VFW Salutes New Stolen Valor Law
The legislation passed with overwhelming support
June 04, 2013
WASHINGTON — The
U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 almost a year ago on
the grounds that lying was protected speech, but justices on both sides of the
6-3 decision also provideda roadmap requiring any future legislation
to be narrower in focus than just to penalize people for simple lying.
Yesterday, the president signed the new Stolen Valor Act of 2013 into
Said John E. Hamilton, national commander
of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., “the new law is bullet-proof
against another constitutional challenge because the focus is now on the intent
to profit from the lie — to obtain money, property or something of a tangible
benefit or value — which is what con artists have been doing throughout
The VFW-supported legislation was
introduced by Rep. Joe Heck and Sen. Dean Heller, both from Nevada. H.R.
258 passed overwhelmingly in the House two weeks ago and its Senate companion,
S. 210, passed by unanimous consent two days later.
Not every combat award is covered, but the
ones most coveted will now have wannabe heroes facing up to a year in jail and
$100,000 fines for each offense. Now protected by law are the Medal of
Honor, service crosses, Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and combat badges such
as the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge,
Combat Action Ribbon and Combat Action Medal.
“The VFW salutes Congressman Heck, Senator
Heller, their co-sponsors, and President Obama for following through on a very
sensitive issue that everyone who has worn the uniform cares deeply about,”
said Hamilton, who earned three Purple Hearts as a Marine Corps rifleman in
Vietnam. “We want all con artists to pay a very severe penalty — and a
very public price — for daring to steal the valor of those too few who survived
and of the great many who did not.”
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