Halloween is a time to dress up and pretend you’re something you aren’t. But that special holiday permission definitely doesn’t extend to dressing up as members of our country’s most honored profession: the military. It’s your duty as a Veteran and a Protector of Stolen Valor to assess, spot, and prevent instances of stolen valor on Halloween. Here are 5 easy ways to get you started:
1. Yell At Children
If you see a trick or treating child stealing valor from our military or any military, make sure you go over and tell them why it’s wrong and what they need to do about it. Also, if you can get the interaction on film, even better: you’ll be able to let the world know exactly who this child is who thought he or she could take away from the hard-earned reputation of literally any military or pseudo-military. Ever.
2. Seriously, don’t let those trick or treaters get away with it, no Matter how cute they are
Don’t let these cute kids fool you. They know full well what they are trying to do with these costumes. Appropriating the culture of the military for trick or treating? Is this what you fought and bled for? Not in my Army/Marines/Air Force/Navy/Coast Guard/Department of Homeland Security/FBI/Police/Firefighter/Park Ranger/Beach Patrol (and any others we forgot).
3. Don’t let your friends steal valor from themselves.
Don’t let your friends wear their own uniform items, or any of your uniform items, or any items which may in any way be misconstrued as possible uniform items, or any items which are no longer issued by the military but may have at some point been issued by the military or a foreign military or may have appeared to have been issued by a military of any country, or allow any person known to you or in contact with you or your family or your Facebook friends to use, distribute or look at any items used or designed to be used by the military in a Halloween costume.
Is that clear?
4. Don’t Let Women Get Away With Stolen Valor, Either
Women will be walking around, going to parties, dressed as soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen (well probably not airmen, actually). You can’t let them get away with this. First of all, nobody in the Army in World War 2 wore shorts that short.
Secondly, everyone, women included, needs to recognize the great contributions to their freedom that these soldiers have given their lives for. Freedom of expression, speech and dress are upheld by the men and women these Halloween revelers are impersonating. They need to be told about their freedom (except the freedom to Steal Valor from our Troops) as much as possible. Go up and yell at a girl about her Marine Corps Dress Blues costume-if you make enough of an impression, she might even give you her number!
5. Learn to recognize the difference between a real Navy SEAL and a fake one (IMPORTANT)
Guys, this is probably the most important step of the process. People are going to be impersonating Navy SEALS all over the place on Halloween. You can’t just call people out who aren’t really stealing valor. You need to know the difference between a real Navy SEAL and a fake one.
Here’s an incorrect Navy SEAL outfit, for reference: