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It's the Law: Medal liars face new sanctions
Sacramento Bee ^ | 12/27/7 | Peter Hecht

Posted on 12/27/2007 7:44:51 AM PST by SmithL

State law enforcement may now cite those who falsify their war exploits.

The new director of the Three Valleys Municipal Water District in Claremont introduced himself with tales so harrowing, so seemingly courageous, that people took notice.

Fellow board member Dan Horan said Xavier Alvarez told him he saved a U.S. ambassador – and the American flag – while wounded by gunfire during a daring rooftop helicopter rescue in Lebanon.

Horan said he was puzzled when Alvarez, a board member elected in 2006, later changed his story to say it happened in Iran. And he was skeptical when his colleague also bragged of rescuing Marines pinned down by Viet Cong gunfire in Vietnam.

On Sept. 26, authorities charged Alvarez, 49, with violating a 2005 federal "Stolen Valor Act" by standing up at a gathering of water officials in July and announcing he was a wounded veteran, 25-year Marine and a recipient of the fabled Congressional Medal of Honor. Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Missakian, who is prosecuting the case, said Alvarez never served in the military.

To state Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, the case represents just one of many – far too many – episodes of people impersonating veterans, embellishing service records or claiming medals they never earned.

Cook, a Marine Corps veteran and a Purple Heart recipient in the Vietnam War, this year pushed through a California version of the Stolen Valor Act.

The law, which takes effect Tuesday, adds another tier of enforcement to the federal act by allowing state and local law enforcement to cite anyone who falsely dons or claims a military medal or decoration the person didn't earn.

Expanding upon an existing state statute allowing misdemeanor citations against people who falsely claim to be active service members or veterans, the law makes it an infraction to lie about military awards...

(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: fake; phonysoldiers; rushisright; stolenhonor; stolenvalor
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Tom Gentile, a retired Army sergeant major who investigates allegations of military impostors and reports his results to authorities, wanted California to pass an even stronger law. With 42 years of military service, he runs the Legion of Valor Museum in Fresno.
1 posted on 12/27/2007 7:44:52 AM PST by SmithL
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Medals are displayed inside the Legion of Valor Museum in Fresno. A new state law makes it a crime in Caifornia to wear or claim such decorations that weren't earned. Veterans say deception defames the true service of honorable veterans.
2 posted on 12/27/2007 7:45:47 AM PST by SmithL (Merry Christmas and Happy Holy Days to you!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Does this mean that John Kerry won’t be campaigning for anyone in California?


3 posted on 12/27/2007 7:46:46 AM PST by SmithL (Merry Christmas and Happy Holy Days to you!)
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To: SmithL

In these days of instant fact-checking on the internet, foolish liars can be exposed more quickly.


4 posted on 12/27/2007 7:47:07 AM PST by CholeraJoe ("At last my arm is complete!" Sweeney Todd)
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To: SmithL; Squantos; Travis McGee
bragged of rescuing Marines pinned down by Viet Cong gunfire in Vietnam.

He was 6 when he did this.

5 posted on 12/27/2007 7:50:02 AM PST by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: SmithL

Here is a link I’ve found to be helpful when checking on some Wannabe’s “exploits”.

http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies1050.htm


6 posted on 12/27/2007 7:50:41 AM PST by NCDragon (If you can't stand behind the troops, try standing in front of them!)
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To: Larry Lucido

Excuse me. He was 12.


7 posted on 12/27/2007 7:50:56 AM PST by Larry Lucido (Hunter 2008)
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To: CholeraJoe

In these days of instant fact-checking on the internet, foolish liars can be exposed more quickly.

Well, don’t count on “instant facts checks” to be accurate on military records. Mine aren’t even right. I spent 14 years active duty, and my records reflect 26 years of service. 12 of them were Reserves. My DD214 ONLY shows my ACTIVE duty time, and medals I received on active duty.

I do NOT have a DD214 for my Reserve time and was recently told that “You do not get one, unless part of that time served was ‘active duty’.”

/shrug

While on RESERVE status I received at least two more medals than my DD214 shows... and I don’t think you’re going to find my military records on the internet.

My ACTIVE 214 DOES NOT show certain things either and never will. My records don’t have copies of the “classified information” in them EITHER. :) So, rest assured that “internet fact checking” is as inaccurate today, as it will be in 20 more years.


8 posted on 12/27/2007 7:54:30 AM PST by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/Etc --Fred Thompson for Prez.)
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To: Larry Lucido

By the way I’m 50, and I ‘missed’ the Vietnam war... I went in the service in 1976. The last of the troops were pretty much out of there by ‘74 if I recall correctly. So, someone a year younger than myself couldn’t have been in Nam.


9 posted on 12/27/2007 7:56:08 AM PST by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/Etc --Fred Thompson for Prez.)
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To: SmithL
announcing he was a wounded veteran, 25-year Marine and a recipient of the fabled Congressional Medal of Honor.

Like most liers, he meant it when he said it, so what is the problem?
10 posted on 12/27/2007 7:59:20 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: Larry Lucido

No apology needed. This wannabe deserves the shame that comes with claiming false fame.


11 posted on 12/27/2007 8:03:00 AM PST by Lumper20
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To: Larry Lucido

12 posted on 12/27/2007 8:03:13 AM PST by SoldierMedic (Rowan Walter, 23 Feb 2007 Ramadi)
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To: CholeraJoe

This is nothing new. I remember watching an even then, old Perry Mason as a kid, that a situation came out “on the stand”, regarding the reliability of a witness, because of a medal claim.


13 posted on 12/27/2007 8:03:41 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: PeterPrinciple

i think hes watched “rules of engagement” one too many times”


14 posted on 12/27/2007 8:04:10 AM PST by abstracTT
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Certain information should still remain in them, though. If you claim to have been a Ranger, there should still be records that you went to that training.


15 posted on 12/27/2007 8:05:25 AM PST by SoldierMedic (Rowan Walter, 23 Feb 2007 Ramadi)
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Very true. Yet your awards would not be classified. Thank you for your service.


16 posted on 12/27/2007 8:06:24 AM PST by Lumper20
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To: Rick.Donaldson

I have (2) DD 214s and I also have an NGB 23 (or is it NGB 22?) for my reserve time in the National Guard. Not sure if I can lay my hands on the National Guard form but I know there are a couple of mistakes on my second DD 214. I had to get them to issue a correction. Of course the NGB form has medals on it that are not on either 214.


17 posted on 12/27/2007 8:07:23 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it.)
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To: Larry Lucido

HEY ! It’s his story, let him tell it.......in prison !


18 posted on 12/27/2007 8:09:23 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Larry Lucido

That’s still pretty good for a 12 year old.


19 posted on 12/27/2007 8:11:51 AM PST by ECM (Government is a make-work program for lawyers.)
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To: SoldierMedic

Oh, absolutely. I agree. I’m just saying that not everything appears in your military records. There are several items of note that won’t ever appear in mine, for good reason. On the other hand, I don’t go around “bragging” about it either. lol

As for training and such, some certainly does appear, some doesn’t, depending on what it was, but things like being a Ranger or Seal would appear - though if I remember my friend’s stuff, it doesn’t actually say “SEAL”, but it has some information about the training program that he went through. I’d have to ask him — but he’s another that wouldn’t brag about it, and probably wouldn’t tell you if you asked him directly, he might even lie to you about it :)


20 posted on 12/27/2007 8:15:30 AM PST by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Visit for lastest on DPRK/Russia/China/Etc --Fred Thompson for Prez.)
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