Army Privates Shot at Little Rock Army Recruiting Center in June 2009 Receive Purple Hearts
Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula on left and the late Pvt. William “Andy“ Long on right
News came today that the Pentagon has relented and awarded Purple Hearts to two Army Privates shot at a Little Rock Mall Army Recruiting Center on June 1, 2009: the late Pvt. William “Andy” Long and Quinton Ezeagwula. This was the first homegrown terrorist incident following 9/11. Six days ago 47 Purple Hearts were awarded those killed and injured by Maj. Hassan, an Army Psychiatrist. He was convicted in 2013 and given a death sentence on 13 charges or premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted murder for his jihadist mass shooting of soldiers at a Fort Hood, Texas deployment center on November 9, 2009. Hassan is imprisoned; awaiting an appeal, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. These purple hearts were delayed because the Pentagon and the Obama Justice Department considered the case of the Little Rock attack a criminal act, subject to state law or the Fort Hood jihad as non-combat casualties rather than terrorist actions.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported:
Pvt. William Long of Conway was killed and Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula of Jacksonville was injured in the June 1, 2009, shooting at the Little Rock Army-Navy Career Center on Rodney Parham Road. [Carlos Bledsoe also known as] Abdulhakim Muhammad was sentenced to life in prison for the shootings, which he said were in retaliation for U.S. policy in the Middle East.
U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton and U.S. Rep. French Hill announced that the Army had decided the two soldiers were eligible, a determination made possible by a provision Boozman wrote in the National Defense Authorization Act allowing Purple Hearts for servicemen targeted because of their membership in the military or in an attack “carried out by a foreign terrorist organization.”
In a letter to the Secretary of the Army last year, Boozman, Cotton and Hill’s predecessor in the 2nd District, former U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin, said Long and Ezeagwula were eligible because Muhammad made repeated statements that he was a “soldier in the cause of war—or jihad—against the United States and that he targeted Privates William Andrew Long and Quinton Ezeagwula” because they were military members.
Boozman said Long and Ezeagwula “rightfully deserve” the honor.
“They were targeted for the service, devotion and dedication to our country in a war where the frontlines against terrorism extend within our nation,” he said in a statement. “Awarding Privates Long and Ezeagwula the Purple Heart for their service and sacrifice is simply the right thing to do.”
Cotton and Hill each called the decision “long overdue.”
Daris Long, a retired Marine officer and father of Andy, had advocated for this award for his murdered son and severely wounded comrade, Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula, as a terrorist action. Both Daris Long and the father of the perpetrator of the terrorist action, Melvin Bledsoe, had forged an alliance to bring attention to homegrown terrorism by Muslim converts like his son Carlos. They presented testimony before US House Homeland Security Committee hearings in March of 2011. Charles Jacobs of Americans for Peace and Tolerance conducted an investigation ultimately producing a documentary, Losing our Sons about the dynamics behind this tragedy. We noted in a June 16, 2012 Iconoclast post.
Losing Our Sons is a documentary about an American tragedy; the attack on June 1, 2009 at a US Army recruiting Station in Little Rock Arkansas that killed Private (Pvt.) William “Andy” Long wounding Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula. The attack was perpetrated by Carlos Bledsoe who converted to Islam while a student at Middle Tennessee State University. Bledsoe had adopted the name of the local Imam in Nashville, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, ultimately becoming a Jihadi, an acolyte of the late American-born Yemeni Imam, Anwar al-Awlaki. Muhammed was intent on killing US service personnel because their comrades were killing his fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. In July 2011 Muhammad/Bledsoe was convicted in a Pulaski County trial for his crimes and sentenced to life without parole. In March 2011, Melvin Bledsoe, the father of Muhammad/Bledsoe testified before a US House Homeland Security Committee Hearing chaired by New York Congressman Peter King (R). Daris Long, the father of murdered Army Private William Long testified in December 2011. Bledsoe’s testimony made a convincing case for his son having been “brainwashed” by Muslim Brotherhood extremists at the Nashville Islamic Center. He accused them of turning his son raised in a caring Baptist family in Memphis into a homegrown Islamic terrorist. It is a cautionary tale about how Islamic Da’wa can lead converts astray to commit such dangerous acts in furtherance of the “way of Allah” – Jihad.
The American Public Policy Alliance as living legacy created “Andy’s Law” a model state law: Terrorism as Racketeering and State Felony (TRSF). TRSF subjects enablers of home grown terrorism in the US to civil litigation under state RICO statutes. It was first introduced in the Arkansas legislature advocated by Daris Long, the father of the late Army Pvt. Andrew Long. Andy’s law was enacted into Arkansas law following passage in the 2013 Legislative Session in Little Rock.
Robert Norvell, ACT chapter leader in Jonesboro, Arkansas offered this comment on today’s purple heart awards conferred on Army Privates. Long and Ezeagwula:
Finally, the Department of Defense conferred the Purple Heart on Andy Long.
Unfortunately, the Purple Heart will not bring Andy back. Nor will it heal
the life long wounds of Quinton. Both of these valiant men were victims
of a cruel Jihadist attack in Little Rock, Arkansas. These men were attacked
solely because they wore the uniform of the United States Army. The
same militant Islamist ideology that has killed so many of our military in
Afghanistan and Iraq shot them down cruelly on Rodney Parham Road in Little
Our prayers for help and healing continue to be with the parents of PFC Andy Long.
Also, we pray for Quinton and his entire family as he continues to struggle with
his devastating wounds.
While this brings some closure to the enormous grief experienced by the parents of Andy Long and the family of Quinton Ezeagwula, more has to done to secure legal means of relief against the enablers of Muslim home grown terrorism in America, leaders of radical Mosques, the Muslim Brotherhood in America and their foreign financiers.