Posted by Judicial Watch on October 26, 2017 6:46 pm

Judicial Watch: Grieving Father Sues Secretaries of Defense and Army to Award Purple Heart to Sgt. Joshua A. Berry for Injuries He Sustained in 2009 Terrorist Attack at Fort Hood, Texas

OCTOBER 26, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today announced it filed a lawsuit on behalf of Howard M. Berry, the father of the late U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua A. Berry, against the Secretaries of Defense and Army to award the Purple Heart to Sgt. Berry for injuries sustained in the 2009 international terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas (Howard M. Berry v. Ryan D. McCarthy, Acting Secretary of the Army and James Mattis, Secretary of Defense (No. 1:17-cv-02112)).

On November 5, 2009, U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing thirteen people and injuring more than 30 servicemembers and civilians. Sgt. Berry was among the servicemembers injured during the attack.

Judicial Watch points out:

Following the Fort Hood attack, the Secretary of Defense declined to recognize the mass shooting as an international terrorist attack against the United States. Instead, the attack was characterized as “workplace violence.” As a result, active duty servicemembers injured in the attack were ineligible for the Purple Heart, among other awards and benefits.

In response, Congress enacted legislation in 2014 mandating that servicemembers killed or wounded in an attack targeting members of the armed forces and carried out by an individual in communication with and inspired or motivated by a foreign terrorist organization be eligible for the Purple Heart….

The new lawsuit describes how Sgt. Berry was injured during the Ft. Hood terrorist attack:

On November 5, 2009, U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan (“Hasan”) opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing thirteen people and injuring more than 30 servicemembers and civilians. Sgt. Berry was among the servicemembers injured in the attack. Sgt. Berry was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, at Fort Hood. He had deployed to Afghanistan for approximately a year in June 2008 and was at Fort Hood as part of a transition program following his return from deployment. He was one of the last soldiers awaiting redeployment to Fort Knox at the time of the attack.

The briefing room in Building 42004 had a set of metal double doors leading to the outside. In witness statements given to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command (“CID”) and in a separate statement given to a Texas Ranger, Sgt. Berry estimated that Hasan fired 30-40 rounds outside Building 42004. Sgt. Berry told those around him to get down on the floor and stay away from the 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. According to a witness statement from another individual, Hasan fired three rounds at the briefing room doors.

Investigative photographs and sketches of the SRP center show the layout of buildings and the location of shell casings from the shots fired by Hasan. The photographs and sketches show a number of shell casings around the metal

 

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