Today at last was the day that those killed by Nidal Hasan in the 2009 terrorist attack on Fort Hood received the Purple Heart in a ceremony at the base outside Killeen, Texas.
The attack, which killed 13 (including a pregnant woman), was long held to be an incident of “workplace violence,” but the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama last December included a measure by Texas Sen. John Cornyn to award the Purple Heart to those killed in Hasan’s shooting rampage. Along with the Purple Heart comes veterans’ medical benefits and higher priority for veterans’ disability compensation.
Representing himself in court in 2013, Hasan told a judge that the shooting was done to protect the lives of members of the Taliban from “members of the United States military about to deploy to Afghanistan.”
Portraits of the victims were on display at today’s ceremony.
Sen. Ted Cruz was on hand for the ceremony and promised to continue to fight for benefits for the soldiers.