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Legislation to Award Fort Hood Casualties Combatant Status Set for Introduction Tuesday

(FORT HOOD, TX) – Army and civilian personnel who were wounded or killed in the Nov. 5 attack at Fort Hood should be granted the same legal status as combatant casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to U.S. Representative John Carter (R-TX31) who represents the Fort Hood area in Congress.

"The attack on Fort Hood was a planned terrorist attack, the same as the attacks against our forces overseas," says Carter. "Our wounded and the families of those who lost their lives should receive the same treatment, recognition, and benefits as if the attack occurred on a U.S. military installation in Iraq or Afghanistan."

While many military and survivor benefits are the same regardless of the status of the casualty, combatant status allows military personnel to receive the Purple Heart, and civilians to receive the civilian equivalent award, the Secretary of Defense Medal of Freedom. Combatant status would also guarantee that the beneficiaries of all military personnel who lost their lives in the attack would receive the maximum life insurance benefit available, among other benefits.

Carter plans to introduce the legislation tomorrow (Tuesday), and will ask House Members from both sides of the aisle to move the bill as quickly as possible. The former Texas judge is also calling for a full congressional investigation into the shootings.

WHO: U.S. Rep. John Carter

WHAT: Fort Hood Casualty Bill

WHEN: 1:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 17

WHERE: House Radio-TV Gallery, H-321

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