Recipients of different military awards for valor earned the medals and recognitions that they received— be it Silver Star, Navy Cross, Medal of Honor, Purple Heart. More than the medal, they risked their lives in danger in order to save others, without much regard for their safety. The respect and admiration that come along with the award were well-deserved. That’s why it is utterly disgusting and disrespectful for someone to walk around and pretend that they earned a medal of valor.

When someone is discovered to be a fraud, they are usually humiliated outside of the justice system and through social media.

The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 criminalizes offenders who falsely claimed to have received these decorations, but it was later declared unconstitutional in 2012. In 2013, a new Stolen Valor Act was signed into law, subjecting an individual “to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit.” That applies to anyone who claims to be a recipient of any of the following:

  • a Congressional Medal of Honor,
  • a distinguished-service cross,
  • a Navy cross,
  • an Air Force cross,
  • a silver star,
  • a Purple Heart,
  • a Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
  • a Combat Action Badge,
  • a Combat Medical Badge,
  • a Combat Action Ribbon,
  • a Combat Action Medal, or
  • any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law.

Instead of imprisonment, there were cases where they were given more creative sentences for their crime. Here are some instances: