This from A Collection Of Thoughts:
In from Doug Sterner:
Stolen Valor Bill to be introduced Next Week to Protect Military Awards
On the Birthday of the Medal of Honor, Congressman Salazar announced that next week he will introduce the ?Stolen Valor Act of 2005? to protect the integrity not only of the Medal of Honor, but of all military awards. There is more information on this bill here.
Congressman Salazar is hoping to have some of the living MOH recipients joining him next week for the press conference to announce this. Carol at CMOH HQ advises that several will be in the DC area for General Wilson?s burial at Arlington on the 19th, and for Admiral Stockdale?s Burial on the 23d.
Once this is introduced we need to work our tails off getting other members of Congress behind this, and finding someone to sponsor it in the Senate. FBI Agent Tom Cottone has reviewed the language of the bill, as has MOH recipient Barney Barnum, and they have advised the Congressman so that when introduced, the bill will be appropriate to the problem, as well as an effective solution.
This bill, if passed, will be the most sweeping legislation regarding military awards since 1917. The way the bill is written, if a guy is sitting in a bar trying to pick up girls and tells some sad story about being a former-POW, if it is a lie, he will be in violation of Federal Law. A Marine wearing an unearned Combat Action Ribbon on his civilian attire, or a phony wearing an unearned CIB on his doctored up fatigue jacket, if done with intent to give the impression that they have been awarded these, will be in violation.
Tom Cottone pointed it out best in terms of what some might consider ?minor? acts of claiming unearned awards. He says, ?Writing the law to protect only the top awards is like the FBI saying, we?ll prosecute those who counterfeit $20, $50, and $100 bills, but we won?t prosecute the little things like counterfeiting $1 bills.?
The great thing about this is that it deals with impersonation, whether the person is wearing the award or not. Under current law, someone can buy a blank certificate for the MOH, DSC, NC, or AFC on ebay, put their name on it and hang it on their wall, and tell people that they earned such an award?without violating the law. Title 18 only makes it a Federal offense to WEAR, buy or sell, or manufacture the Medal of Honor. Under this bill, if someone puts on their resume that they earned a Medal of Honor, or puts in a website that they are a recipient of a DSC or Purple Heart, if the individual is bogus?they?re TOAST!!!!
Keep the word moving and let?s put the pressure on Congress to pass this once it is introduced next week.
C. Douglas Sterner
Petition for Legislation to Protect the Integrity of Military Awards : A Petition urging Congress to amend Title 18 (USC) to protect Military Awards
This is an awesome bill and one that we should all be behind.