Investigation Reveals Some Military Honors Claims are Bogus

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Have you ever had an applicant claim on a resume that he or she was the recipient of a Medal of Honor?  If so, you were probably pretty impressed.  I would be.  But did you ever think of verifying that fact?  If not, maybe you should.  Some individuals have reached a new low and started fudging either their military experience and/or the accolades they received during their time of service.  This is a complete disservice to those who have so bravely served our country and rightfully earned those awards.

What this story says to me is that people will lie about anything and everything.  For every piece of information provided on a resume, I could give you a handful of reasons why a person would lie about it.  The importance of a thorough background check cannot be stressed enough.

Claims of medals amount to stolen valor

Tribune investigation reveals hundreds of unsupported claims regarding veterans with war medals

By John Crewdson, Chicago Tribune Correspondent – October 26, 2008

WASHINGTON – Scores of Americans, from clergymen to lawyers to CEOs, are claiming medals of valor they never earned.

A Tribune investigation has found that the fabrication of heroic war records is far more extensive than you might think.

Take the online edition of Who’s Who, long the nation’s premier biographical reference. Of the 333 people whose profiles state they earned one of the nation’s most esteemed military medals, fully a third of those claims cannot be supported by military records.

Even in death, these stories live on. A look at 273 obituaries published in the past decade alone found that in more than four of five cases, official records didn’t support decorations for bravery attributed to the deceased.

The Tribune also found bogus decorations, including at least two Medals of Honor, engraved on headstones in military cemeteries across the country.

In all, more than half the medals for bravery examined, including the exalted Medal of Honor, are unsupported by official military records obtained by the Tribune from federal archives under the Freedom of Information Act.

The men whose obituaries or profiles in Who’s Who make these claims are mainly individuals of note and accomplishment: lawyers, physicians, clergymen, CEOs, business executives, company presidents, university professors, career military officers, teachers, policemen, elected officials, even a psychiatrist.

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