Private William Long
Private Quinton Ezeagwula
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A 2009 terrorist shooting in Little Rock took the life of a military man, and wounded another. Now, a bill could recognize the Army men with the Purple Heart award.
On June 1, 2009 an Army Career Center in Little Rock became a terrorist zone when Abdul Hakim Muhammad took the life of Private William Long and wounded Private Quinton Ezeagwula. This day changed the life of two families forever.
"You don't leave soldiers on the battle field and in this case I believe these two soldiers were left," says Daris Long, Pvt. Long's Father.
Daris Long wants his son and others who die in terrorist attacks on American soil to be considered for the Purple Heart.
Quinton Ezeagwula says the Purple Heart would lighten the burden of the past.
"It would be a blessing to my family because I feel like what happened that day was really, really severe to my family," says Ezeagwula.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor is co-sponsoring a bill to ensure soldiers wounded or fallen at home are not forgotten.
"We want to make sure that they are treated the same as the folks that are killed or wounded overseas that are part of a terrorist attack," says Senator Pryor.
Despite the Army's lack of recognition since the shooting, Sonya Ezeagwula views her son as a hero.
"What he did was not in vain, so people can see that if you do the right thing, that it's a payoff. The payoff is you can be recognized as a hero and in your community," says Sonya Ezeagwula.
Quinton Ezeagwula hopes his service can be a positive influence to his younger family members.
"I got a little brother and I have nieces and nephews that I really love and I want to show them that there's more out there in the world and in the streets. And I want to show them you can do better in your whole life," says Ezeaqwula.
Recognition or not, Daris Long still lost his son, but continues to push for his legacy so that others who fall in the U.S. can be remembered.
"It helps when their sacrifice is recognized for what it was," says Long.
Ezeagwula says a Purple Heart would also help him gain Veteran Affairs Benefits and improve the quality of life for him and his family.
Daris Long addressed Congress back in December about the issue. He says officials with the Department of Defense claimed they didn't know about Muhammad's terrorism activities.