Dear Taya,

I do not understand people. If you think about it, the stolen valor act essentially states one cannot steal valor, it being perfectly legal to wear uniform items so long as not trying to curry favor in court or collect veterans benefits. The only medal that has monetary value is the MOH, and while illegal to sell it is a target for counterfeit yet is substantially rare.

I have a leather vest. I got it from the va. It is a POW MIA you are not forgotten leather peace of clothing and it does just that: it makes me think of those not here and value things I’d esteem to cheaply otherwise.

It is not a uniform item. But a woman named Geraldine, who I think I went to school with, made a huge scene when I ran into her a few days in a row. She started demanding to know when I was missing in action, and who did I know that was a prisoner of war? Before I could elaborate, saying that was neither her nor there, she started howling that I “could not wear that jacket,” as if I was walking around with an MOH or trying to skip a bill with a story.

God! What bothered me is that she wouldn’t listen to reason, or anything! There was no room to clarify and explain.

I really did wear the uniform. And yes, although it means little I did see a little danger, and was present for some other Marines truly remarkable brave and outstanding actions. The fact I couldnt say being in the company of those Marines or even a contributing member of something more meaningful than myself really cracks my level of social stability. It makes me think of the tour(s) or fellow speakers in your circuit, and how at least there she’d be unable to partake in her own preplanned outrage and howdareyou rhetoric.

I’m going to lay down. Maybe read some more Richard Helms memoir.

Semper Fidelis,