< Back to H.R. 4791 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act

This bill was introduced on March 9, 2010, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Mar 9, 2010 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4791

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 9, 2010

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To ensure that the victims and victims’ families of the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas, receive the same treatment, benefits, and honors as those Americans who have been killed or wounded in a combat zone overseas and their families.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act.

2.

Findings; sense of Congress

(a)

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Fort Hood, Texas, has played a highly prominent role in the Global War on Terror, deploying more members of the Armed Forces into overseas theaters of combat since September 11, 2001, than any other United States military installation.

(2)

The members of the Armed Forces and community of Fort Hood have answered the call to service with honor and distinction, and the post has paid a steep price, suffering more combat casualties in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom than any other United States military installation.

(3)

In the wake of the brutal September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the Federal Government set a historical precedent when it awarded the victims of those attacks who were members of the Armed Forces with the Purple Heart medal and the victims of those attacks who were civilian employees of the Department of Defense with the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom.

(4)

In the aftermath of the attack that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009, this precedent should be followed.

(b)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

any member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense who was killed or wounded in the attack that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009, and the family members of those victims, should receive the same treatment and benefits as the victims and families of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States;

(2)

these Americans have made tremendous sacrifices, and the United States should provide them with the maximum level of benefits available, identical to the level of benefits available to those who have been killed or wounded in an overseas combat zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan; and

(3)

the Department of Defense should duly honor the Americans who were killed or injured in the attack at Fort Hood with awards that serve to recognize their physical sacrifices, including the Purple Heart Medal for members of the Armed Forces and the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom for civilian employees of the Department of Defense.

3.

Treatment of members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the Department of Defense who were killed or wounded in the November 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood, Texas

(a)

Treatment

For purposes of all applicable Federal laws, regulations, and policies, a member of the Armed Forces or civilian employee of the Department of Defense who was killed or wounded in the attack that occurred at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009, shall be deemed as follows:

(1)

In the case of a member, to have been killed or wounded in a combat zone as the result of an act of an enemy of the United States.

(2)

In the case of a civilian employee of the Department of Defense—

(A)

to have been killed or wounded while serving with the Armed Forces in a contingency operation; and

(B)

to have been killed or wounded in a terrorist attack.

(b)

Exception

Subsection (a) shall not apply to a member of the Armed Forces whose death or wound as described in that subsection is the result of the willful misconduct of the member.