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Judicial Watch 🔎 @JudicialWatch
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Court Victory: JW announced U.S. District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper issued an order stating the Army must reconsider its decision denying a Purple Heart to Sgt. Joshua Berry for injuries he sustained in the 2009 terrorist attack at Ft. Hood. (1/10)
This August 22nd court order calls for the Army to reconsider its decision & to act appropriately. If the Army wishes to stick with its denial, it must sufficiently explain why Sgt. Joshua Berry is not entitled to a Purple Heart. JW contends he is. (2/10)
On Oct. 12, 2017, JW filed a lawsuit on behalf of Sgt. Berry’s father – Howard Berry – who applied for a posthumous award of the Purple Heart to his son & is challenging the Army’s denial of the Purple Heart under the Administrative Procedures Act. (3/10)
After the Ft. Hood attack, the Secretary of Defense didn’t recognize Ft. Hood as an int’l terrorist attack against the U.S., instead designating it “workplace violence.” Thus servicemembers injured in the attack were ineligible for the Purple Heart. (4/10)
In response, Congress enacted legislation in 2014 mandating that servicemembers killed / wounded in an attack targeting members of the armed forces & carried out by an individual motivated by a foreign terrorist org be eligible for the Purple Heart. (5/10)
Howard Berry applied for a posthumous award of the Purple Heart to his son. The Army Decorations Board denied it. In April 2015, the Army awarded the Purple Heart to 47 servicemembers injured in the Ft. Hood attack but Sgt. Berry was not among them. (6/10)
On April 17, 2016, upon Mr. Berry’s application for review, a three-member panel of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records recommended that the Army records concerning Sgt. Joshua Berry be corrected to award Sgt. Berry the Purple Heart. (7/10)
But, just a few months later, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Review Boards) Francine C. Blackmon issued a single paragraph memorandum rejecting the Corrections Board’s recommendation for a Purple Heart. And so JW filed our lawsuit in court. (8/10)
In his ruling, Judge Cooper said the court couldn't “meaningfully evaluate the reasoning behind” Blackmon’s decision. The judge said decisions that are “utterly unreviewable… must be vacated as arbitrary & capricious.” This is a win for Sgt. Berry. (9/10)
Judicial Watch President @TomFitton: “We are thrilled by the federal court’s ruling and hope that the Army quickly comes to its senses and finally awards Sgt. Joshua Berry a well-deserved Purple Heart.” (10/10)
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