- The Washington Times - Friday, September 13, 2013

A bill from Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, both Texans, would change the classification of the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that left 13 dead and dozens injured from an act of workplace violence to a terrorist attack.

Doing so would open the door to families of victims of the military base shooting to receive more benefits, including life insurance, additional tax breaks and combat-related pay.

The vehicle for their proposal is the Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act, introduced on Thursday as a companion to the House version from Reps. John Carter and John Williams, also of Texas. And already, the bill is showing strong signs of support.

“This attack should rightly be categorized as an act of terrorism, and I believe strongly that service members wounded or killed at Fort Hood, or as a result of a terror attack irrespective of geographic location, are deserving of the same recognition and benefits as their deployed counterparts in combat zones,” said Sen. Susan Collins, in a written statement.

The classification of the 2009 incident as a workplace event has angered many who saw Maj. Nidal Hasan’s actions as a clear case of Islam-related terrorism. Hasan, a Muslim who’s since been convicted of murder and sentenced to death, said during his trial that he acted in defense of the Taliban. He also screamed “Allahu Akbar” during the shootings, witnesses reported to various media outlets

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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