The U.S. Army has decided to award the Purple Heart to victims of the Fort Hood massacre, sources tell Fox News.
Three sources confirmed that the Army will announce the decision by next week. Victims of the 2009 shooting and their families have been pressing the military to award the Purple Heart, and the benefits that come with it, for years.
Good. About damn time.
I’ll say this in the Army’s (and to some extent, the administration’s ) defense. One reason they may have declined to award the Purple hHeart to the victims was that doing so would require a finding that Nidal Hassan was acting as an enemy combatant, to wit, conducting terrorism. That would have had an impact on his defense at court martial. At a minimum, any competent defense counsel would have raised the issue of undue command influence. Counsel could also have gotten really creative and questioned the authority of a court martial to even bring the charges it did, which had nothing to do with terrorism, but rather were simple crimes such as murder and attempted murder.
With Hassan safely convicted, and presumably the bulk of the appeals process behind him, now it is reasonably safe for the Army to award the Purple Heart, an award that is deserved, most assuredly.