You Can’t Steal Valor

Via Wikipedia

You can’t steal valor. It is impossible. Consider what Webster’s dictionary says about the word Valor:

strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness : personal bravery

You can’t take it from someone, just as you can’t take their wisdom from them.

You can’t take a bit of valor from the government, because it, as an entity, has none to give.

Getting a medal doesn’t give valor. It is simply a symbol in recognition of someone with perceived valor.

If someone wears a medal, but never earned it, they are not imbued with valor. They are who they are. No piece of cloth or plated piece of metal changes that.

The vast majority of people who have valor never receive recognition for it. That’s just life.

So, Stolen Valor Act. I don’t like the law. I wish it were gone. It doesn’t help.

I like to think that those who have legitimately received medals for valor are deserving.

I also know that those who falsely wear them will be revealed, humiliated, and marked as being the farthest thing from a person with “valor.” These situations police themselves. Organizations and groups exist to observe and investigate these things. They don’t need the government. They don’t need the act, and there are better things for our government to be doing.

I know what they meant by the Stolen Valor Act. The thought is nice, and a lot of veterans I talk-to are grateful for the efforts. Yet, it is not worth the 1st Amendment slippery slope.


One thought on “You Can’t Steal Valor

  1. Never having served, and therefore by definition never having been awarded a military honor, I felt that my opinion on the Stolen Valor Act was somewhat compromised. While I’m against it as an unnecessary and overbroad law, it was unclear whether someone who won a medal would feel that a liar’s claim was worthy of being a crime.

    I suspect that your view, that it’s the valor rather than the medal, that distinguishes the honor is what true heroes feel, and no law is needed to distinguish those who deserve honor from the liars, who will live with their shame regardless.

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