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Medal Collectors and Militaria Collectors...we have a fight on our hands.


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This bill will only be supported by misguided, misinformed and less than honorable congressmen. Make sure your representatives understand that this legislation is Un-American and is a deal breaker for future support and reelection. I for one will never vote for a political who supports this ridiculous unconstitutional property grab. That said I have faith that America is fed up with government overreach and threats against our veterans and will defeat this bill.

How about a suggestion to counteract this upcoming Bill.

Always Buying...Medals...Patches...Wings... Singles or Groups...Top Cash Paid!!!

My Website...http://www.purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com/

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Okay Gentleman,

Any ideas on things to do to counteract this proposed bill besides the writing campaign to our representatives?

 

I had posted proposing a digital petition but didn't even get a single reply to the topic, which surprised my sincerely.

***Items from unit called 8th Field Depot***

[Most frequently-sought unit because of family connection]

 

Intact ["out of the woodwork"] Marine Corps combat groups from WWII.

 

Unique items signed by many Marines from one unit, or inscribed with combat history.

 

Marine Corps valor recipient items.

 

Souvenirs taken by Marines with exceptional background and/or unique stories/documentation.

 

Marine Ship Detachment items from major naval engagements and those that warrant stars to ETO ribbon.

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Start it...I would have no idea how to begin...

 

It was suggested that I speak with Mr. Schwind on such matters. I will get on it.

***Items from unit called 8th Field Depot***

[Most frequently-sought unit because of family connection]

 

Intact ["out of the woodwork"] Marine Corps combat groups from WWII.

 

Unique items signed by many Marines from one unit, or inscribed with combat history.

 

Marine Corps valor recipient items.

 

Souvenirs taken by Marines with exceptional background and/or unique stories/documentation.

 

Marine Ship Detachment items from major naval engagements and those that warrant stars to ETO ribbon.

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I had posted proposing a digital petition but didn't even get a single reply to the topic, which surprised my sincerely.

Digital petitions are worthless and will not help this cause.

Worse, they could hurt it, as people might waste their time on such a thing and not contacting lawmakers directly, which might actually be of some real help. I

ts nothing but pure Slacktivism

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/your-online-petition-is-useless/340316/

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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I had posted proposing a digital petition but didn't even get a single reply to the topic, which surprised my sincerely.

 

 

 

Your swimming against the current.Electronic replies get or have little or no weight

 

Its like telling your boss its not fair he parks his vehicle in a reserved spot everyday closet to the office door.He listens,he acts concernen but it doesnt change his view or why he parks there.

 

 

 

I dont want to be negative but these politicians really do not care what you think.They will push this as its a "feel good" issue and blow time and money on it while not being able to address or fix the bigger problems so something like this is just frosting to cover up whats really wrong.They pass this bill and it gives them credit to the misinformed masses that they are doing their jobs....basically millions going to be spent in hours and time where it should be a non issue as these medals are basically private property.....As was suggested by a good friend why not get the ACLU involved as its a strike against your individual rights to own and keep or sell something thats private property.Im sure someone will say the government still owns all these medals...If so why not just recind or force people to return government property to the issuing authority.You know have a drop box at Walmart or the post office to turn them in.

 

Keep reading the reply from that official that was posted.Very well worded and veiled response...basically I hear you...Im listening but Im on the side of this that points to it being an evil issue that needs rectified.Smoke,mirrors and double talk....typical political rhetoric

 

I have spoken to veterans at our local legion meetings also local and area veterans councils.Most are unaware or not concerned about this and wont push it up the chain here so far...For the most part no ones really sees the point or understands collectors and face it collectors are not the demographic these local,state and federal official are concerned about.....when it starts to concern funds or money then it gets noticed.

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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Digital petitions are worthless and will not help this cause.

Worse, they could hurt it, as people might waste their time on such a thing and not contacting lawmakers directly, which might actually be of some real help. I

ts nothing but pure Slacktivism

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/08/your-online-petition-is-useless/340316/

 

I have to admit I agree.

 

Here are a couple drawbacks:

 

1. As willysmb44 points out, it's an easy way for people to feel like they are doing something, but in reality, unless there's a huge number of signers, the petition doesn't get looked at.

 

2. A petition on change.org requires 100,000 signatures to get a response from the White House. A couple of things can happen: First, if you don't get 100,000 signatures, or if you get a tiny fraction of that (could we even get 5,000? I think we'd be hard pressed to do so) then it gives the politicians ammo for how they plan on voting. It takes one look to see there's only 300, 500, 2,000 signatures on there and the politician says to himself: "I could either get tarred and feathered by my opponent for not supporting Gold Star families in my next election cycle, or I could piss off 300 people." When framed like that...the choice is pretty clear.

 

Second, even if there is well-reasoned points to be made against the law, and if there's overwhelming outrage against it, that still doesn't mean anything will happen. There was a HUGE amount of outrage when the Secretary of the Navy took away the Navy's ratings a couple of months ago. The petition on change.org did (eventually) get 100,000 signatures (it took longer than I thought, surprisingly) and the White House did respond...by basically cutting and pasting a letter from the SECNAV with his excuses for taking away rates. No change, no nothing...just a letter that I could have gotten on my own if I had written the SECNAV myself. And that was with a huge amount of outrage and good publicity...and still nothing was done.

 

3. A written petition is also a possibility, but I caution against that for the same reason. Even if you get every person who walks in the door of the SOS to sign it...first, you're going to have issues because they are often state or district specific and people there are from every state and many different countries, so they aren't even eligible to sign the petition. Second, as can be seen from our "stop gunmageddon" petitions here in my state, where nearly every gun shop and reputable sporting goods store had them, not to mention countless people setting up outside of the local supermarkets and such, they still failed to get enough signatures to even get the measures on the ballot to get voted on - in spite of having millions of legal gun owners in this state! (The one measure that did get on the ballot was unfortunately, overwhelmingly, and shockingly, voted for in favor of the anti-gun people...in spite of the widespread and legitimate outrage against the draconian laws.

 

So those are my cautions about petitions, on line or in person.

 

It is far better to:

 

1. Talk to the respective staffer at your congressman's office who makes policy recommendations for the congressman. Explain to them not that you're going to be limited in being a collector, but take it from the angle that the law is horribly written, unenforceable, and a violation of property rights...not to mention against the SCOTUS ruling regarding stolen valor (the name of the case escapes me at the moment).

 

2. Drum up as much good PR as you can. Call your local newspaper, even talk to your local news channel about getting on the air to talk about your collection. How about local radio shows? The goal would be to drum up local support in order to have other people contact your US congressman and/or senator and tell them not to vote for the law.

 

3. Talk about the law and how it will affect you with your parents, your cousins, your sisters and brothers, your in-laws, your aunts and uncles, neighbors, friends, old roommates, military unit buddies, BPOE friends, fellow Knights of Columbus, grandparents, the town sheriff, the guy at the gas station, checkers at the supermarket, whatever...have them send letters to their congressman or senators about the law. It's perfectly okay if you draft the letter, address the envelope, put a stamp on it, and then just have them sign the letter...and then mail it for them. All of that is perfectly legal (so long as they sign it, of course...no dead people letters, please!) Christmas is coming up...if you could get 10, 20, 30 letters headed to your congressman against the law...then that would have a huge effect, particularly with that one elected official.

 

Just a couple thoughts that come to mind. There are ways to do this, but it takes effort on our part to get it done.

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Good points, Dave.
I think it should be stressed to the public like this:

  1. Families sell or give away these medals every day. Not everyone cares, especially in this era of eBay and 'Pawn Stars'.
  2. Which do you prefer? Medals in the hands of collectors, or in landfills? Your choice, people.

It can be (and is) as simple as that.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

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Good points, Dave.

I think it should be stressed to the public like this:

  1. Families sell or give away these medals every day. Not everyone cares, especially in this era of eBay and 'Pawn Stars'.
  2. Which do you prefer? Medals in the hands of collectors, or in landfills? Your choice, people.

It can be (and is) as simple as that.

 

Simple and politicians is like water and oil...........

In Memoriam:
Lieutenant J.Kostelec 1-3 First Special Service Force MIA/PD 4 March 1944 Italy
I HAVE SEEN THE ENEMY AND IT IS DAYLIGHT
Forget about the tips..We'll get hell to pay (AC/DC)
"If you cant get out and run with the big dogs then sit on the porch and bark at the cars going by.."

Have you Hugged a Clown Today?

You Cant Get A Sun Tan On The Moon..





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I have some thoughts, but first I would like to apologize for not being more involved in this subject or even the forum in general. Family and work tend to take priority over my personal interests in this hobby. However, as a 30+ year collector with an emphasis on collecting Purple Hearts and other decorations, I should make a concerted effort to be more involved.

 

I believe we should have a two-fold campaign to combat this bill. First, do what we can as individuals to kill this bill by contacting our congressmen, signing a petitions, campaigning the negative consequences of the bill, etc. These are typically low cost and somewhat unorganized, but a needed part of our effort to stop this bill.

 

Second, I strongly feel we need a newly created organization to combat what Purple Hearts Reunited is doing. Major Fike has an established organization speaking on the bill's behalf and we are merely a group of collectors largely upset that this bill is in committee and doing what we can on our own individual efforts to try and stop it.

 

PHR focus primarily on the return of the Purple Hearts to the family however, the history of the medal's recipient is secondary and not really covered by the media. Robert asked for additional ideas and I am proposing the creation of a Purple Heart collectors association that promotes the preservation and history of these medals. I'm not sure what it would be, but perhaps it's a web based group that collectors are able to show the medals anonymously and tell the story behind each one. I know that some forum members have websites dedicated to displaying the medals, but this would be different in that it would be a community effort with anonymous posting of medals as a way of honoring each recipient. It would give us a public presence and show that there is an organization dedicated honoring these servicemen, because these medals were acquired when families no longer wanted them. If a goal is to return originally issued medals to the family, but no family can be located then there must be an alternative to them remaining in the possession of PHR where no one will ever care for them as collectors would.

 

As collectors we need to show why we are a benefit and how we are preserving the history of all medals including the Purple Heart. Major Fike is winning with an organization and we need one, too.

 

Keith Moran

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Second, I strongly feel we need a newly created organization to combat what Purple Hearts Reunited is doing. Major Fike has an established organization speaking on the bill's behalf and we are merely a group of collectors largely upset that this bill is in committee and doing what we can on our own individual efforts to try and stop it.

 

PHR focus primarily on the return of the Purple Hearts to the family however, the history of the medal's recipient is secondary and not really covered by the media. Robert asked for additional ideas and I am proposing the creation of a Purple Heart collectors association that promotes the preservation and history of these medals. I'm not sure what it would be, but perhaps it's a web based group that collectors are able to show the medals anonymously and tell the story behind each one. I know that some forum members have websites dedicated to displaying the medals, but this would be different in that it would be a community effort with anonymous posting of medals as a way of honoring each recipient. It would give us a public presence and show that there is an organization dedicated honoring these servicemen, because these medals were acquired when families no longer wanted them. If a goal is to return originally issued medals to the family, but no family can be located then there must be an alternative to them remaining in the possession of PHR where no one will ever care for them as collectors would.

 

I was kind of keeping this under wraps until I could get it better established and (hopefully) obtain its 501©3 status, but you make a good argument for getting this going sooner than later, so here goes...

 

It just so happens that I have established a non-profit (at this point, only incorporated in California) for the specific purpose to:

 

"...obtain, research, and document United States government awarded posthumous valor and service medals, specifically the Purple Heart, in order to record and convey the biographical story of each recipient through photographs, written hard-copy and digital media. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the preservation of our military veterans' sacrifices for future generations."

 

Because of my book sucking the life out of me, I haven't actively pursued the 501©3 status with the federal government yet, but it is on my to-do list when I can catch a breather. I will also admit that digging into all the requirements of running a non-profit is pretty daunting, not to mention time consuming...lots of paperwork and moving parts...which is why I haven't really gotten into gear yet.

 

I would have no issue with accepting the assistance/advice of someone familiar with the legal aspects of non-profits as well as the tax/bookkeeping side as well. I would also have no issue doing exactly what you suggest with it; using it to tell the stories of these men and women, as well as using it to offer a viable alternative for lost/wayward Purple Hearts instead of PHR.

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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I was kind of keeping this under wraps until I could get it better established and (hopefully) obtain its 501©3 status, but you make a good argument for getting this going sooner than later, so here goes...

 

It just so happens that I have established a non-profit (at this point, only incorporated in California) for the specific purpose to:

 

"...obtain, research, and document United States government awarded posthumous valor and service medals, specifically the Purple Heart, in order to record and convey the biographical story of each recipient through photographs, written hard-copy and digital media. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the preservation of our military veterans' sacrifices for future generations."

 

Because of my book sucking the life out of me, I haven't actively pursued the 501©3 status with the federal government yet, but it is on my to-do list when I can catch a breather. I will also admit that digging into all the requirements of running a non-profit is pretty daunting, not to mention time consuming...lots of paperwork and moving parts...which is why I haven't really gotten into gear yet.

 

I would have no issue with accepting the assistance/advice of someone familiar with the legal aspects of non-profits as well as the tax/bookkeeping side as well. I would also have no issue doing exactly what you suggest with it; using it to tell the stories of these men and women, as well as using it to offer a viable alternative for lost/wayward Purple Hearts instead of PHR.

 

Dave

I think we talked briefly about this once before...I have been contemplating putting my collecting side in some Museum/ Collectibles/ status...whatever fits the best.

Always Buying...Medals...Patches...Wings... Singles or Groups...Top Cash Paid!!!

My Website...http://www.purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com/

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Keith...that can be done economical...a Weebly site like mine is basically free with the extra cost of adding a better search engine. I've had that one for a few years with no adverse troubles.

We can begin a Purple Hearts United organization that shows all our work.

We still will have to deal with not returning them to a 10th cousin...but we have a purpose...a venue and Web presence to direct folks .It sounds good.

Always Buying...Medals...Patches...Wings... Singles or Groups...Top Cash Paid!!!

My Website...http://www.purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com/

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Dave - Glad to hear you have something in the works. I wish I could have made some contributions to your book.

 

Robert - Not to get off topic, but I like a website idea as more of a "show, tell and honor". I'd share my collection more if I could do it anonymously. My vision is to see something that we, as a collecting community, could share publicly without the over analyzing comments (see the M-1 helmet collecting world), no "For Sale" or "Wanted" sections, any reference to the monetary value of a piece, and no discussion of any medal that the members chose to share. It would not be a place for a forum. Furthermore, there would be no direct contact with any owner who wishes to share/show a medal and it's story. It would be strictly showing a medal and telling the history of the recipient. That, as you said, would give us a purpose, a venue and a public presence. I think more than anything that would give us something to fight with and hopefully rival PHR. I'm willing to be active in the creation of this organization, but I can't do it alone.

 

KM

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There are differences between non profits and 501©3 organizations. Below are the IRS 501©3 rules, where you can start to see the difficulties. A group's focus would have to on education, but I am not sure it would be fair to say it would be. The 501©3 status is mostly used to allow donations to a group to be tax deductible, but in this case, that might not be that important. Simply being a non profit might be enough.

 

I like the group idea, but also wonder if there would be a possibility of accomplishing the same thing through OMSA, maybe through the creation of a new subgroup. That would have the advantage of not reinventing the wheel, and provide the new group with a higher degree of credibility from the start...plus possibly breath some new life and energy into OMSA, which would result in a win win for everyone.

 

https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations

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I'm interested in an organization and community website. Robert uses weebly - I use Wix - they're all about the same. I do pay about $100 a year to have 'own' the site with succinct domain name (rcmcollection.com) and I think it would be worth the investment. Especially if there are a number of contributing members you could split the cost - imagine we have five members, that's $20/yr, 20 members $5/yr, the number only gets smaller.

 

I would be willing to do a lot of work for a website like this, from design and layout to updating and maintaining. I know this is just in ideation, but I want that to be known.

 

Having a website is great - you can add it to signatures in emails, distribute with ease in social media, add it on business cards, letters, anything. It's also a great way for contributors to link to their own websites. On this note, while it adds credibility to be a branch of OMSA or another group, I think it's important to have such a website as a seperate but linked entity. A link on an existing site is not as conspicuous as it's own thing .com.

 

Even if this bill passes, it seems we would still be able to own the medals we currently have, and it would be a statement to showcase a large volume of them online like that. It would certainly be a digital museum without the limitations of physical space and could prove how caring private collectors are and how much time and energy we put into this hobby.

 

Rob

Exhausting & Dirty Work



Interested in buying identified or re-searchable Korean War uniforms, groupings, medals and more.

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I have a few suggestions:

 

Firstly try contacting Donald Trump, he recieved a Purple Heart as a gift and mentioned he always wanted to own one.

 

Two, Admiral McCains medals were sold by his family so try contacting John McCain as someone in his family sold those. Maybe they could share more light on why they did this and how this law means families will no longer be able to sell these medals.

 

Three, a high profile collector of medals is Lord Ashcroft in the UK, he is a famous businessman and collector of Victoria Crosses however I do know he has US medals in his collection. Maybe members could contact him and ask for support?

Wanted - WW2 Medals, Uniforms or Groupings to the 82nd Airborne Div

 

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I have a few suggestions:

 

Firstly try contacting Donald Trump, he recieved a Purple Heart as a gift and mentioned he always wanted to own one.

 

Two, Admiral McCains medals were sold by his family so try contacting John McCain as someone in his family sold those. Maybe they could share more light on why they did this and how this law means families will no longer be able to sell these medals.

 

Three, a high profile collector of medals is Lord Ashcroft in the UK, he is a famous businessman and collector of Victoria Crosses however I do know he has US medals in his collection. Maybe members could contact him and ask for support?

We have a few things working that we can't address yet.

Always Buying...Medals...Patches...Wings... Singles or Groups...Top Cash Paid!!!

My Website...http://www.purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com/

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Suggestions:

 

1) Spread the word at shows! How about an informational display & handouts with pertinent contact info for representatives, etc. ...and a link to prototype letters to make the process easier for people to send them. Think: SoS - Louisville...

 

2) Contact representatives who have Libertarian leanings, or are "Constitutional Conservatives". AKA, people who are more likely to have an innate respect for personal property rights and be against government over-reaches. Big government types in both parties and people who focus on the emotional aspects are less likely to care.

 

3) Do you know a vet in your area who was a recipient? If you know them well, perhaps they would be willing to help. That could be very good PR and make a memorable impact on someone.

 

Other than that...continue writing letters and raising a stink. Don't write one letter. Send another. Squeaky wheels get the grease.

 

As others have noted....there is no way this is either legal or enforceable.....but if passed, someone would have to anty-up for hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawyer fees to prove it through the court system.

 

God bless America.

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Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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Thoughts from my foxhole:

1) We must separate our emotion from our passion. By that I mean we need to work toward our goal with vigor, but not to the point we act out of blind emotion. I think by doing so it only harms our cause and gives more ammunition to those who say collectors are only in it for the money.

2) PHR has strong support with various groups previously mentioned. We have many collecting groups and organizations with membership probably running equal, but it seems they have largely remained silent. One or more of those groups acting on behalf of their xxxxxx-strong membership seems like it would carry more weight as the politicians may think 'certainly SOME of those are probably from my district.'

3) As mentioned, examining some recent PHR events, one may suspect some interesting practices are going on to say the least - this certainly ought to be addressed, but it is one area that I am not very wise in.

4) In addition to some of the ideas mentioned in previous points, many of us have received Purple Hearts or other medals direct from families. It may be worth returning to them, discuss the proposed law, and see if they would write a letter explaining their own situation. Instances like those may carry some weight to expose the thought process of many families.

Kyle

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On this note, while it adds credibility to be a branch of OMSA or another group, I think it's important to have such a website as a separate but linked entity. A link on an existing site is not as conspicuous as it's own thing .com.

 

I can easily agree, and would add as a further counterpoint that it always adds a degree of difficultly working with another group, especially one so set in its ways.

 

That said, I don't think just having a website is enough. To mean something, it needs to have a Group behind it, one that has filed the appropriate non profit paperwork with the IRS. That is not a huge stumbling block, but does have some basic requirements.

 

This group probably fits better as a 501c non profit rather than a 501©3. The "3" is mostly about qualifying as a charity, which adds an additional level of scrutiny from the IRS. This is related to their rules related to the deductibility of donations to 501©3 groups. The "3" also has restrictions related to political action or campaigning.

 

Anyway, I think to be successful with the politicians, the focus needs to be on the Group, with a website coming closely behind in support.

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I can easily agree, and would add as a further counterpoint that it always adds a degree of difficultly working with another group, especially one so set in its ways.

 

That said, I don't think just having a website is enough. To mean something, it needs to have a Group behind it, one that has filed the appropriate non profit paperwork with the IRS. That is not a huge stumbling block, but does have some basic requirements.

 

This group probably fits better as a 501c non profit rather than a 501©3. The "3" is mostly about qualifying as a charity, which adds an additional level of scrutiny from the IRS. This is related to their rules related to the deductibility of donations to 501©3 groups. The "3" also has restrictions related to political action or campaigning.

 

Anyway, I think to be successful with the politicians, the focus needs to be on the Group, with a website coming closely behind in support.

Agreed...but it's a start...501 © non profit...sounds like a good fit.

If it does not work...I think it is still a needed venue for us in the future. Maybe we can get OMSA to link us link us in ...I will send a link and get their thoughts.

Always Buying...Medals...Patches...Wings... Singles or Groups...Top Cash Paid!!!

My Website...http://www.purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com/

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There have been a lot of good posts on this topic. This is just my two cents on something I thought about yesterday while at work.

 

One of the PHs in my collection came directly from the Marines niece. I originally met with her because she was selling off her fathers stuff. He served in the USAAF. We spent a few hours talking about her fathers achievements during the war, scanning different excerpts out of books where he was mentioned and she shared stories she had from during and after his service. She mentioned that she had her uncles PH, and when she asked me "what do you do with that kind of thing", I offered to buy it.

 

After speaking for the last 5 hours, she realized that I genuinely cared about the things I was buying, as well as the history attached to the piece. She did sell me the PH, along with the certificates that her grandmother had framed when she received them in 1947.

 

I guess my point in all this is I am sure many of you have purchased medals directly from the families. Maybe some of those families would agree to write a short letter on why they felt selling them to someone who would care for them would be a good idea. I know many will not want to do this (for fear of people judging them for selling their family member's medals), but maybe a select few will.

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I haven't read all the replies on here, so I apologize if some of these things have already been addressed.

 

The issue here is education and public perception. The militaria collector has always been negatively portrayed in society. Many times a militaria collector is often times equated with crazy characters like the owner of the army/navy store in the Michael Douglas movie "falling down." Even TV shows like the Simpsons have the "crazy militaria" collector character who comes out every once in a while. Unfortunately, public perception of the militaria collector has always been skewed towards the negative. We like war, we like instruments of death, and we, apparently, like stealing Purple Hearts from little old ladies.

 

The bottom line is, aside of the letter-writing and email campaign to your elected officials, there needs to be some education to show that we all aren't what people think we are. For the record, I do NOT collect named Purple Hearts, so I really don't have a dog in this fight. However, I do collect unnamed medals, and I have a feeling this legislation will affect me. We need to show people we aren't bad, evil people. I am a history teacher, and I use parts of my collection to educate my kids on what those medals are. Whenever someone is awarded a Medal of Honor, I let the kids know in the current events part of my class. On Veterans Day and on Pearl Harbor Day, I bring in the pieces of my collection to show students. I have spoken to our history club, and I have displayed my collection for all to see. People need to know that there are those of us who use these medals to honor those who served, and we aren't trying to rip anybody off.

 

I know that many of you might not like this idea, but I think we should use social media to our advantage. I don't know how often the US Militaria Forum Facebook page is updated. I asked to join quite some time ago, and I have yet to be approved, but I think it would be a good idea to record videos of why we're against this proposed legislation and post those videos to the various social media outlets. We need to contact our local newspapers and TV stations and let them know that we aren't evil people; that we aren't crazy people, and we collect these items for good rather than for evil.

 

There are several militaria collectors spread all over the United States. If we can use local media and social media to put a real face on the people who collect; if we can show that we are real people, and not the caricatures that people think we are, we can show people that we aren't thieves, and we aren't trying to do anything bad.

"I am the law. Right here, right now, I AM THE LAW!"

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Let's be honest, as a community, we've earned some of that scorn.

 

Everytime somebody rips off a family member, peddles a fake, plays the obits to score a footlocker, etc, we collectively look bad.

 

A friend, and long time collector, passed a few years ago. People were asking his wife about his stuff at his calling hours.

 

As the saying goes, we are represented by our worst, and HAVE to start exacting some level of accountability. If somebody's selling humped up helmets, building medal groups around old newspaper clippings, etc, it has to be addressed. Silence is equivalent to complicity as I see it.

 

I'm proud to say this forum is a relative safe harbor, amidst largely dangerous seas.

 

But, if you know somebody that does shady crap, say something. Character is largely what defines us. Do I think we can completely clean up the guild? No. Where there's markets, there are thieves, but we don't have to make it easy.

 

 

 

 

I haven't read all the replies on here, so I apologize if some of these things have already been addressed.

 

The issue here is education and public perception. The militaria collector has always been negatively portrayed in society. Many times a militaria collector is often times equated with crazy characters like the owner of the army/navy store in the Michael Douglas movie "falling down." Even TV shows like the Simpsons have the "crazy militaria" collector character who comes out every once in a while. Unfortunately, public perception of the militaria collector has always been skewed towards the negative. We like war, we like instruments of death, and we, apparently, like stealing Purple Hearts from little old ladies.

 

The bottom line is, aside of the letter-writing and email campaign to your elected officials, there needs to be some education to show that we all aren't what people think we are. For the record, I do NOT collect named Purple Hearts, so I really don't have a dog in this fight. However, I do collect unnamed medals, and I have a feeling this legislation will affect me. We need to show people we aren't bad, evil people. I am a history teacher, and I use parts of my collection to educate my kids on what those medals are. Whenever someone is awarded a Medal of Honor, I let the kids know in the current events part of my class. On Veterans Day and on Pearl Harbor Day, I bring in the pieces of my collection to show students. I have spoken to our history club, and I have displayed my collection for all to see. People need to know that there are those of us who use these medals to honor those who served, and we aren't trying to rip anybody off.

 

I know that many of you might not like this idea, but I think we should use social media to our advantage. I don't know how often the US Militaria Forum Facebook page is updated. I asked to join quite some time ago, and I have yet to be approved, but I think it would be a good idea to record videos of why we're against this proposed legislation and post those videos to the various social media outlets. We need to contact our local newspapers and TV stations and let them know that we aren't evil people; that we aren't crazy people, and we collect these items for good rather than for evil.

 

There are several militaria collectors spread all over the United States. If we can use local media and social media to put a real face on the people who collect; if we can show that we are real people, and not the caricatures that people think we are, we can show people that we aren't thieves, and we aren't trying to do anything bad.

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