If the intent is to defraud, that’s already a crime. It’s called fraud. This law makes merely dressing up a crime, regardless of intent. I don’t see how this guy tried to defraud anybody. Deceive, yes. I deceived my daughter the other day by leaving a dollar under her pillow and taking her tooth. Deceiving is not illegal. If this guy tried to defraud anybody, he should be charged with fraud.
I disagree that people like this make people not trust the status of men and women they see in uniform. It wouldn’t even cross my mind. Have you ever met somebody that didn’t believe you got your medals because of people faking it? Fakers seem to me to be pretty rare; I can only remember hearing about this guy and one other, and I only remember the other because he was the top non-commissioned officer in the Navy at the time. Oh, and they did it in Wedding Crashers too. Not exactly an epidemic, unless there is a whole underworld I’m not aware of.
All that said, I do respect and share your disgust with this low-life and any others like him. Please don’t take my arguments to mean that I think impersonating a soldier is in anyway justified, ever. The guy deserves ridicule, scorn, his face plastered on billboards, ostracism, you name a punishment, I’m on board. Unless it involves criminal charges.