U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Stolen Valor Act

AMARILLO - The Supreme Court's ruling to no longer crack down on military imposters has many veterans outraged.

Thursday's ruling struck down the Stolen Valor Act, a law making it a federal crime to lie about being a decorated service person.

The news is not being taken lightly by local veteran organizations like the VFW and American Legion.

"Pinning medals on someone's uniform and asserting that they are extremely decorated to us is a slap in the face," Charles Frenzel with the American Legion said.

It's a slap in the face to people like Sharyn Walker.

Her husband lost his arm in the Vietnam War.

"This is my husbands purple heart," Sharyn Walker said.

She proudly displays the medal in her living room.

It's a sign of the sacrifice Sgt. Steve Walker made for his country.

"He was shot on 5 different occasions in Vietnam."

There are thousands of veterans who have earned the recognition over the years, but there's also been a recent increase in imposters.

In 2006, federal agents say there were more medal of honor imposters than actual living recipients.

"They're mocking us," Frenzel said. "That's the way we feel about it."

The Stolen Valor Act was passed to crack down on the fraud.

If caught, violators could serve time in prison and face fines of up to $100,000.

However, Frenzel says there was a loophole.

"After the criminal investigations were discovered, they really didn't have a way of prosecuting the people who were asserting these war records."

This happened because many of the imposters used the freedom of speech defense.

Now, the fact that anyone can pose as a member of the military, only further angers the families of veterans.

Imposters can still be arrested and face charges if they pose as military members to gain government funding or monetary contributions.

We're chatting about the topic on our Facebook page so get in on the conversation and let us know what you think!

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