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Fort Hood shooting families to get Texas combat benefits

Aug. 24, 2013 at 4:36 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- The Texas Veteran Land Board will treat families of those killed in the Fort Hood shootings as if their loved ones were killed in combat, officials said.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said the land board, which gives subsidized loans and retirement homes to veterans and their families, will treat relatives of those killed "as if they were killed in combat," the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman said.

Some 150 family members of the 13 people killed when Maj. Nidal Hassan went on a jihadist-fueled shooting rampage in 2009 are suing the federal government because the deaths are not classified as combat-related.

Because Nissan was not charged as an enemy combatant, his victims aren't eligible for the Purple Heart or combat death benefits.

It was unclear what benefits those relatives of Hassan's victims who do not live in Texas might reap as a result of Patterson's decision.

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