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Old 12-20-2006, 04:49 AM
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Thumbs down RVN Service medal for sale

Just got my Cheaper Than Dirt shooters catalog in the mail yesterday and on the front cover I saw I could buy a RVN Service Medal and ribbon or a POW Medal and ribbon for $9.99. This really pisses me off. I'll probably see the guys on the corner wearing them pretty soon. I'll have to see how many I can collect
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Old 12-20-2006, 04:57 AM
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LT.
Go to any big gun show. All the metals , all the ribbons, all the everything military is/are for sale. If you can't find it there then any Army surplus store will fill in the remaining items. No getting shot at.
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Old 12-20-2006, 06:24 AM
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John,

There was a federal law prohibiting the sale of full sized medals for years. That law was recinded, I think by the Clinton Administration, or John Kerry. (He needed to get those suckers back after throwing them at the Capitol building)...Not sure.

I've always been against the sale of them but it's water over the dam now. Maybe the new Commander of the American Legion can buy one. When some prick stole my Purple Heart at the Naval Hospital I was even more pissed since now he can just buy one.

Pack
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Old 12-20-2006, 07:08 AM
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is the "Law of The land"...............Just not being enforced very well is seems!

Below is the full wording of the applicable statute.

###START###

United States Code


TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

PART I - CRIMES

CHAPTER 33 - EMBLEMS, INSIGNIA, AND NAMES



Section 700. Desecration Of The Flag Of The United States; Penalties
Section 701. Official Badges, Identification Cards, Other Insignia
Section 702. Uniform Of Armed Forces And Public Health Service
Section 703. Uniform Of Friendly Nation

Section 704. Military medals or decorations

(a) In General. - Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

(b) Congressional Medal of Honor. -

(1) In general. - If a decoration or medal involved in an
offense under subsection (a) is a Congressional Medal Honor,
in lieu of the punishment provided in that subsection, the
offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more
than 1 year, or both.

(2) Definitions. - (A) As used in subsection (a) with respect
to a Congressional Medal of Honor, "sells" includes trades,
barters, or exchanges for anything of value.

(B) As used in this subsection, "Congressional Medal of Honor"
means -

(i) a medal of honor awarded under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14;

(ii) a duplicate medal of honor issued under section 3754, 6256, or 8754 of title 10 or section 504 of title 14; or

(iii) a replacement of a medal of honor provided under section 3747, 6253, or 8747 of title 10 or section 501 of title 14.

##########################################

Section 705. Badge Or Medal Of Veterans' Organizations
Section 706. Red Cross
Section 707. 4-H Club Emblem Fraudulently Used
Section 708. Swiss Confederation Coat Of Arms
Section 709. False Advertising Or Misuse Of Names To Indicate Federal Agency
Section 710. Cremation Urns For Military Use
Section 711. Smokey Bear Character Or Name
Section 711a. Woodsy Owl Character, Name, Or Slogan
Section 712. Misuse Of Names, Words, Emblems, Or Insignia
Section 713. Use Of Likenesses Of The Great Seal Of The United States, The Seals Of The President And Vice President, The Seal Of The United States Senate, The Seal Of The United States House Of Representatives, And The Seal Of The United States Congress
Section 714. Repealed. Pub. L. 97-258, Sec. 2(D)(1)(B), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1058
Section 715. The Golden Eagle Insignia
Section 716. Police Badges


###END###

It looks as though the fine for unlawfully wearing a "MOH" is twice as much as any other medal, but there ARE fines and jail time involved with violations of any other medal(s) or awards as well. I suppose it's up to the judge involved if it ever gets to the judicial system.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:18 AM
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Gimpy,

That's interesting to say the least. I really do distinctly remember that the law was changed, which is why they are advertised now. Even the MOPH sells full sized Purple Hearts to members only, but have added them to their inventory when years ago, they, the official PH organization, was not allowed to sell them.

Confused in Beaufort.
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Old 12-20-2006, 09:42 AM
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You can get full sized medals on the Soldier City Site. I got a lot of my T-Shirts there.
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Old 12-20-2006, 10:27 AM
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John, USMilitaryStuff.com every thing that your local wannabe wants.

Purple Heart, $36.50
POW Medal, $17.95
GCM, $11.95
VN Campaign, $16.95
VN Service, $11.95
Try on a pair of Command Sgt. Maj. chevrons $6.25

+ S&H
Only thing I couldn't find on the site was a CMH But I'm sure you can buy that elsewhere

Didn't I tell you that I was a war hero? Here, check these out I have the medals to prove it.
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Old 12-21-2006, 10:46 AM
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Default Packo

Quote:
Originally posted by Packy Gimpy,

That's interesting to say the least. I really do distinctly remember that the law was changed, which is why they are advertised now. Even the MOPH sells full sized Purple Hearts to members only, but have added them to their inventory when years ago, they, the official PH organization, was not allowed to sell them.

Confused in Beaufort.

I found an interesting article at www.homeofheros.com web site that's devoted to solving this issue. I've copied and pasted a portion of it below. Hopefully this will clarify some of the misconceptions about this ongoing problem.

###START###


Closing the Loopholes
In Title 18 Regarding Military Awards
By Pamla M. Sterner, Senior
Colorado State University-Pueblo


Prosecuting Medal Fraud


Second Lieutenant John Wroblewski was the first New Jersey Marine to be killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Funeral Mass was held for him in April 2004 in his hometown and ironically, in F.B.I. Agent Tom Cottone?s own church. Agent Cottone attended the services to honor the memory of a fallen warrior. During the ceremony he was struck by the image of a Marine Corps captain sitting on the front row, attired in full-dress uniform with nearly two dozen ribbons indicating among others, the Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts (Martin).

Sensing something amiss when this highly-decorated Marine failed to stand smartly at attention during Taps, following the ceremony Agent Cottone sought an opportunity to visit with Captain Walter Carlson, who was eager to share the war stories of three combat tours in Vietnam that had earned him the awards he proudly displayed. As the bogus hero?s story became more and more obviously a fabrication, Agent Cottone identified himself and asked if Captain Carlson had actually earned the awards he wore. Confronted by the agent, Carlson admitted that he had not. Ultimately, in fact, he confessed that he had never even served in any branch of the military. The uniform, captain?s bars, and all the medals had been purchased, not earned (Martin).

Walter Carlson was arrested and charged under current statute with wearing unauthorized medals . Joseph Bill, Jr., the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.?s Newark division, in a newspaper interview noted the seriousness of the offense, stating that the F.B.I. would continue to pursue such frauds. ?The F.B.I.,? he said, ?will do whatever it takes to assist the military to ensure the integrity of its medals, especially now in a time of war (Martin).

By actually wearing the ribbons for unauthorized military awards, Walter Carlson was in violation of Federal Law and subject to prosecution. He is one in a long list of phony heroes who have been successfully prosecuted under Title 18. It seems, however, that many judges consider such an offense minor, and there is reluctance on the part of some district attorney?s to prosecute. Following the arrest of Walter Carlson, Agent Cottone was asked by reporters if indeed the imposter?s offense was not a rather trivial one. Agent Cottone?s response was revealing. ?The Marine we buried today earned the Purple Heart by giving his life,? Cottone noted. ?Walter Carlson got his Purple Heart for $30? (Cottone).

Walter Carlson was exposed almost by accident; Agent Cottone with his expert eye just happened to be in the right place at the right time. More commonly, these imposters are exposed as the result of tips which have become more frequent with advances in technology. Doug Sterner operates a large website at www.HomeOfHeroes.com which lists the names of each of the 3,460 recipients of the Medal of Honor since its inception, along with the text of the citations accompanying their award. He also has extensive information on all 120 living recipients, making it possible for anyone with a computer to quickly verify an individual?s claim to being a Medal of Honor recipient.

Sterner?s website also lists the names of all 191 recipients of the Air Force Cross, all 6,925 recipients of the Navy Cross, and more than half of the more than 13,365 recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross. His website is used by both the Pentagon and the F.B.I. to verify awards of the top two medals in the military?s Pyramid of Honor. On May 19, 2002, Sterner received an email from an individual who had seen a photo on the desk of a man in Kansas City with the last name Tufts, showing him wearing a Navy Rear Admiral?s uniform with a SEAL insignia and a Medal of Honor ribbon. That information was turned over to Agent Tom Cottone who launched an investigation. Tufts is the case referred to earlier who, when confronted, flashed a false N.S.A. identification card on F.B.I. agents, and then gave a false name. Ultimately, he was charged, pled guilty, and was sentenced for his crime. He also had an outstanding warrant for other criminal activity in Louisiana not related to his medal fraud (Sterner).

Revisions in the U.S. Code governing the manufacture and wearing of Medals of Honor or other unearned awards have effectively removed Medals of Honor from the American market place. It has also made it much easier to prosecute individuals like Walter Carlson who was caught wearing ribbons denoting unauthorized awards, or Mr. Tufts who was photographed wearing a Medal of Honor ribbon.

Those individuals who somehow still manage to purchase or otherwise obtain one of the hundreds of illicit Medals of Honor or Medal of Honor ribbons still hidden on the market, dare not wear them. Current technology almost insures that they will be quickly identified as imposters, and if there is evidence that they wore the award, they may be prosecuted and may be sentenced to jail time.

In this regard, current legislation has been quite effective. The only Medals of Honor appearing on E-bay in the last year were medals being sold in Germany or the United Kingdom, beyond the F.B.I.s jurisdiction. In one recently advertised E-bay sale, the seller indicated in his web page that he would only sell to buyers who resided in the United Kingdom. For all intents and purposes, the word is out and spreading rapidly that it is against the law to sell or trade a Medal of Honor, and that violators in the United States will be prosecuted. With this diminishing supply of Medals of Honor to give credence to an individual?s false claims to the award, and the publication recently of numerous news stories regarding prosecution of imposters like Cotta, Carlson, and Tufts, one would believe that the number of imposters would have dropped dramatically.


Loopholes in the Law


On October 1, 2002 , Mr. Sterner received an email from Diane Mary Hossley in Tennessee regarding an individual named Lawrence Hammer that she believed to be a Medal of Honor imposter. The text of that email is quite revealing in understanding the criminal intent of many of the men who use the honor associated with military awards to prey on others:

?Mr. Hammer claims to be a former Navy Seal who won the Medal of Honor for being shot twice inVietnam.I am a VA employee at Bay Pines VA Medical Center, Bay Pines. Mr. Hammer was a patient and a CWT worker at this hospital when I met him. I was widowed3/3/01, and Mr. Hammer knew about the time I spent taking care of my husband before he died. Mr. Hammer conned myself and many people here at the VA by claiming Navy Seal status and Medal of Honor receipient (sic). He used a fraudulent (sic) DD-214 to gain employment and care. He moved in with me 4/02 and convinced me that he was an excellant (sic) craftsman and would have a very successful business restoring period furniture (he claimed to have had a business (Sawtooth Woodworking) in Savannah, Ga. and was very successful until a woman ruined his business. Mr. Hammer took me for over $45,000. in tools and a truck, money and jewelery (sic) of my late husbands (sic). He took off on Aug. 16th, 2002.I have since had contact with a Susin Tyler-Mitchel in Savannah who told me he did exactly the same thing to her! He also did this to a woman in S. Carolina named Krissy (I have no last name) who had him arrested for domestic violence. He has an outstanding warrant (sic) in S.Carolin (sic) for Probation violation. Ms. Tyler-Mitchel said I was fortunate as she was beaten and chocked (sic) by this man before he left her. This man is a danger to society and especially to women, I am afraid some one will be killed by him, if it has not been done already. He told myself and many people here at the VA that he was trained to KILL in the SEALS and has already killed one man that had molested his daughter, Mr. Hammer has no children and has never been married according to his Father in Billings, Montana (I found his dad on the internet and called him). This man is a preditor (sic) of women with his cunning actions and intelligence. I want to see this man exposed before any more women are taken in by him. Thank you. (Sterner)

Mr. Sterner submitted this information to Agent Tom Cottone in order to open an investigation. On February 21, 2003, ABC Action News in Tampa, Florida, exposed Mr. Hammer?s lies. Diane Hossley bravely shared with news reporters how she was conned and swindled by Mr. Hammer. When confronted by Action News reporters, Mr. Hammer cursed and threatened ?Get that (camera) out of my face!? (ABC).


An online video of the news cast regarding Mr. Hammer?s fraud, including interviews with Diane Hossley, can be seen online at: http://www.abcactionnews.com/stories...fakeseal.shtml

If sufficient evidence of the fraud or larceny allegedly committed by Mr. Hammer against Ms Hossley and perhaps other women could have been proved, this criminal could have been prosecuted. Nothing, however, can be done about his false claims of being a Medal of Honor recipient. Though Mr. Hammer repeatedly used this line to work his way into the hearts of women and the confidence of others, there is no evidence that he ever possessed or wore the Medal of Honor. Hammer therefore, avoids prosecution by slipping through a loop-hole in the legislation intended to protect the integrity of our military heroes.

More recently Sterner reported on a current investigation, uncovered with a resident[1] of a small town in Arizona sent him a copy of their newspaper printed the day before Veterans? Day 2004. The newspaper featured the story of a local military hero and veteran spanning one-and-a-half full pages, complete with photos. The individual claimed to have earned two Silver Stars, one of which was received for heroism in the first Gulf War. He further claims to have participated in the 1993 Mogadishu action immortalized in the Hollywood movie ?Blackhawk Down? while noting, ?I declined to talk to Hollywood about it. I did not give any interviews? (Reno).

This individual further claims to have been part of the U.S. Army element that captured Sadaam Hussein, and his display of medals includes two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart, among other awards. He further states that he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which is not shown in his display case. Regarding that award, the Army?s second-highest award, the news story reported, ?Only his Distinguished Service Cross is missing. That was buried recently with a godfather who helped raise him as a youngster? (Reno).

Since the end of the Vietnam War only two Distinguished Service Crosses have been awarded, and neither was to the individual named in the news story (Sterner). Under the loopholes in current legislation, this individual was able to dupe his local newspaper and his community, yet little can be done to him. It is not against the law for him to display medals, nor would he be in violation if his display case actually included a Distinguished Service Cross . The Medal of Honor is the only American military medal prohibited from sale. And personal claims aside, unless the individual actually wears an award they did not honestly earn, they cannot be prosecuted under the law (Cottone).

Furthermore, while it is against the law to sell the Medal of Honor, ribbon or rosette, it is NOT against the law to sell a bogus CERTIFICATE. E-bay has frequently displayed advertisements for BLANK citations for the Medal of Honor, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, or Distinguished Service Cross. (See Appendix B for examples) These blank citations are identical to the actual citations, and the intent of one who purchases them is quite clear. It is a simple matter to fill in the blank lines with one?s own name, write a few lines about a heroic deed, frame the certificate and hang it on the wall to announce to the world that you are one of America?s most honored heroes. Despite all such activity, the imposter would not have violated any law (Sterner).

Illinois District Judge Michael O?Brian actually possessed TWO Medals of Honor, both of which hung prominently in a frame on the wall of his courtroom. Everyone in his city believed their judge was not only an honorable man of the judicial profession, but one of America?s greatest heroes.[1] There can be no doubt about the judge?s intent in the display of these two awards, and he may well have escaped disclosure of his lie had he not tried to carry his fraud too far. Illinois provided valid Medal of Honor recipients with distinctive license plates for their personal vehicles. When Judge O?Brian applied for his Medal of Honor plates, someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles contacted a true recipient who was an acquaintance and learned that Judge O?Brian was a fraud (Pueblo).

Judge O?Brian?s lies were subsequently exposed but he avoided prosecution. While it is against the law to manufacture, wear, buy, sell, or trade the Medal of Honor, it is not a criminal offense to possess one or display it on your wall. Unless evidence could be found indicating that the judge had committed any of the aforementioned, he was innocent of any crime. ?We couldn?t prosecute O?Brien under federal law because he wasn?t actually wearing the Medal, which is illegal for an impostor to do,? Cottone explained (Pueblo).

Doug Sterner points out that medal fraud takes on two forms. ?There is a difference between a much-decorated and a highly-decorated veteran,? he states. He notes that some individuals may have many rows of ribbons or numerous medals, all of which may be quite low in the Pyramid of Honor. A quantity of medals does not necessarily indicate someone who has seen combat, but may in fact simply denote an individual with many years of service, and many overseas deployments. He notes, however, that the sight of multiple rows of medals are generally perceived by the public, who may not recognize the ribbons as being ordinary decorations presented for good conduct or service, and think they are seeing a great hero. Sterner believes that these phony heroes are well-covered under existing legislation. He says that the much-decorated veteran usually has to WEAR the medals in order to convey the message they want to give others. Under existing law, wearing ANY medal regardless how common or how low in the rank of precedence, is illegal if the award has not been issued under duly approved orders (Sterner).

The presence of a single medal or ribbon, if it represents the Medal of Honor, quickly elevates the wearer above the highest ranking general with multiple rows of ribbons. Such an individual is a HIGHLY-DECORATED veteran. Because the Medal of Honor, as well as the DSC, Navy Cross, and Air Force Cross are so highly regarded, it is often sufficient for an individual to be known to have been awarded it, whether they wear it or not. For this reason a number of individuals can skirt the law, doctoring blank citations, putting lies on resumes and/or websites, or even by stating in a public address that they are a recipient of any one of these top awards, and quickly receive great respect and acclaim without violating any law.


Closing the Loop Holes


Tom Cottone is concerned with the increasing number of cases of medal fraud he cannot prosecute because the perpetrators have skirted the law, never stepping over the boundary. ?Most of these impostors are men who have never seen combat,? he said. ?They need to feel important, to be someone, and pretending to be a Medal recipient is a way to do that. They like to claim it?s a victimless crime, but they are stealing the honor from men who gave their lives for this country and from any veteran who served.? Agent Cottone further noted that such claims can bring fraudulent monetary gain. ?Let?s say you?ve got a real estate company or some other business and you just happen to mention in your literature or advertising that you received the Medal of Honor in Vietnam or somewhere. Don?t you think that would bring you a little more business than your competitors? It (medal fraud) does pay off for those guys until they?re caught,? (Pueblo).

The real problem is, even when these impostors are caught, in too many cases they cannot be prosecuted for committing a crime. The loop hole requiring them to WEAR the medal for charges to be filed means the worst that can happen is exposure and public humiliation. While this may be severe in some cases, to date the potential for such has failed to deter the increase in cases of medal fraud.


Ignoring the Problem

When faced with this situation it is possible to simply ignore the problem and proclaim medal fraud a ?victimless crime? that does not warrant further attention. This option is a status quo approach in the belief that it is sufficient to protect the Medal of Honor as an object, without protecting the integrity of the true heroes who have received it.

Ignoring the problem can only lead to increased numbers of what are commonly called ?wannabe heroes? speaking in our schools, marching in local parades, and providing role-models for our future heroes. It is also evident from past examples that many of these impostors will use the notoriety and respect the Medal of Honor, POW status, or other high military awards evokes, for personal gain, often even at the great expense of others. Dianne Hossely was so enamored with the (false) heroic service of Lawrence Hammer that she allowed him to use her credit cards with which he ran up thousands of dollars of debt. She also co-signed on a truck for Hammer, never suspecting that a man of such character as to earn the Medal of Honor, would fail to make payments on it. Ultimately, Ms Hossely was forced to file for bankruptcy while Lawrence Hammer escaped without charges for his deceit.


Protecting the Integrity of the Medal?s True Recipients


A far more preferable alternative would be to make the necessary changes in the U.S. Code to protect not only the medal itself, but the reputation of the true heroes who wear or were awarded it posthumously. Such a step would involve re-writing the legislation to make it a crime to knowingly and/or fraudulently impersonate a Medal of Honor recipient, whether the medal was worn or not. Under this option an individual applying for Medal of Honor license plates, forging certificates or documentation, intentionally publishing information identifying one?s self as a Medal of Honor recipient, and similar activities, could be prosecuted for medal fraud.

This alternative to the problem would establish penalties for committing criminal impersonation of a Medal of Honor recipient. Such statute would not be without precedence, already there are various state laws governing criminal impersonation ranging from misdemeanor to felony offenses. In most states it is illegal to impersonate law enforcement officers, physicians, attorneys, and others. As the Medal of Honor is an award established by Congress, authorized by Federal action and protected under the U.S. Code, criminal impersonation of a Medal of Honor recipient should be addressed in Title 18, Chapter 33, ? 704 with the addition of the simple phrase:


?Whoever knowingly and fraudulently wears and/or represents him or her self as having received a Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both".


Protecting the Integrity of Highly-Decorated Americans


Doug Sterner notes that while technology has made it easier to identify fraudulent Medal of Honor recipients, the increased risk for Medal of Honor impostors has spawned a rash of wannabe heroes of less daring nature. He states that since there have only been 3,460 Medal of Honor recipients and only 120 are currently living, a Medal of Honor phony is quick to spot. There have been nearly 21,000 awards of the military?s second level of awards the DSC, Navy Cross, and Air Force Cross. Sterner estimates that there may be as many as 5,000 living recipients of these three lesser, but still highly-regarded awards. Those who would attempt to portray themselves as heroes today are more inclined to fraudulently claim one of these three awards as there is less risk of exposure. Despite the fact that these are second to the Medal of Honor they are still rare awards, (21,481 awarded out of more than 32,000,000 veterans who have served since they were authorized,) and yet any one of the three evokes great respect and high admiration for what they represent. Recipients of the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross, or the Silver Star are all eligible for membership in the Legion of Honor that represents those awarded our nation?s top THREE levels of military awards for valor (Sterner).

It is the recommendation of this report that legislation protecting the Medal of Honor from criminal impersonation also include the Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart, indeed perhaps, ALL military decorations. Agent Tom Cottone recently noted, "We (F.B.I.) don' t say that we will only prosecute counterfeiting $5, $10, $20 dollar bills or larger, but that counterfeiting $1 bills is so minor as to not warrant immediate attention." So too, the man or woman who wears ANY unearned military award, regardless how low on the Pyramid of Honor, is no less an imposter, and should therefore be considered no less a threat to the honor of our military awards system (Sterner).

Doug Sterner notes that in recent months there have been four to five times more impostors wearing DSCs, Navy Crosses, and Air Force Crosses, than have been reported wearing the Medal of Honor (Sterner). Because the number of recipients of these three is relatively few (less than 22,000 total), this third policy alternative should be adopted. Such action would amend Title 18 (U.S.C.), Chapter 33, ? 174 as follows :


(a) In General.--Whoever knowingly wears, manufactures, or sells any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, or

?Whoever knowingly and fraudulently wears and/or represents him or her self as having received a Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross, or other military award or decoration, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.?

(b) Congressional Medal of Honor.?

(1) In general.--If a decoration or medal involved in an offense under subsection (a) is a Congressional Medal of Honor, in lieu of the punishment provided in that subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(2) Definitions.--(A) As used in subsection (a) with respect to a Congressional Medal of Honor, ``sells'' includes trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value.

(B) As used in this subsection, ``Congressional Medal of Honor'' means--

(i) a medal of honor awarded under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14;

(ii) a duplicate medal of honor issued under section 3754, 6256, or 8754 of title 10 or section 504 of title 14; or

(iii) a replacement of a medal of honor provided under section 3747, 6253, or 8747 of title 10 or section 501 of title 4.



The fiscal impact of this proposal is negligible beyond the cost of investigation, prosecution, and disposition. Mr. Sterner notes that by including the second level of awards of the Pyramid of Honor in the amendment, as well as all other awards below these, it will place demands on the U.S. Military to compile a roll of honor for these awards. The roll of the names of Medal of Honor recipients has been well-kept and widely published as such was ordered by Congress in the legislation of 1918. There isn?t a full database for recipients of awards other than the Medal of Honor. Sterner has personally generated and posted in his website the complete roll of honor for the 191 recipients of the Air Force Cross, and is convinced that his list of 6,925 recipients of the Navy Cross is 99.9% complete and accurate. He has further compiled the list of all DSC which he believes is 99.9% complete and accurate. His database, though used by the F.B.I., the Pentagon, and other official military historians, is an unofficial one (Sterner).

?It is a tragedy,? Sterner states, ?that the men and women who have been so highly honored as to receive the DSC, Navy Cross, or Air Force Cross have virtually faded into oblivion in American history.? According to Sterner, without an official roll of honor for these awards, it often takes considerable time and expense to verify awards when potential imposters are found wearing or claiming them. The expense of generating an official roll of honor for the second level of the military?s Pyramid of Honor will in time be off-set by saving money in the current cost of investigation. It is only right that the posterity of these heroes have readily available historical documentation of their loved-one?s deeds of valor (Sterner). Furthermore, it is quite in keeping with the precedence for military awards established by General George Washington when he introduced the first military awards in 1782.


Summary of Policy Options


Both Mr. Doug Sterner and F.B.I. Agent Tom Cottone, two of the most respected authorities on military awards alive today, believe it is incumbent upon Congress to take steps quickly to close up the loophole that has generated a rash of bogus war heroes. The two men believe that whenever a veteran visits a school, the students who hear their stories of patriotism and service deserve to know that the message they hear is coming from a genuine hero, not a Walter Mitty who has fabricated his or her heroism.

Abuse will doubtless continue. Not all wannabe heroes claim medals fraudulently, some simply claim veteran status for matters of personal pride, to evoke sympathy, or to try and obtain veterans? benefits. Doug Sterner estimates that millions of dollars of Veterans benefits each year are stolen by bogus heroes, sometimes bogus veterans, who have phonied up their DD-214 (discharge papers). Such impersonation is so rampant as to be almost impossible to address and prosecute. In most of these cases, exposure and public humiliation must serve as punishment. More importantly, the bogus veterans, when exposed, are at least taken out of circulation.

Those who are acclaimed as heroes however, men and women awarded our nation?s top military decorations, deserve to have their sacrifice and valor protected from the unscrupulous. This can be quickly and efficiently accomplished with the proposed revision to the U.S. Code, thereby enabling Agent Cottone and other dedicated law enforcement officers to rid our society of those who would pretend to be dedicated patriots, when they are only self-serving thieves.


###END###
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"We have shared the incommunicable experience of war..........We have felt - we still feel - the passion of life to its top.........In our youth our hearts were touched with fire"

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:59 AM
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Packo Packo is offline
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Gimpy, thanks for the time, effort, and finding this incredible article. Looks like it is legal to make the full sized medals and someday a law to protect them all.

Pack
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Old 12-21-2006, 12:25 PM
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Today, 1996.....I still cannot understand how so many women, can be so manipulative to believe any scum bag who comes along line, hook and sinker.
I believe this is a result from too many women reading too many love novels where on the last page the female character rides away into the sun-set with a very handsome man who's a muli billionare and deeply in love with her. Then some 2 cents con artist pops into their life who's war stories are about as phony as a three dollar bill to the average lamon man, but it's gospel truth to many women because they "want" all those war stories he's feeding them to be true.
You walk into any doctors office waiting room, beauty shop, laundromat, etc and you'll see many women reading paper back love novels. I think many women fantasize about being swept away by some of these male characters in these romace novels.
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