One of America’s foremost veterans service organizations, AMVETS (American Veterans), launched its new effort to help report individuals claiming military honors and awards they never earned, a problem that the organization fears is on the rise.
The veterans group bills the site as “a first-of-its-kind clearinghouse of information where concerned citizens can learn how to report phony veterans and see the latest headlines on those exposed for their lies.” Under legislation passed in 2006, individuals fraudulently wearing or claiming military medals can face federal misdemeanor charges, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $150,000 fine.
The web site features links to report possible frauds to FBI officials, as well as a link to the Hall of Valor project assembled by noted military medals expert Doug Sterner so individuals can verify some claims on their own.
And the site offers tips on how to report frauds to local news outlets as well. Recently press reports have helped note a number of military phonies (including this, this and this).
In a statement AMVETS National Commander Duane Miskulin said the problem of military frauds is “one that cuts to the core of what it means to be a veteran and robs rightfully deserving vets of their hard-earned dignity and the honor of a grateful nation.”