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The Social Security numbers of Army recipients of the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross were inadvertently posted online by a Pentagon contractor and were available to the public until they were discovered by a Vietnam veteran who researches military medal awards.
The Social Security numbers of 31 recipients of the military's top two awards for valor in combat were posted by a contractor conducting medals research for the Pentagon.
A divided Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a law that made it a crime to lie about having earned a military decoration, saying that the act was an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.
The case arose from the prosecution of Xavier Alvarez under the Stolen Valor Act, a law signed in 2006 that made it a crime for a person to falsely claim, orally or in writing, “to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States.”
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Doug Sterner has for 14 years been doing what the Pentagon has failed to do: catalog all 350,000 recipients of top medals of valor.
ALEXANDRIA, VA. -- Doug Sterner drives from his cluttered apartment here to the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., carrying a portable photocopier and a belief in American heroes.
Inside the Navy archives, he flips through thousands of typed index cards detailing bravery in battle. Sterner pulls out a card and starts reading. He's mesmerized by this story:
Charles Valentine August, a Navy pilot who shot down two enemy planes in World War II, was later shot down himself and captured in North Africa. After escaping, August returned to combat and was shot down again and taken prisoner by the Japanese.
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By Dan Moran
NORTH CHICAGO â€” Standing in the nation's first facility that combines the medical services of the Navy and the Veterans Administration, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his VA counterpart, Eric Shinseki, outlined their commitments Monday to both the ongoing military presence in Afghanistan and the care that will be required for those returning from the mission.
By Elizabeth Samet
In his landmark 19th-century treatise "On War," Carl von Clausewitz asked "whether history has ever known a great general who was not ambitious; whether, indeed, such a figure is conceivable."
Clausewitz knew that ambition had gotten a bum rap: "Other emotions," he explained, "may be more common and more venerated -- patriotism, idealism, vengeance, enthusiasm of every kind --but they are no substitute for a thirst for fame and honor."
More than 60 years after completing an illustrious career in World War II, a veteran has received the Distinguished Flying Cross and seven other medals.
Doug Ward, 89, of Mondovi, Wis., said he was grateful to be recognized and was touched that many of his fellow veterans were on hand to watch Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) present him with the medals Sunday.