A 58-year-old Bucks County man was indicted for falsely claiming he was a Navy SEAL and prisoner of war — he never served a day in the military — in order to steal more than $300,000 in government benefits, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain announced Monday.

Richard Meleski of Chalfont was arrested and charged in federal court with health-care fraud, mail fraud, stolen valor, and related offenses in connection with his alleged scheme to obtain health-care benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Friends, family and local veterans gathered at the Maine Military Museum on Sunday to dedicate a memorial to the late Barry Scott, a Bronze Star recipient who for decades refused to publicize his exploits during World War II.

Members of Rolling Thunder, a motorcycle group dedicated to prisoners of war and those missing in action, helped officiate the ceremony in South Portland.

"Barry was an ordinary man who really did extraordinary things," his brother Milton said, recalling Barry's battlefield courage, his capture by the Germans and the wounds he received in the process.

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Byron Fuller (Courtesy photo via Florida Times-Union)

Navy pilot Byron Fuller spent almost six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, where his battered body was tortured and starved, where he endured more than two years in solitary confinement in a 4-by-7-foot cell.

Upon his release in 1973 from Hoa Lo, a prison camp known to the world as the Hanoi Hilton, he strode across the tarmac at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, a huge smile on his face, with his wife and four children by his side. He briefly addressed the crowd gathered to greet him: "America, America, how beautiful you are ... Tonight my cup runneth over."

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It starts with four letters, maybe even just three.

When Don and Diane Shipley find out someone claims to be a Navy SEAL or POW, they won't just take their word for it. And when it comes to liars, they take no prisoners.

The couple has made it their mission to track down and expose "phonies" — their word for people who falsely claim to be Navy SEALs and/or former prisoners of war.

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President Donald Trump. (U.S. Air Force/ Tech. Sgt. Vernon Young)

President Donald Trump wants to honor former prisoners of war, even if he prefers U.S. service members who, you know, weren't prisoners of war.

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The rumble of motorcycles rolling across the nation's capital in memory of America's missing service members and prisoners of war is on the road to becoming a thing of the past.

The yearly event, sponsored by the New Jersey-based Rolling Thunder, Inc., will end with its 32nd ride in May 2019, Executive Director Artie Muller and President Joe Bean announced in December.

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