As a Vietnam Veteran, in the United States Army, I have observed the practice of Stolen Valor in various practices whether it be minor in nature or major in the manner of exaggerating the military record as it is defined on the DD214. I served with honor from July 1967 to July 1969 and as an MOS Medical Specialist Corpsman, I have seen or witnessed great heroism that should never be understated or slighted by the insult or disrespect of those who never saw combat or worn the uniform with Honor. Anyone who wears medals, ribbons, patches or symbols not earned is an impostor and should be challenged as being such a person.
Stealing Valor is a mini-book on the 2013 Stolen Valor Act passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama. It is in fact, the second edition of the first Act passed in 2006 and struck down as being unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2012. There is much controversy around the law as it, in fact, criminalizes lying when the lies facilitate profit, financial gains or a means to promote something that has a monetary value.
The issue of Free Speech is the center of the book as it differentiates the meaning of the phrase - Stolen Valor. Various examples are cited and the book is a great stepping stone for further examinations of the law that is still sitting sideways with many veterans and organizations - In fact, some national organizations are actively referring imposters or alleged impostors to vigilante committees that review the military history of the person identified to be a fake- a fraud and an opportunistic person seeking self-important or financial gain for self. Consider this a guidebook, a resource for reference and let it open up your mind on the matter.
Filled with citations and other sources that cover the matter in more detail with specific cases, it opened the door to the discussing of stealing valor, when in fact, the person may be innocently doing something wrong but going about it the wrong way. On the other hand, there are examples of blatant and deliberate manipulations of the law before the passaged of the second act and how they benefitted from using their stolen valor to their own personal benefit and greed.