Fort Hood terror victim’s dad sues for Purple Heart

By Bob Unruh

Nidal Hasan
Nidal Hasan

It didn’t take long for Congress to reverse the Obama administration’s determination that Nidal Hasan’s terror attack at Fort Hood was “workplace violence,” allowing 47 injured service members finally to be awarded the Purple Heart.

But now a lawsuit has been filed seeking one more medal: for the late Army Sgt. Joshua Berry, who suffered a shoulder injury while throwing himself out of Hasan’s line of fire.

The case is being brought by Judicial Watch, the Washington watchdog organization, against the military and its officials.

The 2009 attack by the Muslim terrorist at Fort Hood, Texas, left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

The Obama administration tried to characterize it as “workplace” violence even though Hasan, a Muslim who, shouted “Allahu Akbar” while shooting down his fellow service members.

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Later, an investigation revealed he had been in contact with terror advocates abroad.

Berry dislocated his shoulder when he, after warning people to get down, threw himself over a desk to take cover.

However, the military ultimately decided, despite doctors’ confirmation that the injury was related to the terror attack, not to grant him the award for being injured in a U.S. military action.

“Following the attack, Sgt. Berry was admitted to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009, where his dislocated shoulder was surgically repaired. The attending physician who admitted Sgt. Berry found that Sgt. Berry’s injury occurred during the mass shooting at the SRP center,” Judicial Watch said.

He sustained post-traumatic stress disorder, the shoulder injury and degenerative arthritis of the spine, and was put on disability. Shortly after, he committed suicide, the case notes.

But the U.S. Army Decorations Board ended up denying an application for the Purple Heart for Berry.

The decision was reversed by the Army Board for Correction of Military Records.

The reversal, however, was rejected by Francine Blackmon, deputy assistant secretary of the Army.

She claimed, “There is not sufficient evidence to grant relief” and decided she would not “support a conclusion that [Berry’s] injury met the criteria for a Purple Heart.”

The lawsuit alleges her decision was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and otherwise not in accordance with the law.”

“Sgt. Berry deserves the Purple Heart and the bureaucracy should stop obstructing his just cause,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Frankly, we can’t imagine that President Trump, President Obama or Secretary Mattis would disagree that Sgt. Berry should be posthumously awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries he sustained during the Ft. Hood attack.”

The case notes that the claim the injury happened during Hasan’s terror attack was supported by Berry’s own testimony, physical evaluation forms, the Hasan-attack casualty status report, and letters from the Army’s adjutant general to the Senate and to Berry’s father.

The case is on behalf of Berry’s father, Howard Berry, whose son had been deployed to Afghanistan and was in Fort Hood as part of a transition program following his return.

Sgt. Berry, Barack Obama
Sgt. Berry, Barack Obama

Sgt. Berry, the case explains, was in a briefing room in a building next to Hasan’s main shooting target. When the gunshots began, Berry told those around him to get down and stay away from doors and windows.

“When Sgt. Berry heard gunshots hit the metal doors near him, he leaped over a desk to take cover and, in so doing, dislocated his left shoulder. He then heard Hasan trying to kick in the doors.”

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