Tipton Votes to Protect Integrity of Military Awards

May 20, 2013 Issues: Military and Veterans

WASHINGTON— Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO) today, voted in the House to pass legislation to protect the integrity of military awards and medals. Tipton is a co-sponsor of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 (H.R. 258), which would make it a crime to fraudulently claim to have received a military decoration or medal for personal gain. The measure passed the House today with strong bipartisan support.

“Military medals and awards are one of the ways we recognize the service and sacrifice of those who have served our country. It’s a slap to the face of our troops when frauds attempt to cheapen their accomplishments by falsely claiming to have received these awards in order to receive personal gain,” Tipton said. “I’m proud that the House passed legislation today to preserve the integrity of military awards by making sure that America’s true heroes are recognized for their valor, and not frauds.”

In United States v. Alvarez the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment because it “sought to control and suppress all false statements on this one subject, without regard as to whether the lie was made for the purpose of material gain.” 

H.R. 258 seeks to address the Court’s concerns and specifically states: “whoever, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds oneself out to be a recipient of a decoration or medal shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both."