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Illinois Veteran Found Guilty Of Stolen Valor After Lying To Get VA Disability
A 67-year-old veteran from Geneseo, Illinois, pleaded guilty to stolen valor charges on Aug. 22, after misleading the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Justice announced.
William R. Jones was charged with theft of government funds and making false statements about his military service. In his hearing, statements and documents revealed that Jones, who enlisted in the Air National Guard in 1971, lied about serving in “Southeast Asia or Republic of Vietnam (RVN) theater of combat operations or in any other theater of combat operations.”
After retiring in 2003, Jones sought disability benefits from the VA, claiming he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from the combat he never saw combat in Vietnam. Jones went so far as to falsify information on his DD-214, solicit help from the American Legion in 2013 with a false certificate from a Vietnam Special Operations Group confirming his service, forge a certificate for an Enlisted Aircrew badge, and offer up a 2008 letter from then-candidate Barack Obama which attested he was a Vietnam veteran.
Jones also alleged that he was shot down while serving as crewman on an AC-130 Spectre gunship and rescued Marines after spending three weeks in enemy territory. For his actions there, he claimed he had been awarded a Bronze Star Medal with V for Valor and a Purple Heart. But during his guilty plea, Jones admitted that not only did he not serve with special forces in Vietnam in 1972, but that he never physically served in Vietnam at all.
According to the DoJ statement released after his indictment in June 2016, Jones also “submitted a form containing false information to the office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin to support his claim for veterans disability benefits.” The document stated that Jones was deployed to Vietnam in 1972, where he served with 10th Special Operations.
After receiving Jones’ falsified documents, the VA paid him $71,472 for combat-related disability. Now, he could be tapped to pay the VA back in restitution.
The maximum penalty for making false statements is five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 while the maximum penalty for a single count of theft of government funds is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the Justice Department statement.
Jones’ sentencing date is Dec. 12, 2017.
U.S. special operations forces are currently field testing a lightweight combat armor designed to cover more of an operator's body than previous protective gear, an official told Task & Purpose.
The armor, called the Lightweight Polyethylene (PE) Armor for Extremity Protection, is one of a handful of subsystems to come out of U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) effort that media outlets dubbed the "Iron Man suit," Navy Lieutenant Cmdr. Tim Hawkins, a SOCOM spokesman, told Task & Purpose on Wednesday.
Military families are suing their private housing provider over 'rampant mold infestation' at Fort Meade
Ten military families are taking their privatized housing provider, Corvias, to court over "appalling housing conditions and cavalier treatment" at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to a new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday by law firm Covington & Burling —which is handling the lawsuit pro bono, according to their press release — details "distressingly similar stories of poorly maintained infrastructure leading to serious problems, such as mold growing on walls, windows, and pipes," at the the installation.
The lawsuit was first reported by the Washington Post. The defendants identified include Corvias Management-Army LLC and Meade Communities, LLC, which is a part of Corvias.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior Democratic and Republican lawmakers presented dueling narratives on Wednesday as a U.S. congressional impeachment inquiry that threatens Donald Trump's tumultuous presidency entered a crucial new phase with the first televised public hearing.
The drama unfolded in a hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee in which two career U.S. diplomats - William Taylor and George Kent - voiced alarm over the Republican president and those around him pressuring Ukraine to conduct investigations that would benefit Trump politically.
A system that intercepts enemy rockets and a brand-new munition? Tank you very much.
The Navy is looking into the possibility of sending explosive ordnance disposal units on shorter and possibly more frequent deployments, service officials said on Wednesday.
Right now, EOD techs train for 18 months and deploy for another six months as part of their optimized fleet response plan, but the Navy is conducting a review of that training and deployment cycle, Navy officials told reporters.
A Navy analysis is looking at whether EOD techs should spend a total of 32 or 36 months training and deployed per cycle, said Capt. Oscar Rojas, who leads Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group 1 in San Diego.