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New England News

Massachusetts Governor Signs Stolen Valor Law

The logo of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker Monday signed a bill to make it a crime for someone to falsely claim to have served in the military in order to profit.

The so-called “Stolen Valor Act” was sponsored by State Rep. John Velis of Westfield, a decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan.

He said he was troubled by hearing about more and more instances of people posing as military veterans in order to get a special rate on a loan, a leg up on a job application, or just a discount in a store.

" To me this is morally reprehensible. It is disgusting," said Velis.

The act was approved unanimously in both the Massachusetts House and Senate.

Velis said the Massachusetts law is now the toughest in the country. Violators can get up to a year in jail, a $1000 fine, or both.