The Texas General Land Office says it rejects the notion that soldiers killed by a Nidal Malik Hasan at Fort Hood are victims of workplace violence, and the state will offer full Texas Veteran benefits to the survivors of those killed in the massacre on Texas soil.
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said Friday that all of the casualties of the mass-shooting at Fort Hood in 2009 were on active duty at their posts when they were shot and killed and should be considered KIA – or Killed in action.
Patterson announced that the spouses of the thirteen victims will be eligible for Texas Veteran benefits, in addition to those offered by the federal government.
“Everybody knows about the Veterans Administration Home Loan Program. Well, Texas has a similar program. It’s called the Veterans Land Board, and we will loan up to $417,000 and you can combine the Veterans Land Board with a VA or FHA or Conventional loan. And what happens is, we buy the interest rate down by half a point,” Patterson said.
Previously, only veterans who signed up for the military in Texas or who retire here after their service are eligible for benefits from the Texas Veterans Land Board. Patterson, who as land commissioner also serves as chairman of the Veterans Land Board, said they will let attorneys work out the details, but that he "intends to honor" these veterans’ sacrifice.