Wisconsin woman who was shot at Fort Hood being denied Purple Heart

CREATED Apr 5, 2013

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RANDOM LAKE - Amber Bahr was shot during the shooting massacre at Fort Hood, almost three years ago. Despite being shot, she put her life on the line to help others that day.

But now, the Pentagon says awarding the medal to Bahr (who is now Amber Gadlin) could jeopardize their case against the suspect.

More than three years after the shooting, victims and their families are still fighting for any help. It has left some like Gadlin paying thousands of dollars of their own money just to get medical care.

“Still to this day, I get nightmares about it,” Gadlin said.

It was a mass shooting at Fort Hood more than three years ago that still haunts Gadlin. The soldier from Random Lake saved the lives of other soldiers after being shot in the back in 2009.

“I pushed one out of the door and I dragged one behind me and there was another who was crawling on the side of us and we got out of the building as fast as we could,” she remembers.

Some in Congress want to award Purple Hearts to victims like Gadlin and the 12 soldiers who died.

Officials with the Pentagon are fighting the move; saying awarding the medals would taint the case against the shooter, Major Nidal Hasan.

“This is a matter that's pending before a court,” explained Pentagon Press Secretary George Little. “I'm simply not going to get into it.”

The massacre has been classified as a workplace shooting, and not a terrorist act, by the federal government. They said changing the classification could jeopardize their case against by denying Hasan a fair trial.

“Workplace violence is a disgruntled employee,” said Gadlin’s mom Lisa Pfund, “not a fellow soldier in a U.S. uniform opening fire on his own battle buddies.”

After nearly two years of fighting, the VA has started to pay some of Gadlin’s medical bills. She said the Purple Heart is more than just a medal.

When asked what the medal would change, Gadlin said, “A lot of things. I wouldn't have to pay for any of my medical care or my prescriptions.”

Those bills have taken a toll on her family, and her bank account, as she tries to erase the memory of that horrific day.

“It's always in the back of my head,” she said. “Just the fact that it could happen again, anytime, anywhere.”

Despite not getting the Purple Heart or all of her medical bills paid, Amber has been subpoenaed to testify in Hasan's upcoming trial.

Gadlin has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and continues to get counseling.