Over to my other hangout “This Ain’t Hell”, my buddy TSO (Mothax) has an excellent roundup about the Stolen Valor Act which will be argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. He’ll be there, since he has a press pass to attend, and his insights as an attorney and veteran are always worth the time to read and consider.
Two points of his:
As I have said, this isn’t about an opinion or some material fact that the government has no interest in. The most obvious thing that keeps the Government from outlawing lies on Facebook about your marital status etc is that the people should vote out anyone that would go that far in office. This is about a verifiable statement of fact. One either has the medals, or does not. And the Government should be interested in this, since it directly impacts something under their purview, the awarding of medals to the military. The rules for governing the military, and the awarding of medals is right there in the Constitution.
This isn’t some slippery slope down a route where the Government can prosecute willy-nilly. What this is is an attempt to preserve to those who actually earned the medals the rightful honor they have returned.
Go and read the article, and bookmark TAH on your blogroll. It’s always worth a few minutes to read.
As for myself,
Broadly, this also goes to the heart of protecting the honorable service, and thus reputation, of every veteran.
I would have no problems with locking up anyone who falsely claimed to be a veteran. I would not be surprised to find that 90% of those folks we see panhandling, living on the streets, claiming to be a veteran have never served.
It’s just so damned easy to roll into a surplus store, grab a boonie hat, a blouse and some trinkets/patches and invent a new persona as a “homeless vet”. I personally know two who used to pull this scam until they were outed and had to leave the area.
These guys end up diverting funds to help them when those same funds could be used to help actual veterans in need, or to reduce our tax bills.
My simple solution, to go hand-in-hand with the Stolen Valor Act, is a National Veteran’s ID card, given to every veteran upon discharge. It could be like the VA Patient card, and have the Veteran’s DD-214 data on a swipe strip on the back, with an national data-base number to call, along with an image of the veteran on the front, and his branch of service and date of service on the front.
Having such a card would, to my mind, solve an awful lot of problems right off the top.
Regardless, I am hoping for a positive outcome that reinforces the SVA, but I’m not counting on it.
Seems to me we are all Tommy now, as the new variants attest:
O then we’re just like ‘eroes from the army’s glorious past.
Yes, it’s “God go with you, Tommy,” when the trip might be your last.
They pays us skivvy wages, never mind we’re sitting ducks,
When clerks what’s pushing pens at ‘ome don’t know their flippin’ luck.
“Ah, yes” sez they “but think of all the travel to be ‘ad.”
Pull the other one. Does Cooks do ‘olidays in Baghdad?
It’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, know your place,”
But it’s “Tommy, take the front seat,” when there’s terrorists to chase
. An’ the town is full of maniacs who’d like you dead toot sweet.
Yes, it’s “Thank you, Mr Atkins,” when they find you in the street.
There’s s’pposed to be a covenant to treat us fair an’ square
But I ‘ad to buy me army boots, an’ me combats is threadbare.
An’ ‘alf the bloody ‘elicopters can’t get in the air,
An’ me pistol jammed when snipers fired. That’s why I’m laid up ‘ere.
Yes, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, “We ‘ave to watch the pence”;
Bold as brass the P.M. sez, “We spare them no expense.
But I’ll tell you when they do us proud an’ pull out all the stops,
It’s when Tommy lands at Lyneham in a bloomin’ wooden box!.
Yeah, lying about military service and awards doesn’t cheapen the real veteran’s service now does it… bastards.