It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Adding to the soldiers' concerns: Major Nidal Hasan, the man charged in the shootings, continues to be paid his salary and has earned more than $278,000 since the shooting, which resulted in 13 deaths and 32 injuries.
a reservist who, in 2009, was soon to be deployed to Iraq, was shot three times when a gunman opened fire inside the Army Deployment Center. “I honestly thought I was going to die in that building,” said Burnett. “Just blood everywhere and then the thought of -- that's my blood everywhere.” Burnett nearly died. He's had more than a dozen surgeries since the shooting, and says post-traumatic stress still keeps him up at night.
Burnett is now fighting a new battle; only this one is against the U.S. Army.
The Army has not classified the wounds of the Ft. Hood victims as “combat related” and declines to label the shooting a “terrorist attack”,
The “combat related” designation is an important one, for without it Burnett and other shooting victims are not given combat-related pay, they are not eligible for Purple Heart retirement or medical benefits given to other soldiers wounded either at war or during the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon.
As a result, Burnett, his wife Torey, and the families of other Fort Hood victims miss out on thousands of dollars of potential benefits and pay every year. To Burnett the shooting felt like combat.
“You take three rounds and lose five good friends and watch seven other people get killed in front of you. Do you have another term that we can classify that as?” asked Burnett.
The Army has categorized the shooting as a case of “workplace violence.”
“Sickens me. Absolutely sickens me. Workplace violence? I don't even know if I have the words to say,” said Burnett.
"They don't need to be treated like this. They don't need to sit and fight every day for this benefit or that,” said Torey Burnett.
TEMPLE — U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, reintroduced bills Thursday to make victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting eligible for the Purple Heart and combat-related benefits, and to protect service members from retaliation for reporting terroristic threats.
“The real irony and outrage is that this bill is unnecessary,” Carter said of the Fort Hood Families Benefits Protection Act. “The secretary of defense has the authority, under current law, to grant combat casualty status to cases such as this.”
Fourteen people — including an unborn child — were killed and 32 were injured in the shooting rampage Nov. 5, 2009. Witnesses said a gunman wearing an Army uniform opened fire after shouting “God is great” in Arabic. The Defense Department characterized the attack as “workplace violence” rather than terrorism, which kept victims and their families from receiving the same benefits as troops killed or injured in combat.
Survivors are eligible for the same medical benefits as other service members, Pentagon press secretary George Little said last year.
However, those benefits do not cover the significant costs incurred by survivors like Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times and still has bullets inside his body, Carter said.
“Three years have gone by and this soldier is facing surgeries and a mountain of medical bills with no end in sight,” Carter said in a statement. “We owe it to him to honor his sacrifices.”
Carter also resubmitted the Military Whistleblower Protection Act to protect service members and civilian defense employees from retaliation for reporting terroristic threats.
Both bills were introduced last session but did not make it through the approval process.
The Congressman whose district includes Ft. Hood is reintroducing a bill that will help victims of the 2009 shooting at the Texas Army base receive full benefits and make them eligible for the Purple Heart or the civilian equivalent. "Shortly after the shooting, I introduced The Fort Hood Families Benefits Protection Act, which would award both military and civilian casualties of the Fort Hood attack combatant status," said Rep. John Carter, R.-Texas. "It became clear early on that the Obama administration was reluctant to officially refer to the November 5, 2009 attack on Fort Hood as a 'terrorist attack.'"
You also can not just declare things combat or terrorist related unless you have some kind of proof.
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with an individual associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.
Fort Hood, Texas (CNN) -- Pvt. Joseph Foster was filling out routine paperwork for his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan on Thursday when he heard a shout quickly followed by a burst of gunfire from just a few feet away. "I was sitting in about the second row back when the assailant stood up and yelled 'Allahu akbar' in Arabic and he opened fire," Foster said Monday on CNN's "American Morning."