Man indicted in stolen valor case

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garandman

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (GunReports.com)—A Richmond, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for falsely claiming that he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his military service in Grenada.

Timothy James Watkins, 47, of Richmond, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City.

Watkins allegedly purchased a Purple Heart medal and a Silver Star medal from a pawn shop in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area and falsely claimed that both medals were awarded to him for his military service.

According to the indictment, Watkins served in active duty in the U.S. Army for approximately one month, from July 18 to Aug. 23, 1983, when he was medically discharged. After his discharge, Watkins allegedly began to lie to others regarding his military experiences and background. Watkins falsely claimed that his military service included attending Army Airborne and Ranger training, the indictment says, and falsely claimed that he had served in military operations in Grenada where he was shot by enemy fire and fell off a cliff, injuring his leg. Watkins allegedly claimed that he was medically discharged from the Army as a result of the wounds he sustained in Grenada, but that he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Silver Star for his service. Watkins often wore pins on his civilian clothes that signified a Purple Heart and a Silver Star, the indictment says.

Watkins did not participate in the invasion of Grenada, a Caribbean island nation, in October 1983, according to the indictment, nor was he a member of the Armed Forces at that time.
 

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This is the first I've heard of someone being charged for this. Is it against the law to pose as a soldier? Don't get me wrong, I think it should be illegal, and the punishment be stiff, but has this ever happened before?
 

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This is the first I've heard of someone being charged for this. Is it against the law to pose as a soldier? Don't get me wrong, I think it should be illegal, and the punishment be stiff, but has this ever happened before?

Yes it's illegal.
 

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This is the first I've heard of someone being charged for this. Is it against the law to pose as a soldier? Don't get me wrong, I think it should be illegal, and the punishment be stiff, but has this ever happened before?
He's indicted but that's a far sight from conviction.

It might be like the Flag Code. There are people all over eBay who violate the flag code by posting pictures of objects on the US flag - even here you find them.
But there's no penalty, so nothing happens. The difference of course is that they're ignorant, not willful.
 

Skysoldier

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Well, if nothing else, at least all his friends and family will know that he is a f'ing liar. I hate these guy's with a passion.....

I have a younger brother that was a poser for many years...and I will have nothing to do with him!
 

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The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties group, joined in the case on Jan. 20, 2010. "Such expression remains within the presumptive protection afforded pure speech by the First Amendment," the Institute's attorney wrote. "As such, the Stolen Valor Act is an unconstitutional restraint on the freedom of speech."[17]

Another branch of the ACLU speaking out their buttcheeks.

Is there nothing sacred any longer? For those who've given their blood and lives for this country, to have some nobody parade around wearing anything military, particularly decorations of merit, is a gigantic unforgivable affront. They should be stomped and mercilessly beaten.
 

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The Rutherford Institute, a Virginia-based civil liberties group, joined in the case on Jan. 20, 2010. "Such expression remains within the presumptive protection afforded pure speech by the First Amendment," the Institute's attorney wrote. "As such, the Stolen Valor Act is an unconstitutional restraint on the freedom of speech."[17]

By that "logic" anyone could wear anything on their chest for any reason. Does that mean that wearing a TSA identification badge to an airport is protected speech? How about wearing a cop's shield?

The only reason to wear any of the above would be to impersonate someone to commit some sort of fraud. How is that free speech?


Another branch of the ACLU speaking out their buttcheeks.

Yep, they're way off base on this one.
 
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"Federal law calls for imprisonment for up to one year for wearing the Purple Heart when not authorized by law."
The Stolen Valor Act revised and toughened a law that forbids anyone to wear a military medal that was not earned. The revised measure sailed through Congress in late 2006, receiving unanimous approval in the Senate.
http://www.lvrj.com/news/purple-heart-claim-challenged-67506152.html

unbelieveable tyranny.

prison, in the best case, is for people who demonstrate they are unable to have freedom of movement without violating the rights of others. it is not for protecting anyone's ego, let alone a soldier. i'm curious: when do soldiers get their rights back? when discharged?
 
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jasons

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http://www.lvrj.com/news/purple-heart-claim-challenged-67506152.html

unbelieveable tyranny.

prison, in the best case, is for people who demonstrate they are unable to have freedom of movement without violating the rights of others. it is not for protecting anyone's ego, let alone a soldier. i'm curious: when do soldiers get their rights back? when discharged?



So confused. What are you trying to say? You seem to be implying that people should be allowed to wear medals that they didn't earn. (Maybe I'm reading it wrong.)
 

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So confused. What are you trying to say? You seem to be implying that people should be allowed to wear medals that they didn't earn. (Maybe I'm reading it wrong.)

No that is how I am reading it too. I'm guessing he thinks it is okay for posers to go ahead and keep going even though they didn't earn the right. All I can say he's an idiot for thinking it is okay. [thinking][rolleyes]
 

dustoff22

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Get real Jonathans

http://www.lvrj.com/news/purple-heart-claim-challenged-67506152.html

unbelieveable tyranny.

prison, in the best case, is for people who demonstrate they are unable to have freedom of movement without violating the rights of others. it is not for protecting anyone's ego, let alone a soldier. i'm curious: when do soldiers get their rights back? when discharged?


Anyone who wears a medal or ribbon of merit and has not earned it IS violating the rights of those who HAVE earned the right to wear such sacrosanct symbols. It is an affront to every man and woman who has honorably served this country, dead or alive.
 
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i think it would be ridiculous to make it illegal to tell tall tales about how big that fish you caught was, or how hot that threesome you just had was, but this is different. and if that appeal to the heart isn't enough to convince someone, then there's also the financially-relevant aspect of the fraud.
 
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rison, in the best case, is for people who demonstrate they are unable to have freedom of movement without violating the rights of others. it is not for protecting anyone's ego, let alone a soldier. i'm curious: when do soldiers get their rights back? when discharged?

Prison is for (a) protecting the public from the danger posed by the inmate or (b) controlling people via the threat of imprisonment. In this case, the later applies.
 

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W

wolf223

http://www.lvrj.com/news/purple-heart-claim-challenged-67506152.html

unbelieveable tyranny.

prison, in the best case, is for people who demonstrate they are unable to have freedom of movement without violating the rights of others. it is not for protecting anyone's ego, let alone a soldier. i'm curious: when do soldiers get their rights back? when discharged?

http://www.foxnews.com/photoessay/photoessay_3441_images/0228080912_M_iraqi_amputee_griffin3.jpg

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php/90264-A-Real-American-Hero?daysprune=365

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php/77964-Medal-of-Honor?daysprune=365

stating the obvious, you have to get injured during combat to get a purple heart.... "while engaging or being engaged by the enemy"....

i personally know and work for / with purple heart recipients.... it's no walk in the park... i talked to a former troop a few weeks ago who has 2 purple hearts... he's also a eF'd up in the head with PTSD, depression, can't hold a job.....

a. The Purple Heart was established by General George Washington at Newburgh, New York, on 7 August 1782,
during the Revolutionary War. It was reestablished by the President of the United States per War Department General
Orders 3, 1932 and is currently awarded pursuant to Executive Order 11016, 25 April 1962; Executive Order 12464, 23
February 1984; Public Law 98-525, 19 October 1984 amended by Public Law 100–48, 1 June 19871; Public Law 103-
160, 30 November 1993; Public Law 104-106, 10 February 1996; and Public Law 105-85, 18 November 1997.
b. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States and per 10 USC 1131, effective 19
May 1998, is limited to members of the Armed Forces of the United States who, while serving under component
authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who
has died or may hereafter die after being wounded—
(1) In any action against an enemy of the United States.
(2) In any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States
are or have been engaged.
(3) While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in
which the United States is not a belligerent party.
(4) As the result of an act of any such enemy of opposing Armed Forces.
(5) As the result of an act of any hostile foreign force.
(6) After 28 March 1973, as the result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign
nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of Army, or jointly by the
Secretaries of the separate armed services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack.
(7) After 28 March 1973, as the result of military operations while serving outside the territory of the United States
as part of a peacekeeping force.
(8) Members killed or wounded in action by friendly fire. In accordance with 10 USC 1129 for award of the Purple
Heart, the Secretary of the Army will treat a member of the Armed Forces described in (a), below, in the same manner
as a member who is killed or wounded in action as the result of an act of an enemy of the United States.
(a) A member described in this subsection is a member who is killed or wounded in action by weapon fire while
directly engaged in armed conflict, other than as the result of an act of an enemy of the United States, unless (in the
case of a wound) the wound is the result of willful misconduct of the member.
(b) This section applies to members of the Armed Forces who are killed or wounded on or after 7 December 1941.
In the case of a member killed or wounded, as described in paragraph 2–8b above, on or after 7 December 1941 and
before 30 November 1993, the Secretary of the Army will award the Purple Heart under provisions of paragraph 2–8a
above in each case which is known to the Secretary before such date or for which an application is made to the
Secretary in such manner as the Secretary requires.
c. While clearly an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is
not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.
d. A Purple Heart is authorized for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each
subsequent award an Oak Leaf Cluster will be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon. Not more than one award
will be made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant or from the same missile, force,
explosion, or agent.
e. A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or
more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made
must have required treatment by medical personnel and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in
action must have been made a matter of official record.
f. When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is
the degree to which the enemy caused the injury. The fact that the proposed recipient was participating in direct or
indirect combat operations is a necessary prerequisite, but is not sole justification for award.
g. Examples of enemy-related injuries which clearly justify award of the Purple Heart are as follows:
(1) Injury caused by enemy bullet, shrapnel, or other projectile created by enemy action.
(2) Injury caused by enemy placed mine or trap.
(3) Injury caused by enemy released chemical, biological, or nuclear agent.
(4) Injury caused by vehicle or aircraft accident resulting from enemy fire.
(5) Concussion injuries caused as a result of enemy generated explosions.
 

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prison, in the best case, is for people who demonstrate they are unable to have freedom of movement without violating the rights of others. it is not for protecting anyone's ego, let alone a soldier. i'm curious: when do soldiers get their rights back? when discharged?

When are you going to come back and explain yourself in this thread?

While I do agree that jail time is un needed, I do think that people guilty of "stolen valor" type things deserve fines up the ass and ridonkulous amounts of community service.

"Joe-smcho-i-wish-i-was-in-the-military-but-i'll-say-im-decorated-anyway" can suck a big one. screw posers.
 
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are you certain that because it is not okay for someone to pose as a veteran that they should not simply be fined and asked to apologize?

are they truly a threat to the liberty of others, warranting a prison sentence?

interesting choice of behavior for those who nominally defend liberty in an official capacity.

i am afraid i do not wish, nor ever wished, to be in the military. but if it helps you think straight, so be it.

now that i think about it, some of you will reject the notion that it is possible to put a price on this.

maybe a better solution is to send them door-to-door to those who have gotten purple hearts legitimately? they can start with my grandfather and hear how he strode up omaha beach in the late afternoon, and hoofed it through france with his fellow marines. i don't think he'd disagree with me, i don't see why you do.

yes, clearly i've never been in the military. clearly you've never been in a federal prison for talking trash.
 
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So confused. What are you trying to say? You seem to be implying that people should be allowed to wear medals that they didn't earn. (Maybe I'm reading it wrong.)

one other thing. to my knowledge, nobody earns the purple heart. it is the only award that a soldier is entitled to once the circumstances have been met.
 

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interesting choice of behavior for those who nominally defend liberty in an official capacity.


I wonder if your grandfather would think his landing on the blood-red sands of Omaha Beach, amongst hundreds and thousands of dead and dying bodies, was a "nominal" defense of liberty?

I wonder if the families of the thousands of dead and wounded military over the course of this country's wars would consider their loved ones sacrificing their lives while simply "nominally" defending liberty?

You're a piece of work Jonathans.

nobody earns the purple heart.

Webster's New World Dictionary: "to get as deserved"

Let's not over do the semantics Jonathans
 
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murder, kidnapping, rape -- these are the reasons why prison exists.

the question is not whether they should or should not be allowed to behave in certain ways, unless you're talking to cass sunstein.

the question is who has the power to punish whom for which behaviors, and to what degree.

to allow the state to assume the power to punish someone for the thought, speech or expression itself -- and not even to qualify it as a secondary offense for the limited effect of incurring greater penalties while in the commission of an otherwise clearly identifiable fraud, no less! -- is to create still further precedent for still more thoughtcrime, as if the laws and regulations which already emanate from the SEC weren't bad enough.

yet there are already laws on the books to deal with fraud. should the penalties be harsher for some types of fraud rather than others? so, too, are these graduations already in existence -- and further still can they be stretched in the jury box.

instead, do you defend a thoughtcrime bill a pair of democrats rammed through both the senate and the house simply because it has the appearance of protecting valor, which itself is immaterial and cannot be stolen? read it closely.

(b) False Claims About Receipt of Military Decorations or Medals.— Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

that the finer points of the argument being made here touched on by one or two of you indicate that fraud does in fact require a transfer of wealth demonstrates that you are in agreement with me to a point. yet as the law is written no fraud need be demonstrated to convict; you are not, in fact, defending the bill whatsoever.

does the threat of prison stop murder? or is prison simply the best available means of dealing with the inevitability of murder?
 
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I wonder if your grandfather would think his landing on the blood-red sands of Omaha Beach, amongst hundreds and thousands of dead and dying bodies, was a "nominal" defense of liberty?

I wonder if the families of the thousands of dead and wounded military over the course of this country's wars would consider their loved ones sacrificing their lives while simply "nominally" defending liberty?

i'll ask him. and of course i don't have time to ask everyone, and neither do you, but consider asking david olofson how he feels about liberty.

Webster's New World Dictionary: "to get as deserved"

Let's not over do the semantics Jonathans

it is different. a person does not decide what they have earned, the awarder does. while many do the work, only some may earn most medals. entitlement is also deserved, true, but it is not for a soldier's superiors to select which get the purple heart. they are entitled. a small point is a small point and a semantic point is a semantic point, you are right, but that does not change physical reality: most medals come with a short list.
 
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i'm not clear what we're arguing here anymore; are we talking about whether it should illegal for someone in a bar to claim he was in a war when he wasn't, or are we arguing whether or not someone should go to prison for falsely claiming a purple heart and getting benefits?
 

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it is different. a person does not decide what they have earned, the awarder does. while many do the work, only some may earn most medals. entitlement is also deserved, true, but it is not for a soldier's superiors to select which get the purple heart. they are entitled. a small point is a small point and a semantic point is a semantic point, you are right, but that does not change physical reality: most medals come with a short list.

Johnathan, you can argue semantics all day if you want. I don't have the time or desire. The point is that some people (earned / were awarded / are entitled / whatever you want to call it) these medals and are therefore entitled to wear them. Others are not.

Ideally there shouldn't need to be a law for this, but apparently ideas like honor and respect of service are concepts that some people just cant wrap their pea-sized brains around. Prison is going easy on them. I'd rather see them lose their citizenship and get deported.

You said something about "protecting the ego of a soldier." Care to expand on that one a bit?
 
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