Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stolen Valor


With all the hoopla of Chief Justice Roberts rewriting the deeply flawed Obamacare legislation, the press all but ignored the decision by that same court, at the same time, to overturn the Stolen Valor Act of 2006.

That act, now invalidated, basically said that a person could not claim to have been awarded military honors if they had not actually earned them. The court ruled Thursday to overturn the conviction of Xavier Alvarez, a former California politician who had lied about being a decorated war veteran. He had been convicted of violating the Stolen Valor Act which made it a crime to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor and other prestigious military honors.

This ruling is infuriating to the millions of veterans who have honorably served this country. At least it would be if the press reported it. This ruling cheapens the honor of all those veterans who have served, sacrificed, been recognized for their service; their sacrifice.
Lying about receiving such military honors is still fraud if done on a job or college application or in some other instance where personal monetary gain is a potential outcome. If a person tells this lie just to impress friends, then they will not be charged under the Stolen Valor Act. This person and his reputation will, however, be in deep doo doo if he finds himself face to face with proud Americans that know a little something about honor and integrity and personal sacrifice.

I am a firm believer in the First Amendment, but free speech is distinctly different from lying in a manner that steals the valor of  true heroes and I will interpret this SCOTUS ruling to mean that it is up to us as a society to weed out any lowlife that would attempt to steal the valor of our decorated veterans.

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