I agree with part of David Thul's June 13 commentary ("Respect true war valor, not song-and-dance routines"). Those who falsely claim to have been decorated for military service in order to obtain money are frauds and should be punished. However, I disagree that such actions diminish the character of our service or cause those who have served to suffer.
I have served in the active and reserve Navy for 28 years. My decorations are in a box in the closet, and I rarely bring them out, nor do I wave them around. Those who falsely claim to have been awarded a decoration have a psychological problem, are weak, and leech off the honor of others.
But it's not a crime; it is just a sad statement about their lack of character and integrity -- a common problem in America today. I am proud of and grateful for the service of Thul and of my brothers and sisters in service, particularly the citizen-soldiers who drop their lives when the call comes in, salute smartly and execute their orders.
But those who make false claims don't need a prison cell to be rehabilitated; they need a life.
PETER H. MATSON, MAHTOMEDI
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