Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

The JWV Decries Verdict in Stolen Valor Case

July 2010



The Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) staunchly opposes the recent decision by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Blackburn which ruled that the Stolen Valor Act is "facially unconstitutional" because it violates free speech.

The Stolen Valor Act is a three-year old law which makes it a crime to falsely claim to have been awarded military medals and ribbons from military service. The JWV agrees completely with U.S. Representative John Salazar (D-CO), a sponsor of the legislation, who reacted to the decision by commenting that, "The individuals who violate this law are those who knowingly portray themselves as pillars of the community for personal and monetary gain. The Stolen Valor Act has been upheld by other courts, and I am confident this decision will be overturned on appeal."

The Stolen Valor Act is about more than free speech - it is about theft, theft of the honor of those who have served their country, and in many cases spilled their blood for their country. For others to claim to have done so is to dishonor the service of theses brave men and women and to have stolen this service from them.

It is not a victimless crime, not to veterans. It diminishes the value of these medals if anyone can wear them. Recognition of Valor is a small price to pay for courageous acts in defense of our Nation. It should not be tarnished by acts demeaning that recognition.

Those who challenged this law never put on a uniform and served this Country. If they had, they would know how veterans respect the medals they earned in combat. To veterans, medals earned in combat zones are sacred symbols.

The JWV serves those who have served our country. They, and only they, have the right to wear these honors - honors they have earned with their blood.

If the legislation must be amended in order to pass Constitutional muster, the JWV demands that such amendments be brought before the Congress as soon as possible.

Those who have served our country deserve our thanks, our recognition, and our gratitude…they do not deserve to have others allowed to pretend to have served. Imposters are thieves.

The JWV supports free speech; the JWV condemns theft.

 

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