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Fort Hood shooting suspect draws $278K in jail while soldier victims struggle for pay

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Just because Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooting suspect, is behind bars awaiting trial for the November 2009 shooting deaths of 13 doesn't mean he isn't making money.

The suspect continued to draw more than $278,000 in military salary, in line with Department of Defense policies that require pay to continue until a guilty verdict is rendered. Had Maj. Hasan, a psychiatrist, been a civilian employee working at the military base, his pay could have been suspended after seven days, NBC reported.

The shooting also injured 32. And while Maj. Hasan draws his officer-rank salary, those on the injured list he is suspected of shooting are fighting to get pay and medical benefits that normally are afforded combat wounded, NBC reported. That's because the Army hasn't classified the shooting as "combat-related," an important designation that frees up combat pay coffers, NBC said. It also opens the doors to recognition of survivors and victims with the Purple Heart and retirement medical benefits.

Instead, the Army has called the Fort Hood shootings an act of "workplace violence," NBC found.

The characterization "sickens me, absolutely sickens me," said Army Spc. Logan Burnett, who was shot three times in the Fort Hood incident, NBC reported. "I don't even know if I have the words to say. ... You take three rounds and lose five good friends and watch seven other people get killed in front of you. Do you have another term that we can classify that as?"

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