A Purple Heart and Silver Star (Atlanta Journal-Constitution photo)

An Army veteran from Columbus claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after a deployment in Afghanistan that earned him a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

As a result, he collected $76,000 in benefits for the mental condition.

He admitted Wednesday, however, that all of that was a lie.

He was not deployed to Afghanistan, never suffered PTSD and never received the two honors, which are among the highest bestowed for military service.

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(U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Rachel Williams)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith was hit by enemy fire in October 2018 during an ambush by a 600-member Taliban force in Afghanistan.

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Air Force Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith (Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

A U.S. Air Force combat controller will receive the nation's third highest award for valor this week for playing an essential role in two intense firefight missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan last year.

Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith, an airman with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing at Air Force Special Operations Command, will receive the Silver Star at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on Nov. 22, the service announced Monday.

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An Air Force Special Tactics combat controller that "delivered thousands of pounds of munition" during a close-range 2007 firefight in Afghanistan was awarded the Silver Star on Friday.

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An Army staff sergeant who "represents the very best of the 101st Airborne Division" has finally received a Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge after a 75-year delay.

On Sunday, Staff Sgt. Edmund "Eddie" Sternot was posthumously awarded with a Silver Star for his heroics while leading a machine gun team in the Ardennes Forest. The award, along with Sternot's Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was presented to his only living relative, Sternot's first cousin, 80-year-old Delores Sternot.

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Award citations issued to the special operators who fought through an Oct. 4, 2017 ambush in Niger shed new light on the heroism that U.S. troops showed against an overwhelming force of ISIS fighters.

Army Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, Sgt. La David T. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black and Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah W. Johnson were all killed when their convoy was ambushed by more than 100 ISIS fighters. The rest of the team narrowly survived the ISIS attack and being fired on briefly by their rescuers. Subsequent investigations have found problems with how the mission was planned and how much training special operators had before deploying to Africa.

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