Re: “Military can catalog WWI bombs but not medals” (editorial, 8-6).
It would be time consuming and expensive to research all military records to create a reliable data base for valor awards. And to what extent will the database be able to verify all statements? It would be insanely difficult.
Since it is a First Amendment right to tell any falsehood, when pertinent I suggest those concerned should contact the National Archives. Under a Freedom of Information Act inquiry it is public information as to the claimed service person’s branch, dates of service, final rank, assignments, valor awards and other data.
Employers, schools and other organizations can request the service member provide a certified copy of their discharge papers. If someone is claiming a service-connected disability and received a Purple Heart, if he or she is enrolled with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs health care system, that person’s identification card will reflect that fact.
There are already consequences for claiming a monetary benefit or preference with many governmental agencies for which the applicant is not entitled. There is nothing that can be done to stop someone from exercising their constitutional right to tell falsehoods to get a free beer.