Restoring Valor: One Couple’s Mission to Expose Fraudulent War Heroes and to Protect America’s Military Awards System Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Stolen valor occurs when a person lies about receiving military decorations that he or she has in fact never earned. It has become a major societal problem that has been discussed numerous times in the news and, most recently, by the US Supreme Court. According to The New York Times, the Department of Veterans Affairs paid disability benefits to more than six hundred people falsely claiming to have been POWs in the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. The number of stolen valor cases reported to the FBI has tripled in the last decade. In fact, more imposters lie about earning high military declarations for battlefield bravery than the actual number of real-life hero recipients. These imposters trade on tales and the trappings of military valor to secure privileges such as career advancements and even unearned veterans’ benefits.
Because officially recognized valor is a calling card of trust and courage, many of these imposters steal” it to invade the lives of people and institutions, for personal gain and often with criminal results. In Restoring Valor, Doug Sterner provides riveting case studies of the stolen valor imposters he’s investigated and exposed, and the serious crimes — including murder — they’ve committed. He chronicles the evolution of stolen valor from the inception of the republic to today. Sterner demonstrates why the federal law he and his wife Pam helped to enact, called the Stolen Valor Act, is necessary.
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|Listening Length||9 hours and 43 minutes|
|Author||Doug Michael Sterner, Pam Sterner, Michael Mink|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 14, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #452,950 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#288 in Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions True Crime
#1,067 in Military Law (Books)
#1,776 in Law (Audible Books & Originals)
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A Bronze Star recipient for his service during the Vietnam war, Doug watched incredulously as fakes and phonies claimed military successes they never earned. It was too much. He decided to debunk these pretenders. Using public records, he began the enormous project of setting up a detailed database of those who had received our nation's highest awards for meritorious military service. His database verified the individuals name, branch of the service, rank, award received and listed the full description of the actions prompting that award. Gradually, he was able to contest those who dishonestly claimed to be heroes. Politicians, governmental officials, and private citizens began turning to him with questions -- and he was able to debunk or confirm that an individual was in fact a true hero or was, unfortunately, gaming the system for his own aggrandizement. Pam, a student during part of the time Doug was generating the database, began writing a paper on the topic of those who claimed awards they had never really earned. Her work was so significant that the paper became the starting point for what ultimately became the Stolen Valor Act.
Pam and Doug urged politicians and governmental officials to author and/or support the Act. They met with Congressional representatives and appeared before Congressional committees. They debunked case after case of fraudulent claims of heroism. Along the way, they helped countless private citizens learn more about their own relative's high awards and made it possible for those families to memorialize their loved ones (often many years after their death) and preserve their stories for the future.
Although there were setbacks along the way, this amazing couple (who never looked for recognition themselves, but stood in line with others to get into the Supreme Court to hear the case on the Act they initiated) was able to move the dial of history. A revealing book written by two who know this important subject like no one else.