AT LAST: Financial Benefits Ordered for Victims of Fort Hood Terrorist Attack
Last Friday Purple Heart medals were presented to 36 soldiers and surviving family members during a ceremony at Fort Hood.
“In addition to the Purple Heart medal, there are certain other benefits for which soldiers receiving the Purple Heart are traditionally eligible,” McHugh wrote in a memorandum Tuesday.
“I intend to ensure that the soldiers receiving the Purple Heart under the expanded criteria also receive all other related benefits for which they are eligible.”
The benefits that McHugh ordered include hostile fire pay for those Purple Heart
recipients “killed, injured, or wounded” in the attack, as well as combat-related special compensation for retired soldiers whose disability is attributable to an injury for which they were awarded the Purple Heart, the Army said.
“After making the determination that the victims of the Fort Hood attack are now eligible for the Purple Heart, it seems only right and fair that these soldiers also receive the benefits it traditionally entails,” McHugh said.
The soldiers may also be entitled to other benefits or compensation and McHugh said he has ordered a review to determine whether that’s the case.
He wants the answer within 30 days…
Carter and U.S. Rep., Roger Williams, R-Austin, authored a provision included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 that redefined what should be considered an attack by a foreign terrorist organization for the purposes of determining eligibility.
McHugh’s order also applies to an attack in 2009 on an Army recruiting station in Little Rock, Ark., in which Pvt. William Long died and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula was wounded.
2016 Presidential candidate Ted Cruz called out the Obama Administration last week from Fort Hood:
“It is outrageous and it’s indefensible,” he 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,” he said. “It shouldn’t have taken five years; this should have happened five years ago.”
“Enough games, five year is far too long,” he added. “We need to acknowledge the heroism of these soldiers. It’s my responsibility to fight for 27 million Texans every day in the Senate. I will continue to fight until every one of these soldiers receives the benefits they deserve for standing on the front lines against terrorism to defend this nation.”