AUSTIN — Dozens of survivors and relatives of soldiers who died in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting are finally getting the Purple Hearts they have felt were long overdue.
The ceremony Friday will take place at the sprawling Texas military post where an Army psychiatrist opened fire on dozens of unarmed soldiers and killed 13 people. Gunman Nidal Hasan was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to death.
Military officials had denied Purple Hearts to victims because they classified the attack as workplace violence and not an act of terrorism.
But Congress approved new eligibility criteria for the medals last year and forced the Defense Department to reconsider.
Many of the Purple Heart recipients have sued the federal government over the attack and are seeking damages.