Veteran steals another's war story, bilks gov't for $322,654

 
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Veteran steals another's war story, bilks gov't for $322,654

Here we go again....

First his story:

 

Only now it turns out it wasn't his story:

A federal judge on Friday called Brandon Blackstone's actions in faking a war injury to profit financially "shameful, shameful conduct" before sentencing him to 21 months in prison.

Blackstone, 35, a Marine veteran from Arlington, also will have to pay the Veterans Affairs department $322,654 in restitution for monthly disability payments he received from November 2006 to December 2015, according to the ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn.

The Blackstone scheme is the latest in an increasing number of stolen valor cases. Experts say it's rare, however, for veterans who actually served in combat to lie about their wartime experiences for financial or other gain....

And the case achieved some notoriety due to Blackstone's multiple media appearances in which he gave details on camera of being blown up in Iraq by a land mine that were strikingly similar to that of fellow Marine, Casey Owens. In fact, Blackstone left Iraq for a non-combat medical issue and never returned.

I'd love to know which experts were saying it is rare, because hardly a day goes by we don't find at least two that are lying.  

More from the article:

Lynn said her task was to look at "the whole of you," and she acknowledged that he appears to have "a lot" of medical problems. But she did not hide her feelings about Blackstone's crime.

"This crime is just completely repulsive and appalling," she told him.

Lynn said his actions "made a mockery" of everything he's done, and she called it a "betrayal" of his service in the Marines. She said it also "blemishes" those who actually were injured in combat.

"It's beyond the pale," Lynn said. "Absolutely reprehensible."

Before his sentence, Blackstone told Lynn he was "truly sorry for all the problems I caused."

The judge told Blackstone, who has a wife and 7-year-old daughter, that he should make an example of himself and let others know how he "went awry."

One of the charges he was convicted of was Stolen Valor, so at least we're seeing some US Attorney's finally going after folks on the new law.

Posted in the burner | 14 comments
 
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Comments

It's a damn shame that some soldiers bilk the government out of money. He had plenty of time to recant his story, but he kept taking the money. Too bad for his family, but he couldn't have been thinking of them anyway.

This piece of crap is sorry only because he was caught. He is a disgrace to the USMC and every service member who ever served, especially those who have been wounded or killed in their service to their country. I hope he rots in prison.

this happens more than you will read about... I know first hand of several veterans who are trying to get the VA to cover and get disability compensation and rating for more money. But who do you turn to?

Forgot to add... I am a 90% Service Connected Compensated Retired Veteran with almost 18 years of activity duty and almost 5 years of activity reserves in the USMC.

How do you pretend to be a solder? How do you do that? This is just as bad as Pres Trump pinnng a purple heart on a veteran telling him he WON the medal. I hope he receives 100 yrs in confinement.

As a combat veteran I find very easy to spot the posers. I don't understand why they can't be proud that they were there. They make up stories of combat or repeat what they have read in books. Maybe someday you will realize that we see right through you. Be proud that you served and don't make us look any worse than we already do. Vietnam veterans fought a nasty war and deserve respect. Anyone posing as a combat veteran needs to show respect to those who are living the nightmare everyday of their life.

I expect this kind of behavior from a civilian who never served, but it is particular disheartening when its someone who once wore the uniform and now chooses to dishonor the uniform and his service.

I served in Vietnam 1966, 1969, and 1971-72. And in Laos 1970-71 at the American Embassy. There were several awards I never received and even though I feel I should have got them, I would never claim them or wear them. That would be dishonest and stupid. So, I feel the members or Veterans that do this are scumbag anti-Americans.

I served in the US Army form o6/60 until 06/63. I was never in Vietnam & never claim to be a Vietnam veteran. A while back dates were changed for admission to the American Legion concurrent with the new dates for our involvement in Vietnam. Apparently I am now what is know as a
"Vietnam Era veteran". Thankfully it allows n]me membership in the American Legion but I still do not consider myself a Vietnam Veteran nor will I refer to myself as a Vietnam Era vet. I'm a US Army veteran and that's that. How anyone can claim that they are something they are not especially with such an important issue as the Vietnam war or a Purple Heart medal is beyond me. They deserve some type of punishment for sure.

Guy,
Thanks for your comment. I was on active duty during Vietnam, but was never in Vietnam either and feel just as you do. I'm just and Army vet. Nice to know someone else has the same thoughts.

I am a Vietnam era vet. I never left the states and so I identify myself as an Air Force Veteran. Period. I won't wear the Vietnam ribbon...I was never there. My time of service happens to allow me to be in the American Legion, for which I am thankful, but only when pressed will I even state the era. To claim something you aren't is morally wrong and he needs to be "hung out to dry"!

I did 20 years, mostly in the submarine force. Never close to Vietnam or any thing on the west coast. Just a cold war era submariner running around the ocean doing what we did then. Proud to have served my great country. Only a couple of ribbons, but was most proud of the family we raised.

I was in the Navy from June 1967 through March 1st 1971. I never saw combat. I was an Aviation Electronics Tech. and was ship's company on the USS Boxer LPH4, and then a member of VAW 122, an airborne early warning squadron. I spent the majority of my enlistment on aircraft carriers. I disagree with those who do not feel we deserve to be called Vietnam vets. Not every man or woman who served in WWII or Korea saw combat, yet they are called veterans of their particular wars. If a distinction is to be made, then let it be between Vietnam COMBAT Veterans, and the rest of us. I wasn't drafted, I enlisted. I was in college with a deferment, but two of my close friends who were Marines were killed in action, so I wanted to do my part. I was initially supposed to be a hospital corpsman, but the day I left for boot camp I found out they had changed my rating to aviation because of my test scores.

John if you were in Vietnam or in the air or water in or around Vietnam regardless, if you saw combat I would consider you a Vietnam veteran.However,if you were in the military but not near Vietnam you are a Vietnam Era veteran all though noble in itself and something to be proud of. The ones who were there deserve a distinction without others being confused.I ran in to something similar I was in Saudi and Kuwait but not Iraq. Therefore, I did not receive the Iraq campaign medal but I was given the global war on terrorism expeditionary medal and rightfully so. I later deployed to Afghanistan and received the Afghanistan campaign medal.I call myself an Afghanistan veteran but I do not call myself a Iraq veteran.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.