Tester, Heller introduce measure to protect honor of military service
‘Stolen Valor’ Act makes it a crime to profit from lying about military service
(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are joining forces to uphold the honor of military service with the introduction of the Stolen Valor Act in the United States Senate today. This legislation makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving a military decoration or medal, like the Medal of Honor, in order to profit or benefit financially.
“Courageous military heroes earn awards like the Medal of Honor with their actions on the battlefield,” Tester said. “Lying about military service is dishonorable and an insult to the brave men and women of our armed forces. I’ll keep pressing to make sure we only honor our true American heroes.”
“Our military men and women continue to put themselves in harm’s way to protect American interests abroad. Congress must do all that it can to preserve the integrity of the decorations and medals awarded to those who have served our country. I’m grateful to Representative Heck for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with Senator Tester to pass this legislation into law,” said Senator Dean Heller.
Representative Joe Heck (NV-3) introduced counterpart legislation in the House of Representatives on January 15, 2013.
Senator Max Baucus is a co-sponsor of the legislation.
“Thousands of Montanans and their families have stepped up to serve this country, and it’s an absolute disgrace that anyone would capitalize on their sacrifices to turn a quick buck,” Baucus said.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled a previous version of the bill unconstitutional due to concerns that it infringed upon free speech. Tester and Heller specifically rewrote the measure to address the court’s concerns about Constitutionality.
Tester is also pushing the Defense Department to develop a comprehensive database for military awards like medals, citations, and ribbons. Tester says better record keeping will prevent the improper awarding of service awards.