April 14, 2015

Fort Hood shooting: why it took five years to award victims Purple Hearts

Featuring Phillip Carter

More than five years after psychologist Nidal Hasan, then a US Army major, went on a shooting spree killing 13 people and wounding 30 others, the military victims of his rampage received Purple Hearts in Fort Hood, Texas, Friday.

The medals were a long time coming. That’s because initially, the gunshot wounds sustained by the victims were considered “workplace injuries” by the Department of Defense.

It was a rider included in the 2015 defense budget that expanded the parameters for Purple Heart eligibility, reclassifying the victims' injuries as the result of an attack inspired by a terrorist group, rather than a workplace injury. Since its inception, the medal’s most basic requirement has been that recipients be injured at the hands of an enemy.

 Read the full article at The Christian Science Monitor.

  • Phillip Carter

    Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Phillip Carter is Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security.  His research focuses on issues facing v...