Hattiesburg Veteran speaks out against appeals court ruling

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Robert Ledford is a local world war ll veteran and past state commander for the purple heart association, and he finds it disgraceful for anyone to lie about receiving any medals from the U.S. military.

"I think it is despicable," said Ledfrod.

Much like in California where one man broke the Stolen Valor Act and claimed that he received the medal of honor and was indicted in 2007, but an appeals court ruled the law unconstitutional. Ledford feels it is shameful to veterans who have earned the medals.

"The guy that claim to be in combat and won medals...its degrading to people who really did win them, you know," said Ledford.

Ledford has a purple heart of his own and knew many from his division in world war ll who made the ultimate sacrifice for the medal of honor.

" I think there were 36 medal of honor winners. They were killed in action and the families received the medal," said Ledford.

The California man who lied about his medal later appealed his sentence, and won the appeal based on the law being a violation of his free speech. Ledford believes that decision was wrong.

" I think they should have really cracked down on him. They should make an example out of him. I would have to think about what I would do to him, but just giving him a little slap on the wrist and fining him don't get it, in my opinion" said Ledford.

Ledford says that many of his fellow veterans would agree with him.