Two-Time Stolen Valor Creep Gets Sentenced To Federal Jail

Charleston County Sheriff's Office

A guy who not once but twice claimed to have served in combat in order to claim VA benefits will now be telling his fake war stories in federal prison.

Keith R. Hudson, 71, was sentenced to six months in jail and six months of home confinement after falsely claiming to be a Vietnam veteran and receiving nearly $200,000 in benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He's also been ordered to pay $297,327 in restitution.

According to a news release from the Justice Department, Hudson never served in the military, yet he was able to get VA bennies by saying he received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for service in Vietnam.

In 2005, Hudson was prosecuted in Connecticut for bilking the VA after claiming to be a vet, but was placed in pretrial diversion. He moved to South Carolina and in 2012, used the same falsified DD-214 discharge document he used before, which claimed he was a Navy medic who was wounded sometime between 1967 and 1971.

Hudson did a particularly bad job in making up service details on his supposed Navy DD-214. According to a June DOJ release, he said his rank was Hospitalman at the pay grade of E-4 (the actual pay grade is E-3); he gave himself a Combat Medic Badge (an Army award); and the form said he received the "Fleet Marine Force Medal with Marine Device," which is not even a thing.

“This is an egregious crime,” U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon said in a statement.

“This Defendant trampled on the memory of those who have bravely served our country and suffered harm protecting us. Hudson not only stole from the taxpayers by taking benefits he did not earn, he also stole directly from veterans who served our nation and protected our freedom."

U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Sandra Welch

This article originally appeared on

Inside Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan stands a wall painted with a mural of an airman kneeling before a battlefield cross. Beneath it, a black gravestone bookended with flowers and dangling dog tags displays the names of eight U.S. airmen and an American contractor killed in a horrific insider attack at Kabul International Airport in 2011.

It's one of a number of such memorials ranging from plaques, murals and concrete T-walls scattered across Afghanistan. For the last eight years, those tributes have been proof to the families of the fallen that their loved ones have not been forgotten. But with a final U.S. pullout from Afghanistan possibly imminent, those families fear the combat-zone memorials may be lost for good.

Read More Show Less
DOD photo

After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.

Read More Show Less
Ed Mahoney/Kickstarter

In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.

The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.

A small group of veterans hopes to change that.

Read More Show Less
F-16 Fighting Falcon (Photo: US Air Force)

For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.

The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less