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Family of slain Ft. Hood soldier pleads for Purple Heart

By Meredith Machen, mmachen@wcyb.com
Published On: Apr 04 2013 04:49:30 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 04 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

Purple Heart medals may not be awarded to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -

Purple Heart medals may not be awarded to the victims of the 2009 Fort Hood massacre.

13 people were killed and 32 people were wounded that day when a gunman open fired on an army base.

Now the Pentagon says those victims should not receive purple hearts.

News 5 spoke with parents of a local solider killed at Fort Hood about what the decision means to them.

It's been three-and-a-half years since Army Spc. Fred Greene of Mountain City, Tennessee was gunned down and killed in Fort Hood Texas.

His parents, Rob and Karen Nourse still grieve his loss every day.

"The mornings are hard," said Karen. "Evenings are harder," Rob Nourse added.

Now, this pain is multiplied.

A report from the Pentagon claims the Department of Defense does not support awarding Fort Hood's slain soldiers a Purple Heart on the basis of keeping a fair trial for the accused killer Major Nidal Hasan, and sticking to the traditional criteria of the medal, which does not include domestic criminal acts or domestic terrorism.

"I'm just disappointed in the administration all around and how they've done this and how they've just shoved this underneath the rug," Rob told News 5.         

The Nourses told us they don't agree with the Pentagon's position.

"He died as a soldier being a soldier at work as a soldier," Karen Nourse said.

In fact, the couple told me, Spc. Greene may have even tried to stop the alleged killer in his tracks.

"Fred was shot 12 times. [That's] more than anybody else," said Karen Nourse. "He was in a position you would be in if you were going to tackle somebody."

To the Nourses, awarding the Purple Heart medal is the right way to remember those, like their son, who died defending freedom for us all.

That's why they're writing letters to officials in hopes of changing minds.

"If this happened to your child, would you let this happen? I would say, no," said Rob Nourse.

And until that happens, they will continue pleading for an honor they said their American hero rightly deserves.

"He [Spc. Greene] would be disappointed in that organization that he stood so strong and tall for. That's why I will not stop talking and pushing until something different is done," said Karen Nourse.

We reached out to the Department of Defense for a comment and were told they are committed to the integrity of the ongoing court martial proceedings of Major Hasan, and for that reason, they will not discuss the incident.