Skip to comments.Man Charged for Wearing Medals Prosecutors Say He Didn't Earn
Posted on 06/23/2006 1:49:55 PM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- A 60-year-old man faces a federal trial for wearing military medals or decorations that prosecutors say he did not earn.
William James Richardson, of North Fond du Lac, is charged with a misdemeanor of knowingly wearing a badge authorized by Congress for the country's armed forces without authorization, the federal court in Milwaukee said.
Trial was set for Aug. 3 by Judge Aaron E. Goodstein at a hearing on Tuesday.
No plea has been entered yet.
Richardson said that former members of the Fond du Lac American Legion, of which he is a member, have been harassing him. He said they're making a bigger deal out of his case than is necessary.
"They're trying to make a federal case out of a misdemeanor case," he said.
He would not say whether he wore medals he did not earn.
John Stateson, a World War II veteran, served on the Fond du Lac American Legion firing squad with Richardson. He said he reported Richardson to the Federal Bureau of Investigation after Richardson tried to join the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"He wasn't a veteran of foreign wars," Stateson said.
He said he believed Richardson served in the U.S. Army for two months in Germany but was not eligible to be a member of the VFW.
Bud Ruckman, a former member of the Fond du Lac American Legion, said he had spoken with Richardson several times because he felt Richardson was wearing medals that he had not earned for years.
"I confronted him and said, 'Bill, you're wrong,'" he said.
Stateson said Richardson continued to wear the medals in public, including a Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest award for valor.
Ruckman said that Richardson was still a member of the Fond du Lac American Legion. He said he and five other members left the group or transferred because they did not agree with a decision to allow Richardson to stay on as a member.
Stateson and Ruckman said wearing medals that have not been earned is a disgrace to veterans of war and people who have lost loved ones in wars.
"That's a mockery. That's a slap in the face," said Ruckman, a World War II and Korean War veteran. "He's a disgrace to the families who lost family members."
Was this John Kerry? John Kerry arrested?/s
I wonder if Kerry is next? lol
Overkill? - NO
What's John Kerry doing in Wisconsin??
my thoughts exactly.. LMAO
How about we do something more relevant to our time than this old man...let's start by finding what, if anything, treason means in this day and age. The New York Times and the person who leaked the SWIFT data mining operation should be so charged on Monday morning.
He's only 60 and has apparently been pretending to have been awarded medals which he hadn't earned. Mentally ill? Perhaps, but definitely not that old a guy.
Since he has been accused of breaking is federal law, it's got to be handled by the FBI or some other federal agency.
Let me guess. The guys name is Murtha, right?
Now that a SERIOUS Legion post. My post has an honor guard that fires salutes at funerals, and they're pretty quick to suspend members who get out of line at the bar, but they haven't resorted to firing squads yet. ;~))
Sure why not! It's about time we make a poster boy out of one of these phonies.
I thought this was an article about Kinky Friedman wearing his father's medals.
Or Mayor Nagin...
As I read the article, it appeared to me that the guy reported him to the FBI when he tried to join the VFW.
Probably just cr@ppy, confusing and hard to understand reporting as always from the AP. *Rolleyes*
At least he has a bright future as a Democrat candidate.
Why wasn't the FBI interested in prosecuting whoever forged the National Guard memos that cost Dan Ratherbiased his job?
There was forgery of an officer.
Did they arrested John Murtha?
You need to do some research about military posers. I think the only thing wrong is that current punishment is not nearly enough, surely not overkill.
They must take things pretty seriously in that post!
Did they arrested John Murtha?
OK,, all you clowns making jokes about this can kiss my butt.
Fakes, frauds and wannabees that wear unearned, unrecorded, unjustified medals deserve a beating, including sKerry.
But as much as I hate that traitor, he at least has a papertrail leading to his false earning of them. The fraud in this story just decided to pin them on himself.
I agree wearing an unearned medal is very wrong, but shouldn't the disgrace of being caught at it be enough?
The reason one would do that is to get unearned appreciation, but if caught, all he gets is embarrassment and disgrace.
Kerry, party of one, your courtroom is ready.
"You need to do some research about military posers."
I'm retired Army, ODS Vet with a chest full of medals when appropriate. I've seen plenty of "posers" over the years, with or without the medals. ;)
I've heard of lots of Vietnam posers, but this is the first WWII I've seen.
NO! The disgrace is to all those that honored and respected this man specifically because of the false medal.
But now that he has been exposed, that respect and honor has now turned to disgust and shame, the very opposite of what he wanted.
I do agree that we cannot have people wearing medals they did not earn since it demeans the medal.
Yeah: Thats p[retty cool. My Post doesnt have a firing squad either. What we do have is a lockbox where all the DD214 records of members are kept. A quick look there should tell them what medals this guy is entitled to wear. If he is wearing medals he isnt entitled to he should be removed from the rolls,or informed to get his DD214 up to date.
sKerry is a piece of crap. His position in politics have allowed him to falsify everything he's ever done.
How would you like me to reply to his bullshit "V"? It's bullshit, but he's got the world steppin and fetchin to do something about it.
The guy is 60 years old If he fought in WW2 it was as a sperm in his Daddy's bag.
Glad to see one Veterans organization is taking "Stolen Valor" seriously. This is only one of many instances of men who have claimed to be war heroes, who apparently were never even in war. How stupid is this man, as the awards of the DSC are easy to trace. The DSC, AFC, and NC are second only to the CMH.
I served with a fellow officer in combat, who was later thrown out of the Army when he was caught wearing a Silver Star that he was never awarded.
The wearing of any unauthorized medal(s) is a disgraceful act. Urge your elected officials to pass the Stolen Valor Act. I do not feel sorry for this man. He deserves a fine, jail time, plus months of community service working for real combat veterans in our VA hospitals.
Real heroes rarely even talk about details of their combat service.
Where did this guy get his medals, do you have any idea?
Born in 1946 probably? New recruits looks younger to me each year, but I've never seen one that was still a gleam in his father's eye!
Money talks, so who knows. The sale of most medals is thinly regulated and not the issue. Having them and falsely representing yourself as earning them is the issue.
The INTERSTING word in this case -- is EARNED..
No one disputes that Kerry and Murtha were AWARDED decorations -- the dispute arises around the doubt they were justly EARNED.
Awarded yes... Earned?
Neither will sign the SF180 granting UNRESTRICTED access to the public of their full Military and Medical records.
The stench arises primarily from the number of Purple Hearts with NEITHER "hero" carrying a scar or record of field or out of theater Hospital stay. These were "Angel Kiss wounds" huh?
I would bet granny's rum bearing cow, that 80% of veterans in country, bled more than either of the bastards and didn't apply or get recommended for a Purple Heart...
Certainly smells like they MUST have something to hide...
I would say that not enough of these posers are punished. But the punishment need not be inordinately severe, just severe enough that they not do it again.
Most of these guys are pathetic, to be sure, but they need not be locked up with violent criminals.
Fond du Lac?
They lie about the size of the fish they catch upn there too.
This is the way I look at it -
There are people who spent years from home, have malaria, lost limbs, eyesight or even their life. They are decorated with awards for their actions, participation or just the hardship and sacrifice they endured or gave for the cause. People who want lie about this and pretend to be something they are not, that's just not cool in my book.
I'm not saying to lock this guy up. But exposing frauds is OK.
Well, it's older than 67 (my age)...I keep trying it and my kids won't let me get away with it, darn!
Overkill? I mean, maybe the old guy is just a tad mentally ill or something. An FBI case over this? Come on.
During a war, I don't think people should be getting "war hero" treatment that they don't deserve. Maybe FBI is a bit much, but maybe this will stop people from lying.
I'm 67 and extremely physically fit. I would bet more fit than you at any age.
What is this old guy crap but ageism?
You may want to check your aim. I wasn't the one who made the "old guy" comment. I responded to it.
My brother-in-law (First Inf. 7th Cav. 66-68) would be a case in point. Three wounds: Pun-gee through foot (no infection), grenade fragments (cuts, no stitches) and a bullet crease on forehead (stitches required). When he was being stitched up for the bullet crease he asked about a purple heart and was told:
"No, not this one. Now if it had been a couple of inches deeper..."
He also said there is no way he could accept a PH after seeing what other guys went through to get ones for far more serious wounds.
Army surplus stores. They are easy to get.