Counterfeit Vietnam Medals being sold at auctions?

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Counterfeit Vietnam Medals being sold at auctions?

Kind of a wacky story here:

[Lt. Thomas] Bird, a Marine helicopter pilot, was shot down and killed in Vietnam.

“To know that somebody is making a dime off my brother’s sacrifice makes me sick,” Bird’s brother Jon told KDKA’s Jon Delano on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, members of the Bird family learned that some of their brother’s service medals were being auctioned off in Ohio.

Just one problem. The family has all of his original medals.

“They’re counterfeit,” said John Bird.

Here's more of the story:

If anyone comes across my Good Conduct Medal on the open market, it's a forgery; I never got one.  (Because of a paperwork issue, not poor behavior on my part.)

Who would have known there was a thriving market for counterfeit medals.  Kind of insane to me, but what do I know.

Posted in the burner | 15 comments
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I served in the Army and Air Force so I have medals from both branches. I wouldn't think that to be to unusual. I can assure you I have mine in the correct order. If I would see this I would have to agree they may well be a surplus store hero!

Few years back I was attending a gun show in St. Paul Minnesota and came across a guy trying to sell a half dozen bronze American Legion grave markers. I asked him where he got them and he told me "some guy found them in his garage". I told him many Legion Post place these expensive items next to a Veterans tombstone and every year me and a lot of other Vets place American Flags in the holder. I also told him stealing these markers will get someone into a lot of trouble and he should give them to his local Legion Post with his story. Can't prove he lied to me but I noticed he immediately took them off the table. Jeez, how low can people get to try and sell these as "scrap metal"?

so sad...our post now puts out plastic AL grave markers,no problems (zero resale scrap value) Our VFW post had same problem,and corrected same way. Its sad, tho, our older members say this was NEVER a problem years back..,no respect these days...for anything....

In early 2015 a man with a drug problem took several from our cemetery and sold them. This person payed over 17 thousand dollars because the NYS State police later found that he had stolen from area cemeterys which added up to the price. This person stole my father;s flag holder My dad was a Seabee in ww2 and I was a Seabee in Vietnam.

They should be arrested and sent to prison.

They should be arrested and sent to prison.

I went to high school with him. He was first high school graduate from Mt Lebanon to die in Vietnam Nam. Wish we could stop the hurt they cause this family

I went to high school with him. He was first high school graduate from Mt Lebanon to die in Vietnam Nam. Wish we could stop the hurt they cause this family

Sadly, it's not surprising. It's now getting on to where Vietnam veterans or their relatives, in the case of KIAs, are dying, so it's easy to fake. All you need is a medal and an engraving machine. Although I doubt that there was a "40 year collector" involved--that's just a way to launder the sale. And I'd be willing to bet in another year or so, and identical set will show up for sale. You see the same problem with "in country" unit patches and "Bear can" unit crests from Vietnam. Lots of counterfeits out there. Caveat Emptor, if you're a legitimate memorabilia collector.

I didn’t even receive all the medals I was entitled to wear or display. The only part of my Vietnam service that interested me was was still being alive. I’m glad I went; my life has been incredible these last 50 years! I’ve lived and been and done truly great things. I have also done and made lots of mistakes. Those are my medals. God Bless America and all of its veterans.

My parents passed away and our family cleaned up the home. One of my brothers Lawrence Hagedorn was KIA in 1967, Marine corp, One thing my brother from California wanted was all the service medals of Larrys. I now feel he took them for the money value. Wow! Never thought of a persons awards being sold. Disappointed in a peoples values. I will give mine to my kids now and swear they will never to be sold.

for a very brief time, used to be a law against stolen valor; dems shot it down and reversed it in the house... we need to bring it back - stolen valor NEEDS TO BE PUNISHED!

God bless all those who serve and have served our great nation. As a Vietnam veteran I offer that people who wear unearned medals, especially those awarded for valor and exceptional service are pathetic individuals whose values and life are lacking something. The First Amendment allows these counterfeit heroes to wear military gear and medals unless they use them to gain a financial advantage, such as extra points or credit when applying for a job or position. Same applies to the the scammers who pose as veterans asking for handouts outside public places. They are often caught up in their own lies when legitimate veterans confront them.

Old men and politicians start but do not serve in wars, but young men do and die for duty, honor, country. No one wins in war except for political and economic gain. To the victor go the spoils...

Unfortunately in Legion or VFW magazines, there are advertisements for the purchase of medals and for a little extra then they will even mount them in the correct order. So it is easy for phoneys to get ahold of medals. The question now is do we make it hard for legitimate vets who threw their medals away or lost them to replace them?

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.