Texas veteran exposes phony war heroes.
The Texas Vietnam veteran who's book "Stolen Valor, How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of its Heroes and its History," prompted the 'Stolen Valor' act, says today's rejection of the law will prompt Congress to pass a better one, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that making it a misdemeanor to falsely claim to have received military decorations and honors or being members of elite units like Navy SEALS and Green Berets violates the First Amendment rights of free speech.
"Now we are without a bill at all, there is nothing to stop these guys," B. G. Burkett told 1200 WOAI's Michael Board. "Its a form of desecration that these individuals claim that they paid with their lives for their patriotism and their loyalty to America."
Burkett's book, which was co-written with Glenna Whitley, exposed dozens of people who improperly wore military decorations, ranging all the way up to the Medal of Honor, and many of them used the added recognition they received for personal glory and financial gain.
"There are actually millions of American males claiming some form of false miltiary service," he said. "Now, there are going to be no constraints on this type of activity."
Burkett urged Congress to pass a new law that will pass Constitutional scrutiny. He points out that the law that was thrown out today made falsely claiming military service, honors, or decorations a misdemeanor. He says it should be a felony.
Burkett says the fact that today's society lauds and awards special attention on military veterans that this phenomenon exists. He points out that in the years immediately following the Vietnam War, there were few examples of people falsely claiming military honors.
"What's new is the fact that we have been exposing these people and making a public display that it is an epidemic," he said. "I'm disappointed that the court threw out the whole thing. I'm disappointed they threw out the whole thing. I think it's outrageous that we don't punish people who are using the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross to pass their own agenda. I hope Congress now will pass a better law, a tougher law."