U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is continuing her support for legislation that would put in place criminal penalties for anyone who profits from making a false claim relating to military service or awards, backing the Stolen Valor Act of 2013. Anyone found guilty of violating the bill would face a fine and up to six months in prison.
"Those who dishonor our military veterans by misrepresenting or fabricating their service for financial gain deserve to be punished," said McCaskill, the daughter of a World War II veteran and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 has been introduced in the wake of the Supreme Court's recent decision in United States v. Alvarez which struck down the original Stolen Valor Act of 2005. The Supreme Court declared in Alvarez that criminal penalties could be imposed if someone misrepresented awards or service in the pursuit of a "tangible benefit or personal gain," such as acquiring military benefits or pursuing a job promotion, but they could not be imposed in the absence of the individual seeking such personal gain, as the original Act had outlined.
McCaskill recently supported a bill ensuring that combat medals like the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart rank ahead of a new medal honoring service away from the front lines.