Army photo

Military medal peddling is a lucrative market. With pawn shops, resale sites, and memorabilia stores offering Purple Hearts for cash, military enthusiasts have been able to add precious medals, earned by those who sacrificed blood, sweat, and sometimes their lives, to their private collections.

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U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Peter J. Berardi

Iraq War veteran Jason McDonald knows what a 400-pound improvised explosive device sounds like when it's hit. He also knows what abject fear feels like and what death smells like.

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