Army Awards Purple Hearts to Fort Hood Victims

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In a statement released Friday afternoon, Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced that the Army will award the Purple Heart and the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom to all the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings.

A movement rose calling for the victims of the shooting in Fort Hood, Texas, to be awarded the Purple Heart, but language describing whom the award was intended for stopped the Army from doing so.

"The Purple Heart's strict eligibility criteria had prevented us from awarding it to victims of the horrific attack at Fort Hood," McHugh said.

"Now that Congress has changed the criteria, we believe there is sufficient reason to allow these men and women to be awarded and recognized with either the Purple Heart or, in the case of civilians, the Defense of Freedom Medal. It's an appropriate recognition of their service and sacrifice."

The Army concluded that Major Nidal Hassan had coordinated with a foreign terrorist organization, making the Fort Hood victims eligible for the awards under the revised language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015.