View Full Version : Military Roll of Valor Act

09-29-07, 03:23 PM
In the 1920s, following WWI, the War Department compiled and published the citations for ALL awards to members of the Army from the Civil War through WWI in a large book, which was supplemented 5 times with additions/corrections up through 1942. Then, the practice ended. It is no longer easy for a family member, or even the veteran themselves, to get copies of the citations for deeds of Valor.

Two members of Congress (http://forums.*************/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=78919038&f=409192893&m=4420075841001&r=4420075841001#) are now calling for this to be fixed. Yes there are many more awards to be compiled, but if they could do it in 1926 with that period's OLD technology, with today's technology it is reasonable to resume this so that history is not lost. PLEASE, call your Congressman or Congresswoman and URGE them to sign on as a co-sponsor to the "Military Valor Roll of Honor Act of 2007".

Below is from the current "Marine Corps Times":

Support builds for military awards database

By John Hoellwarth - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Sep 28, 2007 14:20:38 EDT

If the Defense Department kept a national, publicly accessible database of military awards recipients, it would be harder for phony heroes to claim unearned awards and easier for law enforcement officials to identify and prosecute those who try, lawmakers have said over the past three weeks.

In response to growing concern over the nation’s military award imposter pandemic following revelations that the Library of Congress’ Web site for the Veterans History Project lists hundreds of unsubstantiated war stories, two lawmakers — both veterans — sent a “dear colleague” letter throughout the House of Representatives on Sept. 28 asking members to co-sponsor a bill that would make the database a reality.

With the letter, House Veterans’ Affairs Committee member Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., and House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., are rallying support for the Military Valor Roll of Honor Act of 2007.

The aim of the legislation is to “create a database containing the names and citations of those brave individuals who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or any other medal authorized by Congress” because a “comprehensive database does not currently exist,” according to the letter.

Salazar, who rallied more than 100 co-sponsors for his Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which made false written and verbal claims to unearned decoration illegal when it was enacted last December, is expected to introduce the database legislation. A draft copy of the bill obtained by Military Times includes language that would make the database “searchable” and “available for public inspection.”

Salazar considers the Military Valor Roll of Honor Act the natural follow-on to his Stolen Valor legislation because the 2005 act gives law enforcement officials the authority to prosecute frauds and the latest would make it easier to identify them in the first place, said Salazar spokesman Rick Palacio.

Murphy, the only Iraq war veteran in the House, has been working closely with Salazar’s office to explore the best way to get the ball rolling on the initiative after veterans’ groups and freelance fraud (http://forums.*************/eve/forums?a=tpc&s=78919038&f=409192893&m=4420075841001&r=4420075841001#) finders began calling for a database in early August, according to aides for both congressmen.

“With a new generation of veterans returning home from war, we need to make sure that they get the honor they have earned,” Murphy told Military Times in an e-mail response to questions. “I strongly support a digital database of valor awards so that we can enforce the law and protect legitimate heroes.”

Though it remains unclear how many co-sponsors the bill will attract once introduced, anecdotal evidence based on e-mail responses to questions about a database Military Times received from members of the House and Senate armed services and veterans’ affairs committees suggests the initiative has wide appeal in both chambers.

Support for the initiative in the House seems to be concentrated in the armed services committee, where members such as Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga., “would certainly co-sponsor,” said his spokesman Doug Moore.

Other members of that committee have voiced support for hearings to explore the breadth of the problem with awards fakers, including Reps. Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Mike Conaway, R-Texas; and Duncan Hunter, R-Calif.

The Senate’s interest in the initiative has so far been most prevalent in the veterans’ affairs committee, whose chairman Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, also a member of the armed services committee, said he was “deeply distressed” by the prevalence of awards imposters.

“While I realize that creating a database of those who have received medals of valor would be a huge undertaking [for the Defense Department], something must be done to curb this abuse,” Akaka said.

Though veterans’ affairs committee members Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.; and Richard Burr, R-N.C., each also expressed their opposition to awards imposters, it remains unclear who among them, if anyone, might introduce a companion bill in the Senate regarding a national awards database.