Fort Hood shooting victims receive long-delayed Purple Hearts, may still have to fight for benefits

Shawn Manning

Victims of the 2009 Fort Hood terror attack finally received their long-delayed honor on Friday at a Purple Heart ceremony in Texas — though they may have to keep fighting to get military benefits.

Nearly 50 survivors lined up at the ceremony held at Fort Hood on Friday, and all were given either a Purple Heart or Defense of Freedom medal for their injuries. The ceremony was years in the making, as the U.S. government initially described the attack as mere workplace violence, and not terrorism.

But the medal, while long-sought, may be symbolic.

At least one survivor told Fox News ahead of the ceremony that the Army has so far denied him any benefits, and his fellow servicemembers are likely in for a similar struggle.

“It sounds like there’s going to be some more fighting ahead of us with the Army, at least in regards to benefits,” retired Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who was shot six times by Maj. Nidal Hasan, told Fox News on Friday. He explained the Army is not defining the injuries as combat-related.

“I think it’s almost unheard of for someone to receive the Purple Heart but not have their injuries classified as combat-related,” Manning said.

Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning – Denied medical and disability benefits

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