Stolen Valor

Posted on June 10, 2010

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Today, June 28,2012, the US Supreme Court ruled the Stolen Valor Act UNCONSITUTIONAL. Idiot judge Roberts said “although it is despicable it is covered under the first amendment. The words are not what makes this act despicable it is the act of wearing the medals or using the rouse that he/she were awarded them.

August 18, 2010. Again today a liberal Appeals Court has ruled the “Stolen  Valor Act” as unconstitutional. I turned on “Fox” news and they had some idiot lawyer on there arguing that someone who does this type of stuff is stupid but it should not be considered a Federal crime. He said maybe it should be a state crime but definitely it should not be a Federal Crime. In response to this, I say: My Soldiers Medal was awarded by the Secretary of the Army and by Direction of the President of the United States.   My Purple Heart was awarded by the Secretary of the Army. My Army Commendation Medal with “V” Device for Valor was awarded by the Secretary of the Army. My Air Medal was awarded by the Secretary of the Army.  My Combat Infantryman’s Badge was awarded to me by the Secretary of the Army. Now to the best of my knowledge both the Secretary of the Army and the President  of the US are both Federal employees and not State employees. This should be a Federal Crime. If I were to tell people that I was a Justice on an US Appeal Court and got caught, I’d be in jail. We put people in jail all the time for impersonating a Police Officer. What is the difference. We must stand up and make sure that this is taken before the Supreme Court. If they rule against the law then we must get the law rewritten.

From 1965 to 1972 being a Vietnam Veteran was not always a positive thing. Most veterans didn’t even admit to having  gone to Vietnam and if they did they didn’t want to talk about it. If they did talk about it, it was usually with other veterans.

Today is a different story. To be a Vietnam Veteran or a Veteran of any recent war is now the ” In” thing. Politicians like to say they served in Vietnam, Iraq or  Afghanistan even when they haven’t. A lot of men/women walk around wearing medals that they were never awarded. To say that you served in Vietnam,  I guess shows you have courage to do the things that are not popular. When you’re a politician you have to do those kind of things. You know, like telling big business and labor unions you don’t want their money.

A lot of people to include those on active duty wear medals that were never awarded to them. Some claim they have held a rank that they never did. The “Stolen Valor Act” of 2005 was written by Democratic Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Democratic Representative John Salazar of Colorado and was signed into law by President George W. Bush. The purpose of the Act was to strengthen the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 704 by broadening its scope and strengthening its penalties. Under the Act it is illegal for unauthorized persons to wear, buy, sell,barter, trade or manufacture any decoration or medals authorized by Congress or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces.

Rick Strandlof aka Capt Rick Duncan

As of January 2010, a legal challenge concerning the Constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act is underway in Colorado. The challenge was brought about by Rick Strandlof who founded an organization called “Colorado Veterans Alliance”. Oh by the way, he is accused of “Posing as a Marine Captain (Capt Rick Duncan)and claiming he had been awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart while serving in Iraq. He claimed he had a steel plate in his head as collateral damage from an explosion in Iraq. He also claimed that he was at the Pentagon on September 11th. All of these things are lies. Ryan Gallucci, a spokesman for the AMVETS, said “Strandlof’s actions dishonor actual sacrifices of veterans. Now Strandlof is claiming he suffers from a mental illness.

From the Chicago Tribune website www.chicagotribune.com dated October 26, 2008: ” After examining “Whos’ Who” and obituaries, the Tribune used military records to unearth 84 bogus Medal of Honors, 119 bogus Distinguished Service Crosses, 99 bogus Navy Crosses, five bogus Air Force Crosses and 96 bogus Silver Stars. The Tribune contacted 54 of the 103 individuals whose profiles in Who’s Who claimed medals for valor that were not supported by military records. Fifteen admitted that they intentionally credited themselves with a medal they did not possess. Many just hung up. Some said they couldn’t believe that Who’s Who  listed the medals. The spokesman for Who’s Who say they only list what the people tell them.” One man said he did it to impress his wife.

Stolen Valor is a serious problem. Because the people do these things cause real veterans to prove over and over again  that they are real veterans and that the awards they wear are officially theirs.

I guess what you must do is: If you have any doubts challenge the person.  Ask him or her what unit they were in. They should come back with a division, a battalion/squadron, and a company/troop.  An example is:  Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. They should never just come back with the “Army”, Marines” “Navy” or “AirForce”. No one who has ever served in combat ever forgets what unit he/she was in. Even “Peace Time” members should remember the full name of the unit they were in. If it is a medal that you have a doubt about ask to see his/her DD214. They may not have it on them but they can get it. It will list where he/she served and the awards they were awarded.

If you know a pretender turn him/her in.

On July 16, 2010 a federal judge in Denver has ruled the Stolen Valor Act is “facially unconstitutional” because it violates free speech and dismissed the criminal case against Rick Strandlof, a man who lied about being an Iraq war veteran.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn issued his decision this morning.

“The Stolen Valor Act is declared to be facially unconstitutional as a content-based restriction on speech that does not serve a compelling government interest, and consequently that the Act is invalid as violative of the First Amendment,” Blackburn wrote in his opinion.  Strandlof was represented by the ACLU of Colorado and the Rutherford Group a non-profit Civil Liberties group. Hopefully this decision will be able to be taken to a higher court.

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