Dr. Boozman's Check-up

With Memorial Day approaching, the Senate unanimously voted this week to send an important bill to the White House that will protect the integrity of military honors.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 will make it a federal crime to profit from lies about military medals.

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down a 2006 law that made it a crime to lie about receiving the Medal of Honor and other prized military awards.  While the Court called the false claims contemptible," the Justices said that it was nonetheless protected speech under the First Amendment.

This bill fixes a flaw in the original law that led the Justices to strike it down by narrowing the scope to focus on those profiting from false claims. 

Along with the Medal of Honor, the bill also defines “combat badge” to mean the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Combat Action Badge, Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon or Combat Action Medal.

Punishment includes fines, imprisonment up to one year, or both.

Our decorated veterans have sacrificed immensely to earn their awards. Anyone falsely profiting off of awards they did not earn degrade the sacrifices of our veterans. President Obama should sign this bill so that there is legal recourse for prosecution of such shameful acts.

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