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Controversy lingers over Purple Heart awards for Ft. Hood shooting victims

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Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 31 in a November 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in an undated
Nidal Hasan, charged with killing 13 people and wounding 31 in a November 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, is pictured in an undated

UNDATED (WSAU)  Today is the third anniversary of the Fort Hood shooting massacre – and a survivor from Madison says her fallen-and-wounded colleagues are not getting a fair shake. Dorothy Carskadon said the 13 people killed and 32 wounded are not getting Purple Heart awards, because the tragedy was labeled as an act of workplace violence. And she said those killed at Fort Hood – including Wisconsin soldiers Amy Krueger of Kiel and Russell Saeger of Mount Pleasant – should be included on the lists of those who gave their lives during the war-on-terror.

The Purple Heart award would provide more benefits – but Carskadon says she’s not seeking one for herself because she gets V-A benefits. The 50-year-old Carskadon is now a social worker at the Vets’ Center in Madison. She has rarely talked publicly about the Fort Hood massacre – but she spoke to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel because she fears that people will forget the sacrifices her colleagues made that day. She was the part of the 467th Combat Stress Control unit that was training at Fort Hood to help other troops cope with their personal troubles. After the shootings, the members were given a choice to stay home – but all of them went to Afghanistan for a year.

The shooting suspect, Major Nidal Hasan, was training with the Madison unit at the time. He still faces a military trial on 13 charges of premeditated murder, and 32 counts of attempted murder. Six of the 32 survivors were from Wisconsin.

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