Fort Hood Shooting Victims to Get Honors, Benefits

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    An entrance to Fort Hood Army Base in Fort Hood, Texas, near Killeen remains in lock-down following a mass shooting on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

    Victims of the 2009 Fort Hood mass shooting are a step closer to getting the help they've been requesting.

    On Thursday, the House of Representatives and the Senate Armed Services Committee passed legislation to ensure military victims of that attack are eligible for all honors, including the Purple Heart Medal, and benefits available to their fellow U.S. troops who have fallen victim to international terrorist attacks.

    NBC 5 Investigates has been reporting on the struggles of those victims for more than a year.

    The victims were denied some pay and benefits awarded to other wounded soldiers because the Department of Defense has refused to call the shooting an 'act of international terrorism'.

    Earlier this week, FBI Director James Comey testified the shooting was 'inspired by Al Qaeda'.

    Efforts to award Purple Hearts has been supported by Texas members of congress, including Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn.

    “Since the days following the attack on Fort Hood in November 2009, we’ve been fighting to ensure justice is served for the men and women who lost their lives or were injured. It’s been a lengthy fight and I’m glad to report today that the Pentagon’s misplaced notions of ‘workplace violence’ have been largely put to rest,” Cornyn said.