HYDERABAD: A video of US veterans flinging their war medals during a protest is viral on social media. Users claim that 40,000 American soldiers have resigned and thrown away medals to express solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The video is being shared online with the caption, "40,000 US soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, resigned and threw away their war medals in solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. They accepted that `the war on terror' was a fake war. They are apologizing to people of Afghanistan and Iraq (sic)".
The claim is false.
NewsMeter performed a keyword search and found a video report by 'Democracy Now! Democracy Now!' that carried the same visuals. From timestamp 10:45, the same sequence of events can be seen as in the viral video. Democracy Now! Democracy Now! reports that on May 20, 2012, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as members of Afghans For Peace, led a peace march and that the "Iraq Veterans Against the War held a ceremony where nearly 50 veterans discarded their war medals by hurling them down the street in the direction of the NATO summit."
Reuters reported the same too. It said that nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street as an action that symbolized their rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Zach LaPorte, who served in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 was reported saying, "The medals are supposed to be for acts of heroism. I don't feel like a hero. I don't feel like I deserve them."
Clearly, the viral video is neither recent nor does it show 40,000 American soldiers resigning to show solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. The video is from 2012 and the incident only records around 50 U.S. military veterans discarded medals.
Thus, the claim is false.