in classifying this terrorist attack as what it was has led to even further suffering by the victims and their families.”

According to Dr. Platoni, survivors of the attack have spent many thousands of dollars on medical bills. Platoni’s assertion is confirmed by Congressman Roger Williams of Texas. Williams said the survivors of the attack had collectively spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide their own health care as victims lost their military health insurance and other benefits that would have been afforded to any wounded warrior in combat.

Congressman Williams cited the case of Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was wounded seven times by Hassan, as one particularly egregious example of the administration’s failure to recognize the wounded. Lunsford was denied entry “into an army post-traumatic stress disorder clinic because he was not injured in combat” as reported by Susan Crabtree in The Washington Examiner.

Language was recently inserted by the House of Representatives in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which will make the Ft. Hood victims, and quite possibly other military victims of domestic terrorism, eligible for the Purple Heart. The Military Times reported that the language will award Purple Heart eligibility to “members of the armed forces killed or wounded in domestic attacks inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.”

The NDAA is up for passage in the U.S. Senate this week and victims are hopeful that the Ft. Hood language remains. Still, the survivors and families of the victims have several lingering questions to this tragedy:

1-Why was Hassan promoted despite negative performance reviews? Worse, why was he allowed to remain in the military despite his possible terrorist sympathies? Could it have been political correctness?

2-If the NDAA with the Ft. Hood amendment passes, why did it take over five years to get the recognition, and more importantly, the treatment our heroes needed from the administration? Hundreds of thousands of dollars, and countless hours of pain and suffering, could have been alleviated by the stroke of a pen.

3-Why did the previous stand alone act, the Fort Hood Heroes Act, die in committee which led to the “backdoor” NDAA language insertion?

4-Purple Hearts were awarded for casualties at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Why was there a different standard for that day in 2001 and not the later Ft Hood attacks? Is it the politics of different administrations? Or is it because the nation’s leaders seem to have little understanding of the conflict we are in; a generations long conflict similar to many previous wars we have fought (the Revolution, the Philippine Insurrection, Viet Nam). This conflict is multi-dimensional and no one is immune, as September 11, 2001, Fort Hood, ISIS, and countless other Islamic terror attacks inside the United States have shown. Our soldiers will continue to die at abroad and even at home.

Hopefully this recognition and treatment serves our heroes better. And hopefully it helps wake up our leaders to the long struggle against Islamic terrorism that we will continue to face as a people.