Those who have served and sacrificed for our country deserve special honor and recognition. One way these sacrifices are recognized is through the awarding of military medals and decorations. Sadly, sometimes individuals who have not earned these honors falsely pretend to have done so. In response to this issue, the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 was passed and became effective in December 2006. It is a federal offense for individuals to claim verbally or in writing to have received any military award that they have not. This offense is punishable by a fine and/or up to six months in jail, double if the offense involves valor awards or the Purple Heart. The VA’s Office of the Inspector General (VAOIG) has a Criminal Investigations Division which conducts investigations into Stolen Valor Fraud.
For information about the VAOIG, see: www.va.gov/oig/organziation/investigations/default.asp
To see a text of the Stolen Valor law, go to: ftp.resource.org/gpo.gov/laws/109/publ437.109.pdf