Website will expose military imposters
By Galen Eagle ,Peterborough Examiner
First posted: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:57 PM EST | Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 11:06 PM EST
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- In the wake of a national firestorm over a local man who posed as a combat veteran, a group of Canadian soldiers is set to launch a new website to out other military imposters.
The group is about to launch Stolen Valour - Canada (www.stolenvalour.ca) to investigate people who impersonate soldiers or embellish their military experience. The idea is similar to the American website, www.stolenvalor.com.
Former U.S. president George W. Bush signed into law the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 to address the unauthorized wear, manufacture or sale of any military decorations and medals in the United States. President Barack Obama went further singing into law the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, making citizens criminally responsible if caught lying about military honours for profit.
Canada has its own military imposter law on the books -- the Criminal Code deals with the unlawful wearing of Canadian Forces uniforms and service medals.
Peterborough's David Dodd became the centre of a national controversy last week after he made false claims on the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Association Facebook group about being a former Pat, having a fellow female soldier die in his arms during overseas combat and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
His claims were met by a firestorm of criticism in military circles when it was revealed Dodd has never been a member of the Princess Patricia's, never served overseas and isn't entitled to wear military medals he's been photographed wearing at local legion events over the past four years.
Dodd apologized to the PPCLI Association and returned the medals after a public shaming involving hundreds of current and retired soldiers.
Retired soldier Bill Finlayson is one of the Canadians behind the new site. The group already has examples of other imposters it's working to expose, he said in an e-mail to QMI Agency.
"We need to let this man and others know that we will no longer tolerate their actions nor their behaviour for any reason," Finlayson said. "We plan to do everything in our power to stop this."