Stolen Valor Update

Posted: July 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

A U.S. Army soldier who prosecutors say falsely claimed to have fought in Vietnam and Afghanistan – and to have earned two Purple Heart medals and a Bronze Star for heroism – was indicted on federal charges on 6 JUN. Command Sergeant Major William John Roy is accused of lying about his service as he sought disability, medical and educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said. Roy, 57, was awarded more than $27,000 in disability benefits and $30,000 in educational benefits after submitting bogus evidence of his combat wounds and bravery in action, Mrozek said. According to an indictment handed down in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Roy claimed he served as a medic in Vietnam in 1974 and was twice injured in combat during that war. Roy also claimed that he was awarded two Purple Hearts and a Bronze star for his heroism in Vietnam — when in fact an investigation found that he had been in Germany serving in a non-combat role at the time, Mrozek said.
Among the documentation Roy provided was a Purple Heart certificate purportedly signed by President Richard Nixon but dated four months after Nixon had resigned from office, Mrozek said. Roy also sent a letter to the Army in 2008 seeking a Purple Heart for extensive injuries he said he sustained in a mortar and rocket attack at a forward operating base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, when in fact he was not involved in such an incident, Mrozek said. Roy was indicted on one count of presenting false writings to defraud the United States, three counts of making false statements to the government and three counts of stealing government property. He faces a maximum sentence of 55 years in prison if convicted at trial. Mrozek said Roy, who remains on active duty, would be sent a summons to appear in federal court next month for an arraignment on the charges. [Source: Chicago Tribune Dan Whitcomb article 6 Jun 2012 ++]


A singer who appeared on the NBC show "America's Got Talent" and claimed he was injured during a grenade blast in Afghanistan has no military record of his purported combat injuries, the Minnesota National Guard said 5 JUN. Timothy Michael Poe appeared on the nationally televised show 4 JUN. He told the judges he spent 14 years in the military, and suffered a broken back and brain injury when he was hit by a grenade in Afghanistan in 2009. "I had volunteered for a team to go out and clear buildings and help out with the wounded," Poe said during a taped interview on the show. "There was a guy who come up with a rocket-propelled grenade. I saw it coming down, and by the time I turned and went to jump on top of my guys, I yelled `grenade' and the blast had hit me." According to military records, Poe served with the Minnesota Army National Guard from December 2002 through May 2011, working as a supply specialist. Records show he was deployed in Kosovo from Oct. 10, 2007 to July 15, 2008, and then served in Afghanistan for about a month in 2009. "Sgt. Poe's official military records do not indicate that he was injured by a grenade in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2009, as he reports," Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, a spokesman for the Minnesota National Guard, said in a statement.
Olson noted that Poe did not receive the Purple Heart, which is given to those who are injured in enemy combat. Poe didn't claim he had received the award. "We looked very closely at his record,"
Olson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "We did not find something to substantiate what he said." Neither Poe nor NBC returned telephone messages from the AP. Poe told the judges that he was from San Antonio, Texas. The television show listed his age as 35. Poe had a stutter when he spoke with the judges, which he attributed to his brain injury. The stutter disappeared when he sang. He also didn't appear to stutter when he spoke with the show's host after his performance. When he was describing his injury, Poe said during the video clip: "When I was laying there I thought I'd never see my daughter walk down the aisle or throw the baseball with my son or be able to hold them and see them. … I didn't want my life to be over." He said singing has helped him deal with the injury. "I'm just happy to be here," he told the judges. In a subsequent 23 minute interview on the military-focused podcast ‘Tou Served’ [ ] he admitted that he, in fact, did not earn medals he once claimed to have received, but maintains he suffers from traumatic brain injury, despite assertions by military officials to the contrary. He said the Minnesota National Guard officials who dispute his claim do not have all of his medical records and he is willing to release his medical records supporting his diagnosis. The military blog You Served plans to post them on its site if and when received, [Source: AP article 5 Jun 2012 ++]


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