To allow any and all who haven’t served a day in uniform to claim they have and wear the uniforms and medals many of us have shed our own blood for and been denied is quite possibly the biggest slap in the face I’ve ever received. Medals aren’t just handed out willy-nilly; each and every award and decoration has a serialized order number associated with it. Each award and decoration goes through an approval process that take weeks (months in some cases) and requires the approval of a Field/Fleet or General/Flag grade officer, depending on the award in question, whose authority is derived directly from the President of the United States. When an award is approved, it’s the Federal Government of the United States saying, “you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty, and we want you to wear this for all to know how we appreciate your efforts.”
Think about that. For me to wear an award or even claim to have one, a representative with authority derived from the top level of the federal government has to say it is okay, otherwise I am charged with a federal crime that carries a felony conviction and associated prison sentence, depending on the ruling of the court martial. But every single civilian who has never raised their hand in support of this nation is allowed to wear that exact same award whenever they feel like it, because for them, it’s protected speech?
The people for whom the awards and decorations were made have to have government approval to claim or wear one, while every one for whom the awards and decorations were never meant for can claim them or wear them anytime they want by virtue of simply being alive. I have a HUGE problem with that.