"Reports of some imposters falsely claiming to have earned military awards or medals disrespect all of America’s veterans who have defended our nation with honor and courage. Those who have worn a military uniform in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in wars past should rest assured that we will maintain the integrity of their awards and aggressively prosecute cases of fraud. That's why I’m proud that Congress passed the Stolen Valor Act last year, and why I will ensure that our law enforcement agencies have the resources they need to crack down on anyone who would try to fake what can only be earned through the incredible dedication and sacrifice of our service members."
SEN. BARAK OBAMA, D-Ill., Veterans Affairs

We hope Senator Obama will SOON become a Co-Sponsor of S. 2610 

Exposing the Phonies

MY PRIMARY motivation in seeking an OFFICIAL Roll of Valor is to preserve the history of our REAL heroes. I would rather see a dozen phony heroes given undue honor, than see one LEGITIMATE hero slighted, ignored, or lost to history. But the fact remains, one of the important functions this Roll of Valor will accomplish is to provide a readily accessible means of verifying a person's claim to military awards for such purposes as:
     1)  Obtaining Veterans Benefits
     2)  Obtaining distinctive License Plates
     3)  Verifying news reports and obituaries, etc.

How prevalent is the PHONY HERO phenomena? You can't begin to imagine. For an eye-opening example, simply visit the POW NETWORK to scratch the surface.

Below I will be posting some TRUE examples of phonies who have lied to their family, their friends, and the American public and got away for decades with Stolen Valor.


schmidt.jpg (193078 bytes)The Ohio Military Hall of Fame represents a noble and sincere effort in Ohio to honor and remember that State's military heroes. Among the rolls of those inducted, I have often found citations I needed. In January 2008 I found a page from their 2007 inductees for DSC and Double Silver Star recipient Ray E. Schmidt (WWII). Mr. Schmidt was not in my DSC database and I contacted the OMHoF for more information.

The good folks at OMHoF advised me that Mr. Schmidt is deceased and that his son had submitted his father's DD-214 and citations for his awards. They provided me copies of these which you can see HERE. BOTH the DD-214 and the DSC Citation are FORGERIES. Three DSCs were issued under G.O. 278, but none were issued to Mr. Schmidt. To date we are also unable to verify the two Silver Stars, the citations for which have several items that raise suspicions.

Laudable programs like OMHoF try very hard to insure accuracy, but without a more reliable and readily assessable means of verifying, such programs are prone to abuse by phonies.

The Army Awards Branch indicates that a total of 40 Silver Stars were awarded in the 1993 "Blackhawk Down" mission in Somalia. To date I've only been able to identify 32 of them, and it is doubtful the Army can identify half that number. Such failure nearly allowed an Army Reserve Major to fool the Army and use false claims to a Silver Star in order to promote his career:

Major gets 5 months for faking awards
By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 22, 2008 5:44:47 EST

A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Army Reserve Maj. Anthony Angelo Calderone on Tuesday to five months in prison for lying about his Army achievements and awards — including his bogus claim a Silver Star for heroism in battle — so he could get promoted faster. The Salt Lake City, Utah court also ordered Calderone to pay $9,300 in restitution to the Army, wages he earned as the result of his promotion to major, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lund.

Calderone pleaded guilty in federal court Sept. 20 to charges of lying about his awards and qualifications in order to gain a promotion. The felony charge of knowingly making false statements carried up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Calderone was also accused of wearing false decorations between Nov. 22, 2003, and Dec. 3, 2006. That charge, a misdemeanor, carried a maximum sentence of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

“I’m pleased the outcome,” Lund said. I think the offenses were serious … his conduct of falsely wearing a Silver Star demeans the service and sacrifices of legitimate American heroes who have fought and died for this country.”

Calderone left the sentencing hearing under orders to return by a certain date in the future to serve out his sentence, said Lund, who did not know Calderone’s scheduled return date. Calderone, who was deployed to Iraq from January 2005 to December 2005, also admitted to knowingly and willfully making false statements about his tours of duty, qualifications and awards. He was charged with falsely including unauthorized decorations and listing tours of duty and military training that he had not completed.

Court documents say Calderone put those false statements, including that he had a Silver Star, the Special Forces and Ranger tabs, and the Combat Infantry Badge, on his DA Form 2-1, the personal qualification record, and on his DD 214, the certificate of release from active duty. Calderone later submitted the falsified DD 214 to his Army Reserve unit, according to court documents. Those false statements on official military documents led to his promotion to major in July 2006, and led to him earning more pay, according to court documents.

 

 

 

 

 

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There are MANY good REASONS for Congress to Pass the Roll of Valor Act. Below are links to FOUR that quickly validate the need for a National Database of Military Awards.

Real Heroes Found

Phony Heroes Exposed

V.A. Fraud Dollars Recovered

Accuracy in Media Stories

The Problems With:

DD-214s

FOIA

News Stories on the Roll of Valor Act

 

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