Loyal followers of this blog can attest: stolen valor is a weird, wicked phenomenon. There exists — out there in the digital ether — scores of YouTube videos taken in a non-landscape manner, from cars, chest pockets, hats, and even out in the plain wide open, documenting Americans who for some odd reason arrived at the conclusion that impersonating a military veteran or active-duty service member will land them the attention they lack.
Loyal followers of the blog can also attest to, however, that the American laws (both state and federal) currently in place to punish such an offense are spotty at best.
Which is why recent news out of Indiana is a rainbow in an otherwise stormy atmosphere regarding the effort to put a stop to such disrespectful — and as you’ll learn, sometimes extremely costly — shenanigans.
Starting July 1 of this year, if one is found guilty of stolen valor it’ll officially be a Class A misdemeanor.
It’ll not only put a stop to embarrassing public displays of fraud, but it’ll protect local businesses from being ripped off by shameless, phony discount hooligans.
According to a recent story about the new law published by The StateHouse File, a hip California business discovered a seamless way to verify veterans so they could offer them a discount minus the discomforting question marks:
Chubbies Shorts, an online retailer located in San Francisco, recently made the switch to ID.me, an online tool that verifies a veteran’s credentials.
“After two years of hard work diving into the ins and outs of offering something like this, we decided to partner with ID.me,” said Joel Ivey, head of customer experience.
Ivey explained the partnership has made the confirmation process much smoother for Chubbies Shorts. Ivey said California has a similar state law making stolen valor a crime.
“[ID.me] gave us the ability to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that the people who have access to the program are in fact either active-duty or veteran military,” he said.
Here’s to the hope that more lawmakers (and businesses) follow suit, so we can once and for all root out the people making a mockery of our nation’s pride.