Ft Hood victims get Purple Hearts but here’s why this administration still gets it FUBAR

My last duty assignment in the Army was Ft. Hood Texas – I’m looking forward to getting my motorcycle out here and heading down to Texas Hill Country for a visit to Ft. Hood. I have fond memories of being stationed there and commanding the 2d Battalion, 20th Field Artillery (MLRS) “Deep Strike”, 4th Infantry Division. I watched our girls grow and it was there that little Austen learned to ride a bike without training wheels. And I remember the tears and hugs when I redeployed back from Iraq. I also remember the fateful day in November 2009 when a traitor dressed in the uniform of our U.S. Army executed a vicious Islamic jihadist attack on Ft. Hood. Nidal Hasan is right up there with Benedict Arnold – or worse.

We’ve fought for years to have those who lost their lives and the survivors of the attack recognized as having been part of a 21st century battlefield that does not have borders and boundaries. Finally, yesterday, those Soldiers and families got just a little closure.

As reported by Foxnews.com, “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 find it unconscionable that we have Army leadership taking orders from a judge saying we must refer to another traitor, Bradley Manning, as Ms, Chelsea, and provide hormonal treatments on the taxpayer dollar for this Soldier.

But the same Army leadership is denying benefits to a Soldier who took six bullets from an Islamic jihadist — nothing about that makes sense. And it’s the same Army leadership that did everything it could to stall the investigation of another traitor — deserter — Bowe Bergdahl, while we have Clint Lorance, a young warrior who faced the enemy serving 20 years in Ft. Leavenworth prison, — the same place where Nidal Hasan is incarcerated.

All of this irony drives me insane and it’s probably why two of the original victims have committed suicide because they just couldn’t understand how they could be so utterly disrespected.

“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. Just this February, the Army, under heavy political pressure by Texas lawmakers, cleared the way for the military and civilian distinctions after the shooting was declared an act of international terrorism and not workplace violence” — just this February!

Here is what the “letter of the law” says, “Section 571 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act addresses both the awarding of the Purple Heart to service members killed or wounded in attacks inspired or motivated by foreign terrorist organizations and the Defense of Freedom Medal for those members and civilians killed or wounded during the Fort Hood attack on 5 November 20009,” the April 6 letter states. “Nowhere in the act, however, does it offer combat benefits for service members permanently disabled in attacks inspired or motivated by foreign terrorist organizations. Although subsequent legislation and guidance may change, currently, the Board has no authority to award V1/V3 (service related) designation to soldiers disabled during the Fort Hood attack.”

What does this mean specifically in the case of SSG Shawn Manning? “SSG Manning said the physical evaluation board’s decision means, on a practical level, his family will lose back pay, and $800 a month in benefits, adding he believes other Fort Hood survivors will face the same treatment.”

What is the Army’s response? “Army spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith told Fox News in a statement, “All recipients of the Purple Heart Medal under section 571 of the NDAA 2015 will receive the benefits to which they are legally entitled. In the case at issue, no final decision has been rendered, and the Soldier will have a full opportunity to present evidence at a formal hearing.” Now that ladies and gents is what I call FUBAR!

Let me ask a simple question, where was the Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama? I suppose hanging out in Jamaica and calling Cuban President Raul Castro was far more important. And since Obama has stated that he has a pen and a phone — how about an executive order to grant these victims and survivor families their benefits?

After all, if that pen works so well to sign an illegal and unconstitutional order on immigration, what is keeping President Obama from doing so for these warriors who were so viciously attacked? As a matter of fact, since he’s so prone to commuting sentences for drug offenders, why can’t he do the same for Army 1LT Clint Lorance?

And for more irony, consider that yesterday as these Soldiers, Department of the Army civilians, and family members were receiving their long overdue medals, another Islamic jihadist was arrested in a foiled terrorist plot to attack Ft. Riley, (where I served as a young Captain). Ahh, no big deal for President Obama, after all those mean ol’ Christians are saying not-so-nice things about him.

As we are entering the 2016 presidential campaign season I am asking you all to look at these candidates and ponder, who is deserving of the title, not of president, but of commander-in-chief? We are going to need one, the current one was AWOL yesterday at Ft. Hood. And we all know what you’re designated if AWOL for more than 30 days — Susan Rice and liberal progressives believe it is honorable and a distinction deserving of a Rose Garden ceremony — way wrong answer. But it was very telling that there was no Obama at Ft. Hood to look into the eyes of those he’s left on the battlefield.

65 COMMENTS

  1. Our so-called CiC has been AWOL since day one. I know a lot of people don’t like Bush, but had this happened on his watch, he would have done everything within his power to speed this up, call it what it is, and see that our guys get the benefits they deserve, not just benefits they’re ‘legally entitled to’. O is also right up there with Benedict Arnold and Bowe Bergdahl.

  2. Col. West lays out a masterful case here. The anti-American and treasonous actions of the Obama administration are self-evident; however, the nefariousness of them becomes all the more obvious when they are cast in the light of less notorious cases such as that of Clint Lorance (a story that the MSM have all but ignored). Sadly, when we hear the name “Manning,” most automatically think of Bradl….er….Chelsea Manning, rather than Shawn Manning. And who wants to bet me a buck that Lil’ Chelsea Manning is on Barry’s long, and rapidly growing, list of presidential pardons?

    We do need a REAL Commander in Chief. Allen B. West immediately comes to mind.

      • Intimidating a possible enemy informant is MUCH worse than trading a deserter/traitor for FIVE of the worst jihadi scumbags in the planet, without prior approval of Congress.

        What was I thinking?!

        Sorry pal, but it’s time to get a new argument. Yours went stale about 4 years ago.

      • Seriously?! THAT’S how you respond? With the even more old & busted “But, but…..Bush!!!” argument?

        smh

      • Its just a FACT!! I know how you LOONS don’t like or just completely IGNORE the FACTS!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • There is a difference between releasing detainees who are deemed to not be a viable threat, and releasing five of THE MOST DANGEROUS TERRORISTS IN GITMO…for a deserter, no less!
        Besides, you’d probably love to see the whole place shut down, and every detainee released. Don’t worry, Barry is going to make your wish come true.

      • Is that right right?
        And yet King Barry freed the Gitmo 5 with the mere wave of his immortal hand. I guess they didn’t “deserve” to be there, huh?

        Let me guess, you’re the kind of guy who thinks that Mumia is a martyr who got a raw deal.
        Yeah you are. Don’t even try to deny it.

      • I’m not sure what you just said. You sound like a fucking idiot. I’m one of the guys that was there and saw what happened. I’m sure you know so much more than I do about it though so please do tell.

      • Try to keep up, will you? Google always helps.

        And stop with the phony “I was there” BS. I ain’t buying that.

        You have a good one.

      • Let me give you my facebook and you can Google that shit yourself. My picture is in the NY Times. But then again, you could just Google that.

      • Seriously though, I’m not going to bother looking up shit that’s irrelevant to the case at hand. The guy who was convicted of murder, attempted murder, obstruction of justice, and other charges and is serving his just sentence. Clint had his day in court and guess what? Nobody who was there has ever defended him. Why do you think that is?

      • Maybe the same reason why Bergdahl’s detractors were forced to sign NDAs, and told that they were not to speak out about him.
        The “truth” is not always the end result of the justice system, especially when there is a corrupt law-enforcement admin behind it.

        Ps – how do you know if info is not relevant if you don’t even know what it is?

      • Psst. Let me tell you a secret. I really did Google it. And because it has nothing to do with what I’m discussing, which is Clint’s case.

      • So I’ll take that as a “yes, I do think that Mumia is a martyr who got a raw deal.”
        Let me take another wild guess – You’re also a huge fan of Jesse Ventura. You surely must know who THAT is!

      • I don’t give a flying fuck about cop killers or conspiracy theorists. Stop dodging the issue at hand, jackass. Or did you follow my profile link to my fb and realize I have the same name as the guy pictured in that article? How strange! What a coincidence! It couldn’t be, could it…?

      • Sorry man, but the internet is full of people who fabricate stories and identities.
        Nothing personal.

      • No offense taken, what the internet is not full of is people who can back up what they say. What say you, want me to take a picture with my ID? My face is already out there.

      • Look, you’ve been a bit of a dick, so I have no reason to take the time to actually respond to you further. Still, I feel compelled to set the record straight about a few things. Regardless of whether or not you are who you say you are, I’m more interested in the underlying dynamic to this story (Lorance). I did read the story, via the Army Times. I read about the testimony. I also read about the possibly exculpatory evidence that was withheld by the government.

        Before you get all disgruntled and start hurling insults again, let’s just step back for a minute and ask ourselves why so many are willing to give Lorance the benefit of the doubt. People have gotten sick and tired of seeing the way that our military members are disrespected, or flat-out treated like the enemy, by this administration. Hardened known terrorists are set free in exchange for a deserter/possible traitor, while an American soldier serves 20 years for murder in an active combat zone. The aforementioned deserter is hailed as a hero who “served with honor and distinction” by this admin, while U.S. Military members who were horribly maimed at a domestic terror attack at Ft. Hood still cannot get the proper benefits that they deserve. Then there’s the horrific state of affairs at the VA, which, to my knowledge, still hasn’t been remedied. Why don’t you seem to be at all pissed off about any of that?

        I get it. You have some sort of personal ax to grind with Lorance. The guy is in prison for 19 more years. Is that not enough for you? Let it go, man. Maybe you should focus your energy and efforts on more constructive endeavors, like petitioning our government to finally fulfill their obligation to take care of the victims of Ft. Hood.

      • Okay man, fair is fair. I have been a dick. Since you’ve switched gears and we’ve got a good reasonable discussion going on, I will stop with the profane jabs and what not. I’m going to jump around here, I don’t have an ax to grind with Clint. I want to be very clear about my feelings on this. I believe inside he’s a good person, but that he made a series of very bad decisions. Decisions that endangered the men he was supposed to protect. I don’t have anything personal against him. I hope that at the end of his sentence he can pick up the pieces of his life and move on and I certainly hope when that day comes his family can find peace. My problem is with Allen West and all the other people who are willing to completely disregard not only the testimony of nearly two dozen honorable soldiers (myself included) but to make such implications that we were coerced or forced to testify. That is absolute bullshit. Fuck Allen West. And everyone else who would smear the good names of my brothers and ruin careers and lives all for what, politics? And yes, I’m super pissed about the VA and am dealing with that as best I can but I am just one man. I just want the people to know that what happened out there that day was wrong. It was unnecessary and it was criminal. Allen West and Fox news have no problem ignoring the truth in lieu of ratings or public support

      • Fair enough. In the interest of civility, I’ll take you at your word on everything that you’re saying. Do you get what I’m saying about people wanting to give the benefit of the doubt to accused soldiers though? In this case, you may be too close to it, too personally invested. You view support for Lorance as a personal slap in the face to you. When you get to the nut of it, however, this whole thing is kind of a slap in the face to those who continue to support our military even while public support for our presence in Afghanistan continues to erode. So many are coming home in body bags, or are missing limbs, or have permanent psychological scars. It’s hard enough to see that they’re all but forgotten about, particularly by the very organization that is supposed to provide the most care, but then we’re expected to absorb the shock of seeing one of our own locked up for 20 years. Meanwhile, hardened terrorists walk away scott free, and deserters are given a hero’s welcome. You can see why that wouldn’t sit well with most Americans, especially those who hold the military in high regard.

        As for Allen West, I obviously don’t share your opinion. His support of Clint Lorance is, I believe, based on the same reasons that I just mentioned. Also, he has been on the receiving end of somewhat similar accusations. He obviously believes that he did the right thing on behalf of his men in his case, so he is more inclined to give Lorance the benefit of the doubt. Also, I would imagine that the last thing that a fellow brother-in-arms wants to believe is that one of his own is simply driven by blood lust and/or hatred, rather than honor, duty and love of country. You obviously do not share West’s sentiment regarding Lorance. The point is that he empathizes with Lorance in a way that you obviously do not or cannot. That’s not a knock on you, just a point of fact. Your experiences are obviously very different.

        The bottom line is that this thing is just a tragedy in so many ways. It is just another black eye to our military that is already taking hits in several other areas. I’m guessing that morale is not great these days.

        Anyway, I’m glad we could come to an understanding. I respect your service to our country. I just hope that it’s not defined solely by this one tragic event.

        Over & out

      • I just wanted to come back and thank you for your viewpoint and your willingness to have a real discussion. I definitely understand what you mean as to why people would be upset, but that’s why I’m so up in arms. The support for Clint isn’t a slap in the face to me, if anything I believe he is going to need it. He has a long hard road ahead of him as he serves out his sentence. What bothers me is that his support is being garnered under false pretenses. It’s a slap in the face to me and everyone else who was there to present the story in the light of lies that Allen West and Hannity have been doing. This wasn’t a split second battlefield decision at all. I’m sure you’re familiar with the story being presented but the truth is that the men killed were not speeding towards us. They weren’t even driving in our direction. There weren’t any commands to stop that were ignored, there wasn’t any restriction on the roads, they were simply villagers returning into their village. He wasn’t prosecuted over a single moment, it was a number of criminal violations over a number of days that culminated in cold blooded murder. His actions destroyed our mission, any support we had been receiving from the locals, and greatly endangered all of our lives. That’s the truth of it. If Allen West were to present the story with the facts instead of the convoluted lie that he’s posturing then I wouldn’t have a problem. But it is a slap in the face to accuse me and the nearly two dozen other witnesses of lying, or of being pressured or otherwise coerced, or any of the numerous other falsehoods that are being spread around. The last thing you said really nailed it. It is a tragedy all around. Lives were taken without reason, other lives were destroyed, careers ruined, people’s reputations sullied, and there is a man in prison for his crimes who has an entire family that loves and supports him and misses him and suffers every day for his mistakes, not theirs. There are no winners here. I just wish the politics would stay out of this. We, as a unit, turned him in and testified against him and policed our own. That isn’t something to be taken lightly, that wasn’t over hurt feelings or personal grudges. There were a lot of wrongdoings. I hope that everyone involved, myself and my brothers in arms, and Clint and his family, and the families of the men that were killed, I hope for peace of mind for all of us. That’s all. Thank you for being a big person. Thank you for hearing me out.

      • I hear ya, man. I think that we can both agree that these chat forums are probably not the best place to have a calm discussion. They’re better for sniping. Glad we could agree to a cease fire.

        Honestly, I still have a lot of unanswered questions about this case, and I had composed a long reply addressing those. But…I think it’s best to just leave things where they are for now. I will say that you have given me a new perspective on this whole thing. I hope that I have done the same for you.

      • Right. Cuz the NY Times is always so reliable, and not at all slanted to the left.

        As long as you’re googling new info, try typing in “Jason Blair.”

      • You missed the point. I think I gave you too much credit. I REALLY hoped you weren’t a scarecrow. If you only had a brain… hey, if you were REALLY wrong about calling me a phony, would you apologize?

      • The NYT lies or spins facts to fulfill a leftist agenda. If you cannot see that, the you are probably one of them.

  3. Obama should never be considered our commander-in-chief. He is far more concerned with vacationing, final four, and sucking up to his Muslim masters than actually governing our country. He has sent representatives from the government to felon’s funerals and not sent anyone to military funerals. He supports the Muslim brotherhood and denies our allies aid. He issues executive orders and memorandum at every opportunity and by-passes congress…his list of transgressions go on and on, and still the uneducated populace follows and supports him. It’s time for a change and we the people will have to institute that change.

  4. Commander in Chief? NO! Crackpot in Charge…Commander in Chief is a title of respect, and he has not earned that respect with his blatant anti-military attitude.

  5. With all due respect, these people were shot at work which was on base. It read not a “combat” environment. They should get something but I agree combat is probably not the appropriate pay to get.

  6. Mr West..
    You said that two of the survivors committed suicide because they were mistreated by the administration.
    DO you have proof to back that up or are you just exploiting their deaths to push your agenda?

      • He was dismissed for saving his platoon. The lawyers tell them how to fight and would rather he let his guys get killed. Look at Chris Kyle, waiting for permission to shoot a bad guy. You can not win the battle when only the lawyers are fighting.

  7. FUBAR is a gentle way of describing the absolute disregard for our troops, who deserve much much better from the C-in-C A man who had never worn a uniform other than a golf outfit and in my book an inveterate coward.

  8. It’s only a three ring circus until they receive benefits and help for what they’ve been through….smoke and mirrors and POOF!!! Obama is gone…..empty-minded president.

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