Bill would give shooting victims more benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Texas lawmaker is proposing to treat the 13
people wounded or killed this month at Fort Hood by a gunman as
casualties of combat.

Republican Rep. Bill Carter says treating the victims as if they were killed in a battle zone provides a number of benefits to surviovors and allows military personnel to receive the Purple Heart. Civilans would receive the Secretary of Defense Medal of Freedom.

Family of military personnel who died or were wounded in the shooting would get survivor payments, tax breaks, funeral travel expenses and other benefits with the designation.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is accused of killing 13 people in a Nov. 5 shooting rampage at the sprawling central Texas Army post. Another 43 were injured, 34 of them with gunshot wounds.

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