|Victim: Ft. Hood Trial 'Day of Reckoning'|
|By BRIAN ROSS (@brianross) and NED BERKOWITZ||Aug 5, 2013, 4:25 PM|
For the victims who will be called to testify, the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan, beginning Tuesday, means reliving the horror of that day on the Texas Army base.
Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others were injured when Hasan allegedly opened fire at a military ceremony Nov. 5, 2009.
Nearly four years later, as part of the trial, the survivors are expected to come face to face with Hasan during cross examination, as the accused shooter has opted to serve as his own lawyer in military court.
"We [victims and family members of the deceased] have long awaited this day to come, while still trying to cope and survive from not just the physical injuries that were received, but the gross mistreatment the government has inflicted upon us," Kimberly Munley, a police officer who responded to the shooting and engaged Hasan, told ABC News today. "I pray for everyone who will have to reopen the wounds they never healed from because of the government's negligent care and the continued delay of justice that is so long overdue."
Munley is one of dozens of victims that have filed a lawsuit against the military, alleging that by treating the deadly incident as "workplace violence," rather than an act of terrorism, the military is denying them medical and financial benefits that would normally come with combat-related injuries.
"Betrayed is a good word," Munley said in an exclusive ABC News "Nightline" report in February. "Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of... In fact, they've been neglected."
Shawn Manning, who will be called to testify with bullets still lodged in his body, said, "Basically, they're treating us like I was downtown and I got hit by a car."
Investigators discovered the Hasan had been in contact with high-profile al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the shooting and he has since publicly said he was acting in defense of the Taliban, but a recent letter from the Army claimed there was no indication yet the shooting was an act of international terrorism.
The Secretary of the Army said that no victims have received substandard care, and said that treating the attack as terrorism could have a "profound effect" on the military's ability to conduct a fair trial for Hasan.
Last week congressional supporters of the victims introduced legislation that would ensure they receive the same benefits as Purple Heart recipients, including combat-related special compensation.
Hasan is charged with the 13 murders and an additional 32 attempted murders. He declined to enter a plea for himself last month, so a military judge entered a plea of "not guilty" on his behalf.