|Published:||Jun 01, 2010 3:35 PM EDT|
|Updated:||May 31, 2010 10:13 PM EDT|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Monday, the governor signed a bill that would make it a felony to lie about having served in the military. This is law now because too people make their living doing this.
Lawmakers said they will put an end to people lying about being vets to make money - whether they say they are representing an organization, or panhandling on the side of the street.
Richard Lopiano served in Vietnam and said someone pretending to be a vet - is like stealing someone else's identity.
"Imagine what it does to you when somebody's a phony. It bothers your heart."
In fact, it bothers everyone at a VFW in North Fort Myers.
"I hate to say what iI really think about that, but I think it is wrong to desecrate those who have won the awards and who have served."
Thomas Hutchinson served 32 years in the Army. He thinks people lie about having served in the military to get recognition.
"They just want the advantages that the military has - which is respect, honor, and integrity."
"They want to be somebody and they always go to far and that's how they get caught."
Daniel Woods said people are trusting to those in the military, and for those faking it - it can be easy to play the part.
"The truth is, you can buy these medals over the Internet. You can buy this dress blue uniform over the Internet."
Even though this law is in effect, these real vets warn people to still be cautious.
"People have to be very careful who they give their money to. There's a lot of phonies out there and I hate to see people getting ripped off."
Those vets WINK News spoke with said if you are approached by someone claiming to have served in the military, check with a local VFW or American Legion to make sure. There are also websites that can help.
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