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Sgt Prince McNeil
33
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How would they like it if I put on a judges robe and walked around the Federal Court house?!!! I didn't earn my college degree, didn't go to law school and didn't work the trenches in courts as a lawyer to become qualified and elected as a judge!!! Hypocritical judgement on their behalf!!!
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CPT Pedro Meza
CPT Pedro Meza
>1 y
You are making an assumption that has to be proven to seek what the out come, otherwise it is just an assumption; hypothesis.
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CPT Pedro Meza
CPT Pedro Meza
>1 y
LTC (Join to see) - The same applies in communist china were you have no rights to free speech with out a price.
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MSgt Michael Smith
MSgt Michael Smith
>1 y
They wouldn't like it, but that doesn't mean they could stop you. That is the point here. Freedom of expression is not about hurt feelings, it is about the right to hurt feelings.
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SFC Michael Peterson
SFC Michael Peterson
>1 y
That is a perfect analogy. Better yet, what if I wore a badge? Oh yeah, that's not "free speech". That's impersonating a police officer.
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MSgt Steven Holt
21
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I'm willing to bet not one of those judges ever served in the military. I don't think they understand just how significant some of those awards/medals/decorations can be.
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LTC Board Member
LTC (Join to see)
>1 y
MSgt Steven Holt - I agree, it does denigrate and devalue, but if we criminalize all language in the US that somebody thinks devalues something, then we won't have much legal we can say to each other.

I don't understand how service members who fought for freedom can be so against others saying what they want. Yes it's disgusting, but that's what free speech protects. What separates us from tyrants is that we don't criminalize expression of others when we don't like it.
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CPT Pedro Meza
CPT Pedro Meza
>1 y
I do not worry about stolen valor, I was affected by denied valor, I waited for four months for an appointment and begged for meds in order to make my TBI mind sleep, lack of sleep is the worst thing for TBI and PTSD.
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CPT Pedro Meza
CPT Pedro Meza
>1 y
LTC (Join to see) - Service members of WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam that I have known never complained like these new ones is that they feel Entitled or that they bought into the phrase by politician seeking votes!
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SGT (Other / Not listed)
SGT (Join to see)
2 y
MSgt Steven Holt You wrote, “I'm willing to bet not one of those judges ever served in the military. I don't think they understand just how significant some of those awards/medals/decorations can be.” Respectfully, I will take that bet.

Please note the following:

William A. Fletcher, 9th circuit since 1998, was a Lieutenant in the Navy.
J. Clifford Wallace, 9th circuit since 1996, was a PO2 in the Navy.
William Canby, 9th circuit since 1996, was a Lieutenant in the Air Force.
Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain, 9th circuit since 1986, was in the Army Reserves.
Michael D. Hawkins, 9th circuit since 1994, was in the Marine Corps.
A. Wallace Tashima, 9th circuit since 1996, was a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. (Extra fun fact, as a child in WWII, due to his Japanese heritage, he was forced to go to an internment camp)

Proctor R. Hug, who retired in Nov 2017 after 30 years on the 9th circuit (active at the time of ruling on this case), was a Lieutenant in the Navy

Harry Pregerson, who died in Nov 2017 after 28 years on the 9th circuit (active at the time of ruling on this case), was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Please note, he was severely wounded during the Battle of Okinawa (1945). Yes, THAT Okinawa.

Dont get me wrong, I find anyone who wears any award/badge/Tab/uniform/etc that they didn’t earn to be very disrespectful and inappropriate. However, it is not unconstitutional.

Additionally, Kirk S. writes, “I don't believe it is free speech. It's an act, speech derives from forms of communication. Wearing a medal not earned is just disrespectful and has nothing to do with speech.” That, simply, is a limited understanding of how speech is defined, particularly by the Supreme Court. Speech is not limited to spoken communication. Or hand gestures. Etc.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the first Amendment protects symbolic speech, also. It protects nonverbal expressions and the expression of ideas. For example. Art. Theater performance. Wearing a black Armband in protest. Burning the American flag. Wearing military uniforms or medals (with some limitation). Etc. See Texas v Johnson (1989), U.S. v Eichman (1990).

Again, I don’t support people who wear medals they didn’t wear. However, I do support their right to do so. Just as I don’t think that cherry picking and adding restrictions to the 2nd or 4th or 14th amendments, for example, I don’t think we should add many to the 1st, either. That means that sometimes, we take the good with the bad.
LTC (Join to see) your thoughts, sir?i
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SFC Retention and Transition NCO (USAR)
21
21
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I do not agree at all. Maybe I can go out and wear a police office uniform around to gain respect from people and see how that goes, in the courts interpretation would that not be free speech as well?
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SPC Carl K.
SPC Carl K.
>1 y
You made the exact same point I intended to make.
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MSgt Michael Smith
MSgt Michael Smith
>1 y
No it would not, impersonating a police officer is not a free speech issue, it is a fraud issue and a security issue. Wearing medals has nothing to do with maintaining good order within a society.
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MAJ Brigade Logistics Officer (S4)
MAJ (Join to see)
>1 y
MSgt Michael Smith, I would disagree with you on what helps a society maintain good order. The military performs a valuable role in a society, by protecting its very existence. Respect for the military tends to encourage people of quality to join its ranks. Disrespect has the opposite effect, with people who have many options open to them often choosing one that will garner them more respect. All other factors being equal, people tend to pursue vocations which they feel will be the most fulfilling, and respect definitely factors into that.

Stolen valor, regardless of its legality, has the effect of lowering the overall respect granted to the military by the citizenry. Not only are these people claiming to be members of the military, they claim to be honored members...those who have earned awards and displayed special skills and/or merit. When these people act like jackasses (as so many of them do), it lowers the opinion that any witnesses have of the United States military in general. This hurts us in recruiting and retention, and has a general negative effect on the overall quality of our troops...which makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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SFC Retention and Transition NCO (USAR)
SFC (Join to see)
>1 y
MSgt Michael Smith What if these people get jobs based on medals they stated they have earned while in the military, thats is not a free speech issue either it is fraud as well.
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