The victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that left 13 dead and more than 30 wounded will receive the Purple Hearts many have said they deserve.

The Army said in a letter addressed to Congress on Friday that the circumstances of the mass shooting meet the criteria for the award.

The Department of Defense had previously denied the award to Fort Hood shooting victims, calling the November 2009 attack an act of workplace violence, not terrorism.

Gunman Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist and self-described religious warrior, was convicted and sentenced to death in August 2013.

Many victims still deal with lingering injuries and have struggled to find work after leaving the military.

Victims' attorney Reed Rubinstein calls the Army's announcement "welcome and long overdue."