Arkansas lawmakers sent a message to Washington Friday- give Private William Long a Purple Heart.
Long was killed by a self-proclaimed jihadist outside a Little Rock Army recruiting office in 2009. But federal prosecutors refused to charge Abdulhakim Mohammed as a terrorist.
So Waldron Representative Terry Rick presented a resolution in the Arkansas Legislative Council, supporting efforts to give Long, and Army recruiter Quinton Ezeagula the Purple Heart, in addition to the victims of the Fort Hood massacre in 2009.
"Our congressional delegation, bipartisan, has supported this," Rick said. "This is a resolution from the Arkansas Legislative Council, supporting our congressional delegation to get this done.
The White House has spoken against Long the award, saying his shooting was a criminal act, not a terrorist attack. But victims of domestic terrorism have been awarded the Purple Heart. Friday, a spokesperson for the Department of Defense told KARK that all members of the military killed on 9/11 were posthumously given the award.
Rick says Long's sacrifice meets the standard.
"I think we need to recognize the military for their distinguished service," Long said, "and that this was an action that was deserving of a Purple Heart."