Veteran’s Wife Can’t Legally Wear War Medals
October 30, 2011 by staff
Madrian Ferris said Friday that it would take 10 medals her husband Albert, nicknamed Smiley, received during his 30 years in the Canadian Forces. However, Article 419 of the Penal Code prohibits any person other than the veteran to do so.
“The medals are very important to me. I loved being in the army, which was his great love, great,” said Ferris. “He told me when we were getting married in 1954, he said, ‘I realize that I am married Madrian the first army.”
“And I think [is] a real shame, because now his medals are no longer on display. They just put it somewhere.”
Her husband was born in Ireland and are proudly displayed their medals from Canada every day of the celebration until he died, said Ferris.
“It showed that the man who was willing to serve and give his life for his new country.”
She said she was surprised to learn that the use of their medals would be illegal.
“I knew it was frowned upon, but I did not realize that you can be arrested.”
A decade ago, an effort was made to change the law in Ottawa, but was rejected. Medals can be used on the right side of the family members of veterans in Britain and Australia.
Jeff Rose-Martland, the Newfoundland nonprofit advocacy group veteran of our duty, expressed concern that the medals would soon disappear from public view. “In a few years, perhaps as much as a decade, many of these medals will not be in the law. They’ll be in the homes of the people,” he said.
“Clearly, this code section is intended to target fraud and that could pose as a veteran,” said the group’s president, Jeff Rose-Martland in a news release Wednesday.
“However, there are no exceptions or defenses stated in the code.”
Bob Butt, the Royal Canadian Legion, said it was disrespectful for anyone to wear the medals they did not win.
“We are the Legion, who believe in the law of the land, we follow the law of the land, and goes against the Criminal Code of Canada to take the medals were awarded to anyone else,” he said.
No veterans of the First World War are still alive in Canada and fewer World War II every year.
A spokesman for Veterans of Canada, said the Department of Veterans Affairs are divided on the issue, but he does not know of any plans to change the law.
For now, Ferris medals will remain in storage.
“I’d be able to imagine standing there, with the exception of [his] medals would be in my chest, but would probably be in the chest as well. It would mean a lot,” he said.
“I hope that the law was changed one day. That my children or my grandchildren proud to use them.”
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