Honoring Courage and Bravery in the Defense of Freedom at Fort Hood
On April 10, the U.S. Army will hold a ceremony at Fort Hood to award the Purple Heart and the Medal for the Defense of Freedom to those who were injured or killed in the Fort Hood terrorist attack of November 5, 2009. I successfully amended the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was signed by President Obama to enable victims of the attack to receive the medals and associated benefits.
On November 5, 2009, a brutal terror attack was carried out at Fort Hood. The lives of 14 people were taken, one of them an unborn child, and 31 were injured. Today, we are grateful that the U.S. Army has chosen to bestow the Purple Heart, and its civilian counterpart, the Medal for the Defense of Freedom, on these heroes.
This attack was a clear act of radical Islamic terrorism, conducted on American soil – the original decision to designate it ‘workplace violence’ and deny these honors was a betrayal of the sacrifice of each of the victims. It is well past time for them to receive these awards and I thank the Secretary of the Army for reaching this determination. We can never undo the events of that day, but we can properly honor the courageous patriots who protect our nation and remain forever grateful for them.
I have been resolute in the effort to extend Purple Heart eligibility to the victims of the attack, introducing or supporting legislation in each of the NDAA bills that have been debated during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. In December 2014, I released a video in support of the victims, calling for the truth about the terror attack to be told.