Debate Question: Should the Shooting Victims from the 2009 Fort Hood Massacre receive the Purple Heart and the same medical/financial benefits that Soldiers who get wounded/die in combat get?
Summary of Events: On November 5th, 2009 Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fired at Fort Hood killing 13 and wounding 32 people. Investigations before and after the shooting discovered e-mail communications between Hasan and the Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki who had been monitored by the NSA as a security threat. He currently awaits trial.
As of today, the wounded and killed soldiers do not qualify for the Purple Heart (or any other combat related health/medical benefits) because the act was deemed workplace violence, not an act of war.
My Answer: Yes, they should get the Purple Heart and the same medical/financial benefits that wounded soldiers get for combat injuries.
My Reasoning: Even though Major Hasan was an Army Officer, he had ties with Al-Qaeda, and could easily be considered a terrorist, therefore making this a terrorist attack. A terrorist attack is an act of war (as I see it) regardless of where the geographical location is.
Criteria to Get Purple Heart
The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after April 5, 1917, has been wounded or killed. Specific examples of services which warrant the Purple Heart include any action against an enemy of the United States; any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged; while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party; as a result of an act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces; or as the result of an act of any hostile foreign force. Check out the link below to read more on the criteria. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Heart#Criteria
I believe the 2009 Fort Hood shooting victims should get the Purple Heart AND the same medical/financial benefits that wounded soldiers get from combat related injuries. Please leave a comment to this post to tell me what you think about it!
Disclaimer: These views are simply my opinion on the matter and are in no way endorsed by any government agency.