BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Veterans in Belfast and Senator Mike Thibodeau celebrated a new law that will fine anyone impersonating a veteran in Maine.
This goes hand in hand with the federal stolen Valor law, which prohibits anyone of claiming to be a veteran in hopes of obtaining money, property or any tangible item. This bill takes that a step further by saying "anyone impersonating". For example, a person asking for money on the side of the road saying they are a homeless vet. If they were not able to prove they were a veteran, they would be fined. Most veterans have their Military I.D.'s on them at all times or have access to them. Another form of identification would be their DD 214 form, which is the discharge paperwork used for all branches of the military. Some veterans may even have identification on their drivers license.
Thibodeau and veterans feel this bill supports the values of Maine's people. "These men and women have put their lives on hold, served around the world, risked their lives to be an American veteran" Thibodeau said. "For somebody to simply try and steal that title, to use that title to gain something, that is scamming the people of the state of Maine and doesn't reflect the values of our state".
"There are so many people out there taking advantage claiming to be veterans, and its taking away from the veterans that deserve it" Jim Woods said. Woods is the commander at the VFW in Belfast. "Its time that people stepped up, I mean this is Maine and I think this is going to spread, hopefully it does spread throughout the country".
The fine money will go into a fund to help military families here in Maine.