Fort Hood Shooting Victims Finally Receive Purple Hearts, Defense of Freedom Medals
After nearly six years of legislative battles and delays, the victims of the Nov. 5, 2009 Fort Hood shooting finally received their medals Friday.
Ft. Hood Commanding General Sean MacFarland and Secretary of the Army John McHugh presented Purple Hearts and Secretary of Defense Medals for the Defense of Freedom to victims and family members of those killed in the attack during a special ceremony on base. The latter medal is the civilian equivalent of a Purple Heart.
Thirteen people were killed in the attack at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center, and another 31 were wounded. The gunman, Nidal Hasan, was convicted and sentenced to death in September of 2013.
“We honor the memories of the 13 souls laid to eternal rest pay tribute to their sacrifice,” Gen. MacFarland said at Friday's ceremony. “We also remember the acts of courage and selflessness by soldiers and civilians which prevented an even greater calamity from occurring that day.”
Purple Hearts were presented to representatives of 10 of the fallen soldiers, and 26 went to surviving wounded. Defense of Freedom Medals were presented to the family of Michael Cahill, a civilian contractor killed in the attack, as well as to Kimberly Munley, a Department of the Army civilian police officer who was shot when she responded to the scene.
Purple Hearts for four soldiers wounded and the families of two Soldiers killed will be awarded at ceremonies at their current locations away from Ft. Hood.
“Although no words can resurrect those we lost or completely erase the scars, today’s ceremony is an opportunity to provide a sense of closure to those who were injured or those who lost a loved one," General MacFarland said.