Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison has introduced legislation that would grant victims and families of the deceased victims of the attack at Fort Hood the same legal status as though the attack happened in a battle zone. Named the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act, Hutchison was joined by Senators John Cornyn, James Inhofe, and Joeseph Lieberman in introducing the legislation, also closed patterned to H.R. 4008, a House bill introduced by U.S. Rep John Carter (R-TX) Tuesday.
Hutchison released this statement: "The soldiers who were gunned down at Fort Hood were targeted by a terrorist because they were soldiers about to be deployed to combat operations overseas. On that terrible day, Fort Hood became a battlefield in the War on Terror, and those killed and those wounded by this cowardly act of terrorism deserve to be recognized for their service in this war. And the families of the soldiers killed at Ft. Hood should not be denied benefits because their loved ones met the enemy here on our soil. I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation and give just honor to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice."
According to the press release, "The Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act would grant the following status to any member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense who was killed or wounded in the attack that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009:
l. Military service members would be deemed to have been killed or wounded in a combat zone as the result of an act of an enemy of the United States; and
2. Civilian employees of the Department of Defense would be deemed to have been killed or wounded in a terrorist attack and while serving alongside the Armed Forces in a contingency operation."
Senators Hutchison and Cornyn are to be commended for standing with those protecting our nation and civilian communities. They deserve all we can offer.