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The Cost of Being Politically Correct

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By John Carter

When I was a kid there was no such thing as political correctness. Our politicians and leaders did what needed to be done for the protection and security of our great nation. There was no apologetic confusion in trying to stop the bad guy.

After September 11, 2001, George W. Bush declared the War on Terror. The President said "you are either with the U.S. or with the terrorists." It was a phrase he took a lot of flak for saying, but as a Texan, President Bush was not one to sidestep the real issue. His leadership brought together Americans, as a nation, to get the bad guy.

Unfortunately, Bush's mantra of acknowledging and not coddling our enemy was short lived. In 2008, President Obama was elected into office and promptly dropped the phrase "War on Terror" and "Islamic terrorist," and began using vague terms like "extremism" or "militant." Thus began a new era of a politically correct administration clouded with denial and doublespeak.

Slowly but surely, the habit of ignoring the enemy in the name of politeness became the new dangerous trend. The Obama Administration slowly perpetrated this diplomacy into the American culture. Top DoD officials and the administration stopped calling out our enemy in the name of dodging offense or insult. What were the results? They were Benghazi, the Boston marathon bombing, and - the most painful for Texans - the Fort Hood shooting.

When deranged terrorist Maj. Nidal Hasan attacked Fort Hood on November 5, 2009 he screamed "Allah Akbar" while murdering 13 Americans and leaving 32 wounded. In the days following this tragedy, Army chief of Staff Gen. George Casey appeared on a morning talk show in efforts to prevent an "anti-Muslim backlash" that would harm diversity programs. Even more damaging, President Obama admonished us to "not jump to conclusions" and labeled this blatant act of deadly terrorism "workplace violence."

Wrongly designating this terrorist attack as "workplace violence" negates many of the benefits awarded to soldiers wounded in combat. It is more than an emotional slap in the face of the victims; it puts an unwarranted financial burden upon their shoulders for the rest of their lives. Those who directly felt Hasan's twisted wrath are the ones paying the cost of a misguided commitment to political correctness.

Army Staff Sergeant Shawn Manning was shot six times as he heroically threw his body in front of Hasan to protect his already wounded sergeant. Manning now faces thousands of dollars in medical bills in addition to losing pay he was disqualified from receiving because of crossing Hasan's path. The government does not reimburse Manning's pay lost from not being combat ready after the attack. He was forced to repay all his civilian federal employee health benefits for two years, a cost normally covered when a Reservist is activated to deploy.

Despite being harmed while on duty, Manning and other heroes from the Fort Hood attacks have not been awarded the Purple Heart which is awarded to those wounded or killed during military service. This injustice must not continue.

This is why I have introduced the Fort Hood Heroes Act (H.R. 3111). For many victims of the attack, the passage of this bill would enable them to receive the Purple Heart. For many more victims of the attack, the passage of this bill would enable them to cover the costs of needed medical services. This bill also treats those killed and wounded that day the same as those killed in a combat zone; this grants them long overdue access to compensation and benefits.

We must reject an irrational adherence to politically correct dogma. By acknowledging the truth and announcing to the world that Hasan's deadly rampage was an act of terrorism we can give these families the respect they deserve. We can give the victims the benefits and compensation they deserve. More importantly, we can give them closure.

Those who were at Fort Hood that dark day in November deserve recognition of their heroism and compensation for the pain they have suffered. Just as we honored the victims and survivors of the September 11, 2001 attacks, so too should we honor these brave men and women. I urge President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate to face the truth, reject political correctness, and pass the Fort Hood Heroes Act.


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