AUSTIN – Today State Representative Tony Dale (Cedar Park) filed House Bill 115 that will award the Texas Purple Heart Medal to the military victims of the November 5, 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas.
Nidal Malik Hasan yelled, “Allahu Akbar!” which means “God is great” in Arabic before he killed thirteen and wounded more than thirty others in the worst shooting to ever take place on an American military base. At his trial in June 2013, Hasan himself claimed that his motive was to defend the lives of the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan. Representative Dale called the Fort Hood shooting “a clear and despicable act of terrorism.”
The Obama Administration classified the shooting as “workplace violence” which prevents the victims from being eligible to receive the federal Purple Heart. Representative Dale applauds the efforts of U.S. Congressman John Carter (Round Rock) and U.S. Senator John Cornyn (TX) who have filed multiple pieces of legislation advocating to change the designation of the shooting to “combat related,” which would allow these victims the recognition and benefits they deserve.
In 2005, State Senator Kel Seliger (Amarillo) passed Senate Bill 955 which created the Texas Purple Heart Medal. This medal is currently awarded to any member of the Texas National Guard who was inducted into federal services after September 11th, 2001 and meets the criteria for the federal Purple Heart Medal.
“As a former soldier I feel this act of terrorism in a very personal way. My wife Mary and I were both Captains in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. The building where the attack took place used to be a recreation facility where we shared many hours of joy with our fellow soldiers. The contrast between those happy memories and this horrible attack is stark. Our brothers and sisters in arms deserve the proper recognition for what happened. Hopefully this effort will bring our soldiers some comfort and pride in knowing that the State of Texas and Texans honor their sacrifice.”
Dale was elected to the Texas House in November 2012. He is a small business owner and veteran of the U.S. Army and former Mayor Pro Tem of Cedar Park. He represents western Williamson County, including the communities of Leander, Cedar Park, Brushy Creek, and the Williamson County portion of Austin. He is a member of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee.