On March 29 the U.S. Army decided not to award Purple Heart medals to the victims of the 2009 Ft. Hood shooting, claiming that giving them medals would damage Major Nidal Hasan’s “ability to receive a fair trial.”
The Army issued a “position paper” in which it expressed concern that awarding the medal to the shooting victims “would set the stage for a formal declaration that Major Hasan is a terrorist.” And this is because the Purple Heart is awarded to those who have been “wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States.”
Neal Sher, a New York-based attorney representing Ft. Hood victims, says the Army’s excuse for denying the Purple Hearts is “rubbish.” Sher adds: “This is cynical travesty. The only thing the government has done is guarantee anything done to help the victims will effectively impair and prevent Hasan’s prosecution.”
On Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan opened fire on a group of soldiers preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. He killed 13 and wounded 32 before he was shot and stopped. He faces the death penalty if convicted of premeditated murder before a military jury.