Should claiming a medal you are not authorized to wear be a crime? Often, the person parading around with that Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Medal of Honor, served in a minor role in the military. And they want to puff themselves up.
Now, there is a way to check a medal database. The gory details:
The issue might never have reached this stage if not for the efforts of Sterner, and her husband, Doug.
He is a decorated Vietnam veteran who has made it his work in recent years to ensure that service members get the recognition they deserve and expose those who falsely claim acts of heroism under fire. Rather than wait for the government to act, Doug Sterner has entered nearly 100,000 award citations since Civil War in his online database, including all 3,475 Medal of Honor winners in U.S. history. His archive is used by the Military Times newspapers, published by Gannett Co.
Pam Sterner went back to school in her early 40s at Colorado State University in Pueblo, Colo. In a political science course, she wrote a paper that grew out of her husband’s frustrations over phony award claimants whose worst punishment was public embarrassment. That paper eventually led to the Stolen Valor Act.
The Sterners, two great Americans. We, in uniform, salute you. . .