Purple Heart Ceremony Will Honor Fort Hood Shooting Victims
Victims of the 2009 shooting at Fort Hood will soon be awarded their Purple Hearts.
A ceremony honoring the victims and their families is scheduled for April 10 at Fort Hood. Soldiers receiving the honor will receive combat-related compensation upon retirement and be eligible for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced in February that victims of the November 5, 2009 mass shooting at the post’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center had been declared eligible to receive the Purple Heart or, in the case of civilians, the Defense of Freedom medal.
The announcement came after Congress approved a measure included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 which redefined what constitutes a foreign terrorist attack on American soil. The new definition includes violence perpetrated by individuals who were in communication with terror organizations before the attack and were inspired or motivated by such organizations.
The Fort Hood shooting was initially classified as an act of “workplace violence”. Several members of Congress, including Texas Representative John Carter, were highly critical of that classification and worked for over five years to have it changed.
Fort Hood officials are expected to release more information about the April ceremony soon.