Recently I have seen more and more people requesting to wear "Commemorative Medals". There are a few specific companies on the internet that, in order to bump up their profits, have begun to sell awards that just plain don't exist. I find this despicable. There is no reason to sell fake awards other than to scam veterans and their families out of a few extra bucks. They're not cheap either, often times they are sold for more than an actual issued medal would cost. This is just blatant highway robbery.
Here is one of the most common commemorative medal requested. The "Cold War Victory Medal". Some people are convinced it is a real award, mainly because one of the main companies selling it (rhymes with shmedals of shma-shmerica.com) has been trying to sling it to unsuspecting people for years. Yet, all it is a chunk of brass they sell you for $17.95. Disgusting. What's even worse is that they will actually sell you a commemorative version of a real medal, just so they can get a few extra bucks.
Connie Pillich, a state representative in Ohio. An Air Force veteran, she has been known to wear a version of her ribbon rack while campaigning. Already breaking the uniform code, its too bad she hasn't had the Air Force catch her yet. Unfortunately, she doesn't stop there. She couldn't just be happy with the service she provided. You can plainly see on her chest a ribbon rack of 18 ribbons, of which by my count 10 are commemorative medals. This is just about as low as one can go, and it pisses me off to see it in elected officials.
Connie Pillich, and other Tin Soldiers everywhere, YOU'RE WEARING IT WRONG!
Now I also want to differentiate commemorative items from commemorative medals. My friends at Ez Rack Builder sell Tiny Ribbon Racks, a version of your military ribbons, just in a smaller form. There is no fake awards on these, they are just not approved for uniform wear. They look great on a suit jacket or a hat though!