Forty-seven Purple Heart medals or Defense of Freedom medals will be presented Friday to victims of the families of victims of the Nov. 5, 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood.
The Defense of Freedom medal is awarded to civilian employees of the U.S. Defense Department who are killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Thirteen people died and more than 30 were wounded in the shooting at the post’s Soldier Readiness Center.
In February, Secretary of the Army John McHugh Friday approved the decorations and directed Army officials to identify the soldiers and civilians eligible for honors after Congress approved and the president signed a measure changing the eligibility criteria for the medals.
The soldiers who receive the Purple Heart automatically qualify for special combat-related compensation after retirement and are also eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
It’s about time.