Military veterans from all over Massachusetts filed into the State House in Boston to testify in favor of passing stolen valor legislation brought forth by Westfield State Representative John Velis, a captain in the United States Army Reserves.

The bill, which already has bipartisan support in the House and Senate, would make it a crime to impersonate active duty members or veterans for financial gain. The sentence carrying the offense would be a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

See the proud vets speak their mind in the video below:

As you may recall, there is a federal act in place for stolen valor, but it exists with limitations. In order to be brought up on charges for impersonating a military member (active, retired or discharged) the offender must be sporting or claim to be a recipient of one of these prestigious awards (and use such a claim to obtain “money, property, or other tangible benefit”:

  • a Medal of Honor (Army, Navy, Air Force)
  • a Distinguished Service Cross,
  • a Navy Cross,
  • an Air Force Cross,
  • a Silver Star,
  • a Purple Heart,
  • a Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
  • a Combat Action Badge,
  • a Combat Medical Badge,
  • a Combat Action Ribbon,
  • a Combat Action Medal, or
  • any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law.