Fort Hood Hero Says President Obama 'Betrayed' Her, Other Victims
Soldiers denied medals, benefits as military calls shooting 'workplace violence'
Feb. 12, 2013 — -- Three years after the White House arranged a hero's welcome at the State of the Union address for the Fort Hood police sergeant and her partner who stopped the deadly shooting there, Kimberly Munley says President Obama broke the promise he made to her that the victims would be well taken care of.
"Betrayed is a good word," former Sgt. Munley told ABC News in a tearful interview to be broadcast tonight on "World News with Diane Sawyer" and "Nightline."
"Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of," she said. "In fact they've been neglected."
There was no immediate comment from the White House about Munley's allegations.
Thirteen people were killed, including a pregnant soldier, and 32 others shot in the November 2009 rampage by the accused shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, who now awaits a military trial on charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
Tonight's broadcast report also includes dramatic new video, obtained by ABC News, taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, capturing the chaos and terror of the day.
Munley, since laid off from her job with the base's civilian police force, was shot three times as she and her partner, Sgt. Mark Todd, confronted Hasan, who witnesses said had shouted "Allahu Akbar" as he opened fire on soldiers being processed for deployment to Afghanistan.
As Munley lay wounded, Todd fired the five bullets credited with bringing Hasan down.
Despite extensive evidence that Hasan was in communication with al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki prior to the attack, the military has denied the victims a Purple Heart and is treating the incident as "workplace violence" instead of "combat related" or terrorism.
Al-Awlaki has since been killed in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen, in what was termed a major victory in the U.S. efforts against al Qaeda.
Munley and dozens of other victims have now filed a lawsuit against the military alleging the "workplace violence" designation means the Fort Hood victims are receiving lower priority access to medical care as veterans, and a loss of financial benefits available to those who injuries are classified as "combat related."
Some of the victims "had to find civilian doctors to get proper medical treatment" and the military has not assigned liaison officers to help them coordinate their recovery, said the group's lawyer, Reed Rubinstein.
"There's a substantial number of very serious, crippling cases of post-traumatic stress disorder exacerbated, frankly, by what the Army and the Defense Department did in this case," said Rubinstein. "We have a couple of cases in which the soldiers' command accused the soldiers of malingering, and would say things to them that Fort Hood really wasn't so bad, it wasn't combat."
Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the Department of Defense is "committed to the highest care of those in our military family."
"Survivors of the incident at Fort Hood are eligible for the same medical benefits as all servicemembers," said Little. "The Department of Defense is also committed to the integrity of the ongoing court martial proceedings of Major Nidal Hasan and for that reason will not at this time further characterize the incident."
Secretary of the Army John McHugh told ABC News he was unaware of any specific complaints from the Fort Hood victims, even though he is a named defendant in the lawsuit filed last November which specifically details the plight of many of them.
"If a soldier feels ignored, then we need to know about it on a case by case basis," McHugh told ABC News. "It is not our intent to have two levels of care for people who are wounded by whatever means in uniform."
Some of the victims in the lawsuit believe the Army Secretary and others are purposely ignoring their cases out of political correctness.