Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Speaker, 3 1/2 years ago, our Nation was viciously attacked when an Islamic extremist opened fire on our troops at Fort Hood. We lost 14 innocent Americans that day, 12 military servicemembers, one civilian, and an unborn child.
Since the attack, the Ford Hood community has seen and felt an outpouring of support from across the State of Texas and the Nation, but not from the Federal Government. Currently, the troops killed and wounded in this horrible attack are denied the treatment, benefits, and honors granted to soldiers who are attacked overseas in a declared combat zone. The Pentagon deems this attack ``workplace violence'' rather than ``combat violence.''
This is shameful, and Americans should be outraged by the administration's refusal to acknowledge this wrong. Our troops were attacked on U.S. soil in a blatant terrorist attack, and we owe it to these patriots and all who wear the uniform to provide for them. They willingly and admirably put their lives on the line every day to protect our freedom.
I urge my colleagues to pass H.R. 705, the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act, and start providing the needed assistance for the victims and families of this terrible tragedy. Our troops deserve better.
May God bless all who serve.