Senators Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) are joining forces to uphold the honor of military service with the introduction of the Stolen Valor Act in the United States Senate today. This legislation makes it a federal crime to lie about receiving a military decoration or medal, like the Medal of Honor, in order to profit or benefit financially.
"Our military men and women continue to put themselves in harm's way to protect American interests abroad. Congress must do all that it can to preserve the integrity of the decorations and medals awarded to those who have served our country. I'm grateful to Representative Heck for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with Senator Tester to pass this legislation into law," said Senator Dean Heller.
"Courageous military heroes earn awards like the Medal of Honor with their actions on the battlefield," Tester said. "Lying about military service is dishonorable and an insult to the brave men and women of our armed forces. I'll keep pressing to make sure we only honor our true American heroes."
Representative Joe Heck (NV-3) introduced counterpart legislation in the House of Representatives on January 15, 2013.
The U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled a previous version of the bill unconstitutional due to concerns it infringed on free speech. Tester and Heller specifically rewrote the measure to address the court's concerns about Constitutionality.
Tester is also pushing the Defense Department to develop a comprehensive database for military awards like medals, citations, and ribbons. Tester says better record keeping will prevent the improper awarding of service awards.