Without debate, the Iowa House has sent Governor Branstad a bill that would make it a crime to lie about receiving a medal from the military.
Representative Guy Vander Linden, a Republican from Oskaloosa, says in these cases the criminal is trying to steal the “valor” of a real soldier.
“Impersonating a decorated military veteran with the purpose of gaining any real or anticipated monetary gain,” Vander Linden said.
Vander Linden, a retired Marine Corp Brigadier General, was the pilot in command of the unit that flew former President Ronald Reagan’s helicopter, known as Marine One. Vander Linden spoke about the legislation for less than 30 seconds this morning before the House took a vote on the measure. It passed the House on a 97 to one vote. It already had passed the Senate by a vote of 48 to zero.
Those found guilty of impersonating a decorated veteran could be sent to prison for up to a year and ordered to pay a $1500 fine.