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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 8, February 25, 2007, Article 9

STOLEN VALOR ACT MAY DRIVE MEDAL COLLECTING UNDERGROUND

An article in The Trentonian of New Jersey notes how the Stolen
Valor Act could affect collectors of military medals:

"Gary Hullfish, of Lawrence, has spent the last 40 years building
a unique collection of military memorabilia, but the Stolen Valor
Act is causing him to rethink the value of his work.

"Hullfish has been collecting military medals and other items since
he was about 12-years-old. The first medal he bought was a Bronze
Star Medal in its original box for $8 from a local dealer.

"I still have it," he says with a big grin. "I don’t part with much."

"Laid out around Hullfish’s office and home are various medal groups,
swords and other military items -- all with a story.

"On one wall in his office is the framed Purple Heart of Harold F.
Trapp, a U.S. Navy man who was killed on Dec. 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor
onboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma. The frame includes Trapp’s Purple Heart,
his Good Conduct medal, the casualty list from the ill-fated day that
includes Trapp’s brother Herman on the list, and several photos of
the Oklahoma, including one photo of the battleship belly-up in the
water. Incidentally, the USS Oklahoma was built in the shipyard in
Camden just before World War I.

"These items are going underground," Hullfish said. "Collectors are
putting them away." He doesn’t think that should be the case. In fact,
Hullfish and other collectors, believe their hobby allows history to
live on--long after the medal recipient has passed away.

"We’re buying a piece of American history, and we’re preserving it,"
said Hullfish. "It’s just like buying a piece of Abraham Lincoln’s
hat, the signature of somebody famous or a bayonet from a World War
II rifle. We’re not criminals."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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