Legislation Would Award Purple Heart, Benefits to Victims & Families
Fort Hood, Texas (KWKT) — U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) called for passage of his amendment to honor the victims of Fort Hood and provide benefits to their families in a speech on the Senate floor.
Excerpts of his remarks are below, and the full speech can be found here.
“Four years ago, an Islamic radical who identified with Al Qaeda and supported the cause of global jihad opened fire at Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas. The shooter eventually killed 12 soldiers and one civilian, while wounding 30 others. He might have killed and wounded many more, but for the selflessness of a civilian physician’s assistant by the name of Michael Cahill and an Army captain named John Gaffaney, both of whom charged the gunman and gave their lives in order to save the lives of others.
“Four years later, we continue to honor the tremendous sacrifice - their tremendous sacrifice - and we continue to honor the memories of all those who gave their lives or were injured on that awful day.
“We cannot denigrate the service of those military members who lost their lives that day and this civilian hero, Michael Cahill, who lost his life, by saying that this is somehow workplace violence or just some ordinary criminal attack. We need to recognize officially that this was a terrorist attack, inspired by an agent of Al Qaeda, carried out by another agent of Al Qaeda on our own soil.
“It shouldn't matter whether they lose their lives in America, whether it's in New York on 9/11, Killeen, Texas, four years ago, or whether it’s on the battlefield in Afghanistan. It shouldn't make any difference. When they lose their life as part of the effort to protect innocent life in the war on terrorism—if they're killed by a terrorist committing violence on behalf of foreign jihadists—then they are casualties of the broader war on terrorism, and they deserve to be treated as such.
“Earlier this year I introduced legislation that would make the Fort Hood victims eligible for all of the honors and benefits available to their fellow U.S. service members serving overseas in combat zones.
“It's a just and well-deserved honor that these patriots have earned by their own blood, and these families deserve as a way of ameliorating some of the terrible loss that they have suffered in their own service to our country.”