Fort Hood Victims Awarded Purple Hearts After Long, Controversial Battle

DoD had long denied survivors medals, likening attack to workplace violence.

— -- Today the military awarded the victims and survivors of the 2009 Fort Hood attack with Purple Hearts and other medals, after a more than five-year-long bureaucratic struggle over whether the awards were deserved.

Kimberly Munley, the former police sergeant credited with stopping the attack, and civilian Michael Cahill, who was killed, were honored with Defense of Freedom Medals.

A Pentagon position paper obtained by ABC News in April 2013 said that giving the victims the Purple Heart could "irrevocably alter the fundamental character of this time-honored decoration" and "undermine the prosecution of Major Nidal Hasan by materially and directly compromising Major Hasan's ability to receive a fair trial."

Three years after the attack, Munley told ABC News she felt "betrayed" by President Obama, who had welcomed her as a hero at the 2010 State of the Union Address.

"Betrayed is a good word," Munley said. "Not to the least little bit have the victims been taken care of... In fact, they've been neglected."

Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death in August 2013. But still, the military pushed back on awarding Purple Hearts to the victims until last month.

ABC News' Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

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