Carter To Introduce Bill Giving Fort Hood Victims Combatant Status

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2009)—Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, whose district includes Fort Hood, plans to introduce legislation Tuesday that would give the soldiers and civilians who were killed or injured in the Nov. 5 shooting at the post’s Soldier Readiness Center the same legal status as troops who are killed or injured in Iraq or Afghanistan.

"The attack on Fort Hood was a planned terrorist attack, the same as the attacks against our forces overseas," Carter said.

"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,” he said.

While many of the military and survivor benefits for the Fort Hood victims are the same as for combatants, the combatant status would make the dead and injured soldiers eligible for the Purple Heart Medal and the civilian casualties eligible for the Secretary of Defense Medal of Freedom, Carter said.

The combatant status would also ensure that beneficiaries of the soldiers who died in the attack would receive the maximum life insurance benefit.

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