Like 29 years of service in the Marine Corps.
That he won the Medal of Honor for rescuing the American Ambassador during the Iranian hostage crisis, and that he had been shot in the back as he returned to the embassy to save the American flag.
In another version, he was a Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot who had been shot down but then, with the help of his buddies, was able to get the chopper back into the sky.
In the Liar Olympics, Alvarez was a gold medal contender. But he raised eyebrows with his tall tales, and reports to the FBI resulted in the first indictment and conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 704(b),(c)(1), widely known as the Stolen Valor Act.
Almost one year after the Supreme Court ruled that the picketing of military funerals was protected speech, the court will today once again hear oral arguments debating whether the First Amendment protects those who lie about military honors and service. Once again, our servicemen and women, past and present , will have to face the fact that the Constitution that they uphold, that they shed blood and lose loved ones to defend, may again protect speech that dishonors and disvalues the very traditions they hold sacred.
The Court’s ruling won’t come down until mid- to late-June. It is likely that this too will be ruled as protected speech, as it was with respect to Westboro Baptist Church’s protests of military funerals. Many members of our Facebook page at that time commented that while the protests infuriated them to no end, they understood the ruling and thought it was the right decision. Our military families know the high cost of freedom.
Justice Brandeis wrote in 1927, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” My family was fond of saying, “Truth will out”. Our amazing partner Military Times is using the power of another part of the First Amendment, the freedom of press, to raise awareness of verified liars. Check out their Hall of Shame. Make yourself feel better by checking out their Hall of Valor blog and search engine.
With the much-deserved attention and support increasing for our military families, wounded warriors and veterans, it would not be surprising to see more Xavier Alvarezes. People have good hearts, and want to help those who have given up so much for us, and that provides an opportunity for scammers to use our patriotism for their personal gain. There are highly rated organizations, like Operation Homefront, that work with our military families to make sure your invaluable time and resources make it to those who legitimately need your support.
Today is also the 280th Birthday of George Washington, in a letter to letter to Charles M. Thruston, Aug. 10, 1794. “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.”