Griffin Reintroduces the HEAL Act in Honor of Recruiting Station Victims

Jun 13, 2013 Issues: Veterans

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) has reintroduced the Honoring Ezeagwula and Long (HEAL) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives: 

“Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula and Pvt. William Long were shot because they were serving their country in the armed forces of the United States.  Regardless of President Obama’s refusal to admit it, they were victims of international terrorism, targeted because they were soldiers.  They are American heroes who deserve the same honor as the military personnel who were wounded or killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001.  It’s the right thing to do, and my bill will correct this injustice and ensure these men and their families receive the full recognition of a grateful nation.”

In 2007, Abdulhakim Muhammad traveled to Yemen where he admits to training with known members of Al Qaeda and discussed attacks on American military personnel.  Muhammad also planned to receive terrorist training in Somalia, and, and when he was arrested with a fake Somali passport at a Yemeni roadside checkpoint, he was in possession of videos and literature from Al Qaeda leaders including Anwar Al-Awlaki.  On June 1, 2009, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula was wounded and Pvt. William Andrew Long was killed when they were shot by Muhammad outside of a military recruiting station in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

On July 25, 2011, Muhammad pled guilty to the charges of capital murder, attempted capital murder, and unlawful discharges of a firearm.  He was sentenced to consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole and life in prison on the remaining charges.  An additional fifteen years was imposed for use of a firearm in the commission of these felonies. 

Last year, the White House threatened to veto a bill if it included language that would have awarded the Purple Heart to Ezeagwula and Long. 

Griffin first introduced the HEAL Act in 2011.