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Author Topic: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act  (Read 5469 times)

Offline Masonk

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HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« on: October 02, 2016, 10:12:53 AM »
Interesting development. A new bill has been proposed to prohibit the sale of the Purple Heart. Details are limited, however the focus appears to be on named medals, not to say it wouldn't be inclusive of unnamed Purple Hearts.

What is everyone's opinion on this? Obviously there are a good number of collectors who are the caretaker of one or more Purple Hearts.

Should this pass, how would it be enforced? We have seen the Medal of Honor go through a similar progression, to include the FBI confiscating those in collectors hands. There are far less MOH's, when compared to Purple Hearts, though.

Any theories as to how this will play out are just that at this point, until the full verbiage of the law is available. If this passes, will we see all other valor medal's follow suit? Scary when you thinking about it, depending on your personal view.

Per the following website, the bill has a 1% chance of being enacted. Not sure how accurate this is, though:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr6234

Full article below:

http://cook.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/rep-cook-introduces-legislation-to-prohibit-sale-of-purple-heart-medals

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) introduced HR 6234, the Private Corrado Piccoli Purple Heart Preservation Act.

The bill prohibits the sale of any Purple Heart medal presented by the government to a wounded servicemember or their family. Military collectors often acquire these Purple Hearts, sometimes through underhanded means, and resell them as collectable items. These medals sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars on the collector market.

HR 6234 is named for Private Corrado Piccoli, a WWII infantryman killed in action in 1944. A Purple Heart medal accompanied the telegram informing Private Piccoli’s family of his death. Sadly, years later and after his parents’ passing, the medal was lost. Army Captain Zachariah Fike discovered the lost medal in 2011 and, after researching the name engraved on the medal, returned it to Private Piccoli’s surviving siblings. The experience inspired Captain Fike to found Purple Hearts Reunited, an organization that has, to date, returned over 300 Purple Hearts and rescued 700 more.

As Veterans or their survivors pass away, dozens of these Purple Hearts become lost every year and find their way into pawn shops, junk stores, and estate sales. Service organizations, like Purple Hearts Reunited, work tirelessly to rescue these medals and return them to families. The profiteering actions of military collectors make this task even more difficult as medals find their way onto the market and away from their rightful places of honor.

Rep. Cook, wounded twice in combat himself, said, “These military collectors cheapen the Purple Heart by buying and selling this symbol of sacrifice like a pack of baseball cards. I’m committed to defending our Veterans and that means preserving their symbols of honor like the Purple Heart. These medals belong with families or in museums, not on some collector’s auction block.”

A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years as a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.
Eric
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Offline alibi

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 12:55:26 PM »
My grandmother would have said that it's a matter of closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.

I can see the bill's author point of view, collectors, no matter how much the dialog of preserving history and honoring the people that received decorations do have a tendency to denigrate the awards.  If this bill passes what are the people that have these medals now supposed to do with them, return them to the government, destroy them, barter them for chickens, and document the disposition?  I doubt the bill has been thought out that much to provide some method of turning in the decorations to an appropriate caretaker, which in my opinion is not militaria collectors.

The government does enough to devalue military decorations, for example awarding the Combat Infantry Badge to soldiers that were in combat for a few hours in Grenada.  The recent attempt to award a a combat action medal to people sitting on their cans directing drones.

As to the enforcement issue the only "enforcement" will be by eBay to protect their profits from violation of he law through their hosting the transaction.

Decades ago I acquired a named PH through a dealer that had a business of contacting WWI veterans and talking them into giving up their historically significant uniforms in trade (and I suppose cash) for a uniform provided by the dealer that the veteran could be interned wearing.  Along with the uniforms the dealer acquired helmets, respirators, decorations and etc.  Anyway I have this medal and would just as soon pass it on to the government, a museum, even return it to family (if there is any family that would be interested).

Offline Jack's son

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2016, 01:00:19 PM »
It's an election year!
These disgraceful politicians will find any topic the endear themselves to their voting base!

Let's wait and see.
And once by God, I was a Marine!
—Actor Lee Marvin, circa, 1967, about serving in WW II

Offline Bluemax1

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2016, 04:20:22 PM »
It always makes me wonder why people believe they hold some
Moral high ground ? My father was a 2 war combat wounded
Vet and he loved that I collected and saved Purple Hearts from
Antique and flea markets and researched and in a way made
These men live on !! Sadly only thing this law will do
Is drive Purple Heart sales under ground and like MOH they will be sold overseas never to
Come home ! And when the family member reliezes the have no value
Any more they will trash them ! Hope this stupid law crashes and burns !

Offline Masonk

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2016, 08:41:40 PM »
Some random thoughts that come to mind as I think about this:

The article puts emphasis on government issued medals. Curious as to what their definition of Government issued is. My assumption is they are referring to engraved Purple Hearts. Who is going to be the expert to confirm a Medal is government engraved or not. Whose to say I didn't have a Medal engraved yesterday as a tribute?

What about medals in collections attributed, but not named. What becomes of these medals? My assumption is they stay with the collector?

What if I have a grouping of medals to an individual, one of which is an engraved Purple Heart, the other an engraved Silver Star. So the Purlpe Heart is returned to the family or placed in a museum (an issue in of itself), but you have now seperated it from the other medals. Kind of defeats the purpose, in a sense.

Are resources available to act on all reports of Purple Hearts in collections? Seems like we could dedicate these resources elsewhere.

What about those cases where the medal was sold/discarded by the family, and is now forced back into their possession. Maybe they sold it because it brings back bad memories. Just because a person was awarded a Purple Heart, doesn't mean they were a good person.

A lot of what ifs, but are these points being considered?

It's a feel good bill, with good intentions, but it appears it will be a legal and logistical nightmare.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 08:43:31 PM by Masonk »
Eric
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Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 07:53:00 AM »
This guy is a Captain in the National Guard. I wonder when he finds the time to lead his Soldier's like he should be doing in the first place.

Seems to me that he is not a very good leader if he is spending all his time trying to re-unite medals.

At least that is what I am seeing. His father is a retired Command Sergeant Major too..

Smitty

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Offline ccfc

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 08:36:53 AM »
I've stood next to people who've sold their grandfathers WW2 British medals for £20

I've often thought what benefit £20 gives you over your family history??

Whilst I'm sure there are American families who would dearly love their families medals back, I'll bet there's an equal amount who wouldn't give a monkeys unless it was indeed valuable.

I believe in many cases medals are far more treasured by a collector anyway

Lee




Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 10:46:00 AM »
I've stood next to people who've sold their grandfathers WW2 British medals for £20

I've often thought what benefit £20 gives you over your family history??

Whilst I'm sure there are American families who would dearly love their families medals back, I'll bet there's an equal amount who wouldn't give a monkeys unless it was indeed valuable.

I believe in many cases medals are far more treasured by a collector anyway

Lee

Lee,

I agree 100% and if it wasn't for us collectors, I would imaging a lot more of these medals would be lost to time...

Smitty
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Offline captainofthe7th

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2016, 04:10:31 AM »
This one - for some reason - is really bothering me and I am going to write to my representative today....who else plans on doing so?

I think what bothers me is that I don't believe what Fike does is any better than what I do as a collector, especially since I go to great lengths to contact the families and 90+ percent of the time they don't want anything back and are happy to know their heirlooms are being cared for - or I can never find any family since the veteran never had children or siblings.  I think he would have a lot of people behind his back for his own crusade if he supported collectors instead of criminalizing and berating them.  I believe in his mission, but I have a hard time supporting him since I feel he is always making a point of attacking collectors like me (us) and once he goes there, how can I be sympathetic?

Maybe I am getting worked up over nothing.

Rob
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Offline Masonk

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2016, 07:06:23 AM »
This one - for some reason - is really bothering me and I am going to write to my representative today....who else plans on doing so?

I think what bothers me is that I don't believe what Fike does is any better than what I do as a collector, especially since I go to great lengths to contact the families and 90+ percent of the time they don't want anything back and are happy to know their heirlooms are being cared for - or I can never find any family since the veteran never had children or siblings.  I think he would have a lot of people behind his back for his own crusade if he supported collectors instead of criminalizing and berating them.  I believe in his mission, but I have a hard time supporting him since I feel he is always making a point of attacking collectors like me (us) and once he goes there, how can I be sympathetic?

Maybe I am getting worked up over nothing.

Rob

I couldn't agree more, Rob. He's pretty much ostracized a whole group of people, who could be vital in his effort. The irony of it all, is he himself is (or was) a collector. 
Eric
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Offline Masonk

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2016, 07:08:18 AM »
Thought I would share this article from Military Times. First mention of the potential penalties for selling the Purple Heart:

http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/selling-purple-hearts-illegal-cook-bill

"Republican Rep. Paul Cook introduced legislation last week which would make selling the medal punishable by fines and up to six months in prison"

So far, I haven't seen any reference to repercussions for owning the Purple Heart.
Eric
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Offline Rakkasan187

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2016, 07:27:04 AM »
So once again those owners of said medals and decorations will have to go "underground" if this Law is ever passed and they will have a difficult time exhibiting said medals for public displays for fear of Government agents seizing the medals and arresting the collector..

I am afraid we are in for some very sad times in our nation...

Smitty
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Offline Kohima

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 09:00:05 AM »
" When Tyranny Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty. I Will Not Comply. "



KTB
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Offline Fearless Leader

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2016, 06:01:02 PM »
" When Tyranny Becomes Law, Rebellion Becomes Duty. I Will Not Comply. "
KTB

K.....it doesn't get more ellequent then your quote!!
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Offline Bluemax1

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Re: HR 6234 - Purple Heart Preservation Act
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 08:21:48 AM »
Don't expect help from your congressmen I just got a reply from mine ! He is aware of my concern as a collector but feels the law is a good thing because of the unscrupulous way collectors get medals off the families !!!
I will try to post email !
! !

 

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