By Taylor Lynne Trentwood
Veterans from the WWII era, Vietnam vets, Korean War and Gulf war ex-military are calling into talk shows in a state of real fury. They are amazed and angered about the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court panel.
Today that panel ruled (two to one ) that is was not a crime to lie about medals earned in these and other wars. It also holds that there is no penalty to lie about having done military service. Imitators and fakers may share a total fabrication of their own imagination and they will not be subject to any consequence under the law. This ruling reverses a former finding.
The “Stolen Valor “concept made such falsified claims illegal. The “Stolen Valor” movement and then law were designed to honor those who served and to disallow other people from falsely claiming military service.
This enormous outcry in opposition to the Ninth Court ruling was not expected. It has garnered far more attention that was predicted. Civilians do not generally appreciate the deeply emotional tie that veterans have with that part of their life that was sacrificed for their fellow man. Perhaps this is why the large cry of outrage was unexpected.
Now, the Ninth Court Panel is under heavy verbal fire by these heroic ex-military men and women and understandably so. People who have given years of the lives and exposed themselves to danger of life and limb are outraged that others can claim that same history. What they have done for us is truly unique and they rightfully want their contribution held as sacred and separate. When others lie in order to join that elite circle, they dishonor every one who has served.
This outcry continues in Veteran Hospital settings and retired military social organizations around the entire country. Anyone who would dare to count themselves among these real heroes is committing a truly shameful act. A discovery of their lie will drop them so far down in the estimation of those they try to impress will more than undo any momentary impressions that they might make initially.
The court ruled, in part, under the Freedom of Speech umbrella. Yet, this discussion is far from over as far as our Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine veterans are concerned.
Perhaps we need to find even more validating ways to recognize and to acknowledge our veterans. There is discussion brewing in just this regard. We will continue to report on this growing controversy.