I look at the "awards" I received for my combat action not as good things. In fact, when I received them, I was very upset at them. To me, they cheapen my experiences and the loss of life associated therein. It's kind of like "oooh you killed someone! lets give you a pretty shiny sticker!"
Using the avatar that I do use (the Bronze Star Medal) to me, demonstrates a quick visual validity to my stories of the war. Not that I believe that the opinions of a veteran are more important than those of a non veteran, but when I'm talking about how terrible war is, I think it has a little bit more of a bite as I've actually been through it.
By the way, I am an actual recipient of a Bronze Star (not that I'm trying to brag, I just don't want to come accross as something that I'm not).