LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Lies about military service hurt veterans


I was disgusted to read in Tuesday's U-B that the Stolen Valor Act has become an issue of free speech.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the law because "... the government cannot act as the 'truth police' to punish lies that cause no direct harm."

I beg to differ.

As a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, every lie told about that war or every lie that claims heroic action by someone who was never there causes me harm. And it causes harm to every other veteran of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Every lie diminishes what we did. Every lie is a kick in the face to every veteran who put his or her life on the line. Every lie denies us the respect we fought so hard to earn.

No real veteran wants anything more than some acknowledgement for serving this country. We ask for no special treatment and no special favors.

I know some of these "wannabees" and I find them to be despicable people. Their lives are built upon one lie after another. Lying about combat service is a direct harm to millions of men and women who served. I hope the United States Supreme Court realizes that.

Al Conetto
Walla Walla


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