Lawmakers Push to Label Ft. Hood 'Act of Terror'

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The 2009 Ft. Hood massacre is the worst mass shooting on a military base in U.S. History. Victims of the shooting spree say it should also be known as the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.

Army Maj. Nidal Hasan openly and proudly admits to opening fire at Ft. Hood Army base in Texas. He killed 13 people in an effort to stop U.S. soldiers from going to Afghanistan and killing his fellow Muslims.

Now 150 victims and their families are suing the U.S. government for trying the case as workplace violence and not as an act of terror.

They say the designation of "workplace violence" robbed them of long-term benefits and made them ineligible to receive the Purple Heart, an award given to those wounded or killed in combat.

James Armstrong, one of the victims, worries what this could mean for his future.

"I have to think about my children," he said. "I have to think about my wife and I have to think about where I'm going to be in 30 years - whether I'm going to be able to work, whether I'm going to be able to walk. I have to think about these things."

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, plans to introduce a bill next week that would ensure the families get the compensation they deserve.

"For the administration to persist in treating this as if it were an act of workplace violence is an absolute outrage and disrespectful to the many victims," she charged.

Military experts say the government really had no option but to try the case as "workplace violence."

The crime happened on a military base, so it had to face a court martial. It would have to have been transferred to civil courts for a terror charge to be possible.
    
Even so, the American Center for Law and Justice is also joining the victims' fight.

They've sent a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, demanding the U.S. recognize the attack on Ft. Hood for what it truly was, "...an actual battlefield in the ongoing war against al Qaeda."

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