Springfield, VA April 6, 2015
On the occasion of their receipt of the Purple Heart Medal at a special awards ceremony at Ft. Hood, Texas on April 10, 2015, The Military Order of the Purple Heart proudly salutes the 32 military service members who were wounded, and the families of the 13 soldiers killed by Major Nidal Hassan on November 5, 2009.
This long awaited ceremony is made possible by a change in the law that expanded the eligibility criteria for the Purple Heart medal, which is awarded to those wounded or killed in combat. The shooting victims were previously deemed not eligible because it was initially determined that the shooting by Hassan was an act of workplace violence and not an “act of international terrorism,” as defined in the criteria for the award.
Thanks for this overdue and solemn ceremony must go to the families of the victims, who for years have relentlessly pressed the Congress to reverse the U.S. Army decision which had denied the rightful recognition of the victims service and sacrifice. Their Members of Congress were successful in having legislation included in the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that broadened the definition of an act of international terrorism to include acts by a perpetrator who may have had contact with a foreign terrorist organization, and “if the attack was inspired or motivated by the foreign terrorist organization.” As a result, the new Purple Heart recipients will automatically qualify for combat-related special compensation upon retirement and be eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
For information contact: National Public Relations Director