Today from Military.com the 9th US Circuit court has ruled: "Wearing unearned military metals is free speech." Its a sad day.
What else would you expect from the 9th Circuit?
Our Legal system has no clue as to what those EARNED Medals mean to us Vets. Shame on them and anyone who wears un-earned patches, strips or medals. A sad day indeed along with the lowering of our Confederate Flag, those brave soldiers would turn in their graves. I group the South Carolina gov. with Hanoi Jane. Just my opinion.
That's how it is today, everyone is entitled to everything at no personal cost whatsoever.
So, freedom of speech is what it's called? What they are speaking, is that they are thieves. Not of property, but of a thing far more valuable: valor. Despicable.
I hate to be a picker of nits, but significant military medals are not earned, they are awarded on the basis of actions above and beyond the call of duty.
Any idiot who would bring legal action to establish as a matter of law that wearing something of such significance to which you are not entitled simply reduces them and any court that would make such an asinine decision to a level that deserves the total disrespect they have earned.
Its just one more thing to demean the honor of the military and all of us that have served. Remember this when you vote!
Military imposters, are frowned upon here in the antipodes. Its a chargeable offence for those still serving and dismissal from any post-service organisation, such as the RSL.
During WWI, my grandfather was recommended to receive the DCM, a near miss for a VC, but it was never awarded.
Certain members of my family have decided that, "hey, lets include a replica DCM with his other medals anyway and wear them on ANZAC & Remembrance Days".
Despite my urgings/warnings not do do so, they go ahead anyway, saying things like "well he earned it anyway". I'm waiting for someone "official" to "publicly" point out that they are fraudulently breaking the law.
A few years ago in the USA, it was illegal to sell any medals at flea markets and antique stores, but I see them for sale quite frequently now.
We referred to the circular 'peace sign' as "Tracks of the great American CHICKEN!" Those are likely the ones also claiming 'free speech'....
The case is over a chap who joined the marines after the Korean war. He was discharged honorable in 1957. He believed he has the RIGHT to wear, (get this), the Purple Heart and Silver Star.
And I was the only person who flew a B-1 bomber in WW1. I(me)have that right to say that.
Hey the guy may yet get a purple heart qualification if he opens his trap in public while among the wrong crowd since others still have freedom of thought at least until the thought police era arrives.
Am hearing you about "WW1"..... We will always have the 'pompous idiots of entitlement' among us. Sooner or later, another vet will pin those medals into the proper place for HIM.... "Where the sun doesn't shine!" (Suspecting you know what my reference to be.) "Hoo-Yah!"
I am NOT a military reenactor , but with my restored military vehicles, I am often at the same events as them. They go out of their way to accurately display the period uniforms of the time and many wear rank insignia that they, obviousely did not earn. But most of them will go out of their way to not display campaign riddons or decorations for medals of bravery out of respect. And, as most of these "kids" are in their teens and twentys, no one reasonably presumes they actually earned their rank or medals during WWII jumping with the 101st airborn into Normandy. But they still are very respectful for those that did.
I remember years ago, the publisher of the Arizona newspaper resigning after it was discovered that most of, if not his entire military history was bogus. Kinda like Kerry's.
"Duty above all else, except Honor"
If this has to be explained, those asking will never understand.
Remember, boys and girls, it IS the era of American Idol, and everyone wants to be a "star" !!!
If you walked the walk, you know what honor is yours. All the flapjawed feelgooders can say
and do what they will, they cannot take honor away from those who truly gave of themselves.
Part of owning honor is the stoicism of watching fools be fools and having the grace to know
Newsflash ! 30% of humans are scum.
I once owned and restored a 1951 M-38 jeep. Since I never served in the military I never felt right driving it. I let it go to someone who was a vet. It is the only antique vehicle to leave my collection so far.
As a Viet-Nam vet, I look at the flag in my front yard everyday and thank the good Lord that I live in this wonderful country. Our country is full of lightweights and here is a perfect example. God bless our troops.
My uncle served in Vietnam and 2 metals were awarded but never made to him. Recently he went to a reunion of the group of folks he served with and someone helped get it straightened out.They made a shadow box with all his metals in it and it is on the wall now in their living room.
My family will make sure those metals don't wind up in the wrong hands as they understand what he went thru to get them.
But to those septic tank dwellers that want to steal or buy metals and wear them that did not earn them ,I hope there is a special place in Hade's for them.
I wonder how the 9th circuit would feel if I were to wear one of their robes and falsify credentials to make my self a judge, would that also be free speech? I hope one of them finds themselves getting surgery from a poser surgeon, after all why do we need standards it's all free speech right?????
The issue really is in the context. I was never in the military; if I was attempting to pass myself off as a veteran by wearing the apparel of a soldier, I would be demeaning all members of the military. If I am wearing a uniform and medals as an actor in a reenactment of a military battle, I'm doing it out of respect. My brother received the combat badge and his unit the "toilet seat" patch representing the Presidential Unit Citation. Someone who just put on the badge isn't exercising his right to free speech - he's lying. I realize that there is no law against lying (unless you are under oath), but it's not the kind of free speech that should be protected. Shame on the court.
I LIKE it!
Ever hear of Stolen Valor? That is a law.
If I wrote what I really thought about the court ruling I would be kicked off the board and banned forever plus one day.
Comments like "stealing valor" "disrespect" "lying" and "thievery" come part way but only scratch the surface of my contempt for what the judge said.
I can't believe what is happening to my country.
I heard somewhere that John Kerry threw his medals over the Whitehouse fence. I suppose it wasn't that hard to replace his rifle qualification badge and civil defense ribbon.
Kerry walks into a bar. bartender asks; "why the long face?"
I'm sorry, I shouldn't have subjected y'all to something so ridiculous! It's just that kind of day!
I have never served (my draft lottery number was 357--only lottery I ever "won"), but I am in complete agreement that only those who were awarded a medal should be allowed to wear one, except for re-enactments, etc. (and even then, couldn't they have a "look-alike" version, so no one would be confused?).
There is a reason many refer to the 9th court as the "9th CIRCUS court."
Just watched "The Big Short" and am really disgusted with how our moral & ethical standards have collapsed.
BTW, the biggest problem with the "Peace Movement" as I remember it was the lack of respect it foisted on those who put their lives on the line and those that gave their last full measure of devotion.
Is it bad that some kids wear their grandfathers medals to the war memorial service on ANZAC day? (ANZAC day being a war memorial day in the southern hemisphere)
Didn't think it was bad myself.
578th Field Maint. Heavy Equipt Repair Germany 54 thru 56.
Kep there is a huge difference between honoring and pretending. As for re-enactors, I'm sure everyone realizes no one from the civil war is still alive or ww1 or... you get my point. Also I'm sure re-enactors understand they wear their uniforms as an example of the times. All understandable.
What this guy is doing is more a disgrace for his lack of respect for everything he served for. My late father-in-law earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star with sweat and blood chasing germans across Europe. He is a hero. This guy is a fake.
I agree with Tyrone and don't have a problem with kids wearing their grandfather's medals on special days in remembrance of him and what he did for his country.
It is the fakes that bother me.
I wonder if someone beat the crap out of that idiot if they could claim that it was an expression of "free speech"? Seems to me to make just as much sense. Dave
Viet Nam Vet
As I was running around town doing some errands I couldn't get this thread out of my mind. To say I'm bothered by this court decision fails to adequately express my contempt.
I did realize something. So, if I walk around wearing a Congressional Medal of Honor, which I apparently have a first amendment right to do, then do I rate a salute?
I surely was not present to hear arguments or the decision, but the fact that my example above exists indicates to me that the court failed to consider both sides of the question. Sure, it's easy to simply say it's "protected free speech", but clearly there are practical aspects not considered.
This whole thing is just one more example of the current administration turning their progressive backs on those of us who are serving or have served. The SOB that this country put into the Office of The President of The United States the last two times hates veterans. He has screwed up our health care, our veterans benefits and taken our future by taking our Social Security benefits. The cost of living went up 2.3% last year. SS got a 0% raise. VA disability wasn't increased and the military only got a 1.3% increase. By law he can't give the military an increase less than the Cost of Living increase from the previous year. But this jackass went ahead and signed an executive order allowing it to happen. This total lack of respect and caring for the veterans and the military is indicative of a progressive government that would allow a stolen valor decision to be overturned in an appeals court. America created this environment 7 years ago when they let this POS POTUS move into the Oval Office. But, what really gets my goat is the fact the same country that put Obummer in office is going to go out and do it again with Hillary Clinton. This damn country wants to be treated this way. I say this because I know too damn many people who could vote and turn things around refuse to vote.
I'm sorry, I know there's absolutely nothing funny about the subject of this thread, but when I read Michaels' post above I thought POS POTUS was a Latin phrase I somehow missed until I looked it up.
I'm sorry Henry. I've never been shy about speaking up and I'm a master of saying the wrong thing in the wrong place, the wrong way at the wrong time! But as a disabled war veteran who's been kicked around for the last seven years by an uncaring government who creates such an environment unfriendly to my fellow veterans, well, I get angry.
Then I see decisions that support such a blatant act of stolen valor accepted by a judicial group who's purpose should be too protect the laws of this wonderful country and it's damn hard for me to contain myself.
And something that really irks me is that my Dad spent 2 1/2 years in the South Pacific and came home a decorated veteran. My brother and cousin came home from that stink hole Vietnam with 4 Purple Hearts between them. I went through a year over there as well. To have some fake piece of crap sit in front of a court of law and make a mockery of all that makes my blood boil.
I love my country. I support and fought to protect the Constitution of the United States. I even fought for reasonable change to the constitution when it benefits the well being of the country and the change is properly accomplished. But I refuse to accept interpretation of the Constitution that allows it to be used differently than its intended purpose. And my interpretation of the Constitution involves a definition of honesty and integrity. And I don't see this kind of judgement as very honest.
Thanks for your service, Michael, and to all of the other vets who went in harms way.
I agree with you 100% Michael. You've said absolutely nothing wrong. I was just poking a little fun at my own ignorance of the acronym you used, particularly one that I should be familiar with.
My dad was in WWII with the 82nd Airborne and was involved in Operation Market Garden. He had earned (3) purple hearts (the 3rd was from a sniper's head shot). Hearing the 9th Circuit Court's opinion on this issue was not only infuriating, but a national embarrassment. The 9th circuit is the most liberal court in the US. But after serving a long career in law-enforcement, I've seen a multitude of stupid decisions from that court and expect to see many more moronic decisions to come.
I went down to my friendly USMC recruiter to join in the fun in Iraq. The Devil Dog looked over
my stats and said I was golden. Except that I was too old. Doing 30 in a 27 zone. He said "We
got this one, Grandpa". So, with tears in my eyes, I slunk away to engage in some internal grumpies.
Years passed and I remarried. My wife is in the medical field and in speaking with some of her
clients, it was suggested to me that if I wanted to get in the fight so bad, I go in as a contractor.
I was advised on how, and a year later a recruiter called me in for a 0100 flight to basic, and what
worked out to be three back-to-back deployments. Most of it spent with the USMC in Helmand
as a team leader for RCT. It was the worst experience I ever had, and it was the best. From awful
food to horrendous operating/living conditions, being there was truly an exercise in "walking the
And what an education it was. From seeing what true honor and valor are, to working alongside
the greatest men (and occasional woman) to ever walk the earth. It put all things in life in perspective.
But there is also a complicating side to this. I saw a lot of slackers. A lot of people, both in uniform
and out, that were only there to do their time. They hid from callouts, they fudged papers, they put
the lives of many others in danger, just so they could go slack in doing their jobs. I saw a lot more
of it with other branches than I did with the Marines, but even the USMC culture did not simmer the
butthead personalities out of some of their personnel.
I wore my EAG boonie every moment I wasn't in the shower, sleeping, or wearing Kevlar. I still wear
my garrison cover. They were issued to me upon reporting to camp, and represent a big part of me
and my experience. I'll be damned if some twit who doesn't know my story is going to tell me to take
it off. If the Gunny said I earned it, well then by golly, I'm gonna wear it, just like he told me to ! I have
no medals, and I make no claims to anything except I went and did my time as a contractor in Deep South
AFG supporting the USMC. And thus far, few have had much
issue with that. Anyone who WAS there served around guys like me. They know. Most thought we
made a million dollars a year and were shocked to find out we didn't make much more than they did,
but with no bennies or otherwise. Some made good money. I didn't. Would have been nice, but I
was there for other reasons than a paycheck.
It seems the guys with who have problems over "posers" are lumping everyone into the same pile
as those who would strap on some medals as some sort of attention-getting measure, or they were
so removed from service where contractors were actually out in the field with troops that they have
no clue. I had one clown ... an Air Force weatherman who never left Nebraska, really get bent about
So, it leads me to a lot of questions and no real hard answers. What is "service" and what constitutes
"Duty" and "Honor" ? Does one have to be IN uniform to do service for their country ? Was reading
weather reports in Nebraska any more "in service" than getting shot at in AFG ? And what about the
slackers I saw (and was frustrated by) as they weaseled to not do their jobs while IN uniform ? Are
those guys automatically given valor and honor creds, just because they drew air ?
I think this issue is a lot more complicated than free speech and who served vs. didn't. There are
honorable men and women in all walks of life, and there are no shortage of scoundrels amongst us,
that includes IN the military, IN our judicial system, and God-knows-how-many just "out there" in
life. It all boils down to personal character, and that cannot be generalized. It is a case-by-case
situation. Those who walk tall and know the meaning of Duty and Honor KNOW what's what. Those
who pretend, for purposes of playing big shot also know what's what. And they know that they ain't.