The euphemism “workplace violence” will always be associated with the terrorist attack on Fort Hood by Nidal Hasan, who shot and killed 13 people (including one pregnant woman) and injured more than 30 others on November 5, 2009. Hasan’s victims were finally awarded Purple Hearts in a quiet ceremony this April, thanks to legislation introduced by Texas Sen. John Cornyn into the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Obama last December.
Finally: Purple Hearts approved for 5 servicemen killed in July Chattanooga shootings. FBI now using the term "terrorism" after long delay.
— David Carroll (@DAVIDCARROLL3) December 16, 2015
We must be making progress if the wait from July to December can now be considered a “long delay.” Today, the Secretary of the Navy announced that the victims of the attacks on the Navy Operational Support Center in Chattanooga, Tenn., will receive the Purple Heart.
— WATE 6 On Your Side (@6News) December 16, 2015
A surviving Marine wounded in the shooting will also be awarded the Purple Heart.
Fox News reports that FBI Director James Comey twice called the Chattanooga shooting a “terror attack” during a press conference with NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton today, adding that the Chattanooga killer —Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez — was inspired by a foreign terror organization.
BREAKING: Navy Department announces Marines and sailor killed/wounded in Chattanooga attack will receive Purple Hearts.
— Dan Lamothe (@DanLamothe) December 16, 2015
— WRCB-TV Channel 3 (@WRCB) December 16, 2015
— David B Larter (@DavidLarter) December 16, 2015
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David Wyatt and Sgt. Carson Holmquist were killed at Navy Operational Support Center Chattanooga on July 16, and Navy Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Randall Smith died July 18 from wounds sustained during the shooting. Marine Sgt. DeMonte Cheeley was shot in the leg and later recovered. All were nominated for Purple Hearts.
Comey’s language was important, says the Navy Times, because the law that governs the Purple Heart “specifies that service secretaries can award the decoration in stateside incidents when the attacker was in contact with and inspired by foreign terror organizations.”