STOLEN VALOR

Short people wear elevator shoes. Some women pad their bras. Guys dye their hair and wear rugs. All wishing to be perceived as something they are not. Today’s secondary SCOTUS ruling on “Stolen Valor” makes legal, if not emotional sense. No heroic deed is diminished by the inadequacy of a warrior wannabe any more than scholars are diminished by a dropout exec looking to pad his educational bio. After 30 years of advocacy and interaction with combat veterans, I’ve noticed a handful of such instances, like a soldier claiming to have been captured by the VC and later escaping. In every case, my reaction was identical: I felt very embarrassed for them. Not outrage, just sadness that something inside them remained broken. I doubt their lies led to any genuine healing…but perhaps the unraveling started a journey long overdue.