KILLEEN, Texas -- Victims and family members of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting say legislation to classify it as a terrorist attack is long overdue. It's currently classified as workplace violence.
U.S. Congressman John Carter, (R-Round Rock), is sponsoring legislation that recently passed the House of Representatives and is now headed to the U.S. Senate. He's hopeful it will be made law in a matter of weeks after a five year long fight. It would give those killed or injured expanded military benefits including compensation, health care and Purple Heart medals.
"One of the things we learn at Fort Hood is some of these battles are long, but we got to keep fighting," said Carter.
U.S. Representative Bill Flores (R-Waco) and former Congressman Allen B. West joined a news conference a the future site of a memorial for the shooting victims outside the Killeen Conference Center. West was stationed at Fort Hood when he served as a lieutenant colonel in the Army.
"This is no different from 9/11, no different from Pearl Harbor," said West. "It's the most heinous of a sneak attack because it was a person who wore a uniform of the United States military."
Retired Army Sergeant Howard Ray saved nine people on Nov. 5, 2009. He says survivors faced a war zone in their own back yard and deserve combat level benefits including compensation, health care and recognition.
"From the guilty’s own words to everything the FBI and everyone released regarding this, it is a clear case of terrorism," said Ray.
Carter says the Honoring Fort Hood Heroes Act has bipartisan support.