From a reader:
Me: Navy Reservist, Commander, 19 years total, 7 years active duty.
Medals: Truth is, you can buy a duplicate of almost every medal and ribbon
the military issues at the post exchange. Ribbons are about 30 cents, medals
5-10 dollars, give or take a few percent on each. I buy new ones
frequently, every few months or every year, as the old ones get dirty/worn.
(Above the left pocket on shirt, shoulder part of seat belt wears on it.) If
I am issued a new ribbon (I have 10) I usually buy the whole set of ribbons
so the clean one does not stand out.
His CLAIM that he threw away either medals OR ribbons in a pique of rage
against the government or in a fit of theatrics is the important part here.
His dancing around it (medals/ribbons) is simply lies, and perhaps
(originally) intentional embellishment for theatric effect.
Whether or not he actually did throw away the medals/ribbons is irrelevant
to me. The fact that he was an anti-war protestor, and an EXTREMELY active
one at that, providing aid and comfort to the enemy, while our troops are on
the ground, is the important part to me. Claiming to throw away the
medals/ribbons is just another act in a long line of acts.