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House Seeks Answers for Fort Hood Victims

Victims' families, survivors of 2009 shooting feel abandoned by Pentagon

The Pentagon
• March 13, 2014 3:30 pm

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The House Homeland Security committee will hold a hearing in regards to various aspects of the administration’s response to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, according to the Blaze.

Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R., Texas) wants an explanation for why the incident is still being classified as "workplace violence" as opposed to terrorism.

McCaul plans to look into why victims of the attack still have not been decorated with Purple Hearts and why benefits for the families of all survivors have not yet been provided, a cause that Texas Sens. Ted Cruz (R.) and John Cornyn (R.) have been pursuing.

Many feel as though the Pentagon is abandoning victims of the attack.

The victims say they feel abandoned by the U.S. government and by their military. The Pentagon last year fought efforts to award the Purple Heart out of concern that doing so could harm Hasan’s chance at receiving a fair trial.

For The Record contacted the Army 15 times since December requesting an on-camera interview, but was given only an emailed statement saying that while the Army has no "intelligence or findings to date that indicate Hasan was under the direction or control of a foreign element, we stand ready to act accordingly should any evidence to the contrary be presented. If the U.S. Congress acts to change the standard, we will adhere to that direction."

More than 80 survivors and victims’  family members have joined in on a civil suit against high-ranking officials seeking compensation and answers, but feel that their suit has hit a "roadblock"

The victims and the attorneys who represent them say their civil suit has been blocked from proceeding by numerous excuses and legal motions set in to place by the Army and the Department of Defense. They say the current motion to stay the civil case and temporarily halt the proceedings is to give the base commander the opportunity to review the transcripts of Hasan’s trial. In a federal court, transcripts are immediately made available at the end of a trial, but that’s not the case in a military court martial like Hasan had.

"Now we’re roadblocked," said Neal Sher, one of the attorneys representing the victims in the civil case.

Published under: Military