The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) monitors all legislation affecting veterans, alerts VFW membership to key legislation under consideration and actively lobbies Congress and the administration on veterans issues. With VFW’s own priority goals in mind, combined with the support of 2 million members of VFW and its auxiliaries, our voice on “the Hill” cannot be ignored!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Stolen Valor Act Introduced

This week, Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nevada, introduced VFW-supported legislation making it a crime to knowingly benefit from lying about receiving a military valor medal. The Stolen Valor Act of 2013, or H.R. 258, is similar to the bill that passed the House last session but never made it into the final Senate-House National Defense Authorization Act agreement.

VFW has been very vocal and intimately involved in the stolen valor debate, providing an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in defense of the previous iteration of the Stolen Valor Act. The bill currently has 63 original cosponsors and was referred for consideration to the House Judiciary Committee, the same panel that approved Heck’s bill last year.

Heck’s latest effort is an attempt to reinstate penalties for lying about being a military hero. The Supreme Court struck down the previous law last summer on grounds that it infringed on free speech rights. Violators would face a fine and up to one year imprisonment. The fine could be up to the amount of money or property a person received as a result of the lie.

The bill does not cover every military award, just those for valor or proof of combat veteran status. The list includes the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Air Force Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart. Also covered would be campaign badges, including the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Combat Action Badge, the Combat Medical Badge, Combat Action Ribbon and Combat Action Medal.

Your VFW looks forward to working with Heck and his staff on getting the bill passed, and we will keep you posted on progress as the bill advances in the new Congress. Check back regularly for updates.

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  1. I am pleased to see this bill come to the hopper. However, as a Life member of the VFW, I am disappointed in our organization for not speaking out about the obvious attacks on our Constitution by this Administration. I refer to not simply efforts to infringe on our 2nd Amendment Rights. But, to the Presidents usurpation of Congress and criminal support of al_Qaeda and their affiliates. Obama's decision to make war on Libya was done in violation of the Nixon era War Powers Act. His decision to finance the Muslim Brotherhood's rise to power, and now to provide this Islamist organization with our best military equipment make Obama a existential threat to the National Security of the United States. Moreover, it is well documented that at least six members of his administration are alleged to be operatives, or at the very least, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    I hereby call on our brothers and sisters who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution to honor your oath! Speak out for Liberty and the support of this Republic.

  2. These fake people who pretend to be real vets need to be reprimanded.Make it a felony and prison time,there are too many phonies out there and VFW,in some post's,like in and around Greeley,Colorado have allowed non combat vets to join VFW.This is a disgrace and a slap in the face to those of us that had to stick our necks out in some hell hole like Vietnam.

  3. About time. Our post had a post cdr. that was a complete fake and was caught by our state VFW department,(De.). They did not want to get involved and neither did VFW National. Even though he walked away with funds that could of helped other (real) veterans that needed help. Even sent e-mails to the FBI several times to no avail or response. I pray for justice for our Justice Department to act in the best intrest of our veterans and tru Americans.

    God bless America
    B. Smith
    Seaford, DE.

  4. I don't agree with the term "real vets". If they served, they are veterans. Just because they didn't serve in combat doesn't mean they didn't take the oath, train, and be prepared to fight. Part of the problem we already have is the civilian population not understanding who our veterans are. We don't need to have that same battle with our own brothers and sisters that wore the uniform. While I don't agree with the VFW allowing non-war veterans to join their ranks, I would urge you to contact the leadership and voice your concerns. With that said, this is a great bill that I hope will pass this time. I fully support freedom of speech, and laced up my desert boots to defend it; however, no one should be able to benefit by lying about their service.

  5. Even if the subject doesn't directly involve our President,those select few for the select few use this comment board to attack President Obama.Need to move on and try helping not getting in the way.

  6. We have a 'veteran ' who wears the Vietnam service medals ,claims he has PTSD and was sprayed with agent orange ,he looks like a Christmas tree with all the phony medals he wears and has all over his truck & motorcycle,found out he was stationed in Okinawa for his tour of duty . I am sickened by his phony war stories so I confronted him,he is so far into his lies he believes himself. SORRY but I had to sound off. From : Doc ,Reconnaissance Platoon 25th Infantry Division Vietnam 67-68.


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