Vietnam Veteran Charged With Violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2005


We tackled this subject not too long along ago (see Investigation Reveals Some Military Honors Claims are Bogus).  We now have a real life example of someone who made claims of being a Vietnam POW and a recipient of four Purple Hearts who is currently being prosecuted under the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.  Though this isn’t a situation of the employer discovering the falsehood, it easily could be.  If this person had the fortitude to stand up in front of a crowd of military personnel and provide an interview to a Navy newspaper making these claims, I doubt he would have thought twice about including it on an application or resume.

Feds: Vet Made False Claims Of Purple Heart

Newschannel 4 Jacksonville – December 9, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A 68-year-old St. Augustine resident who told people he received four Purple Hearts during his military service and was keynote speaker at a recent military service is facing federal charges for making false claims.

U.S. Attorney A. Brian Albritton said Tuesday that Charles T. White was never awarded a Purple Heart. White was charged with violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.

Albritton said White wore a Purple Heart ribbon on various occasions over the past year and had made several verbal claims that he was a Purple Heart medal recipient.


The U.S. Attorney’s office cited an interview White gave to a Navy newspaper about being a featured speaker at a POW/MIA ceremony at NAS Jacksonville earlier this year as one of his false statements. In the newspaper story, White claimed he was awarded 22 military medals, including four Purple Hearts.

In his remarks a the NAS Jax ceremony, White told the crowd he spent more than seven months as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam in 1967-68.


POW Network posted a letter from the National Archives and Records Administration saying it had no record of Charles T. White having ever been a POW. According to his service record also posted on that Web site, White served in the Navy from July 1959 to July 1961 and in the Marines from November 1964 to May 1967. He had achieved the rank of lance corporal when he was discharged.


Mary Schantag, a spokesperson for the POW Network, said they’re the ones that contacted the FBI after she said someone saw the article, and questioned if White was a POW.


“There’s a curiosity. They want to see the story and they want to hear what it’s all about, and they want to know why he was a hero and why he was awarded what he was and how long he spent in captivity. When they can’t find the answer, we usually get the questions,” Schantag said.


She said that same day, they found that the man who gave a keynote speech to other men who served most honorably was not a prisoner of war himself.


“They’re stealing their honor, and they’re literally changing the history of the Vietnam War. Their stories are recorded and they stay on the Internet forever, and they’re forever changing the history of Vietnam with their fairytales,” Schantag said.


If convicted, White could spend up to two years in prison and be fined up to $200,000.


The Naval Criminal Investigative Agency assisted in the case.

  • I am a Marine veteran who served in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983. I think you are doing great work, anyone who lies about ANY service to their country frustrates the ones who really did! Keep up the good work, and I would really appreciate hearing from you.

  • I knew someone who claimed to have been a Green Beret.He said he had fought in Vietnam. I later found that not only had he not served in Vietnam, let alone be a Green Beret, but he was too young to have been there! He was born in 1954, and if my memory serves me correctly we stopped sending troops over there in 1972, and for sure we were out of there in 1975.But he told such a convincing tale that I believed it. When I later found out it was all a lie, I asked my dad, who is a World War II veteran, why someone would do such a thing. He really could not say, most of the veterans of his generation don’t talk about the war all that much. Thank you for exposing these frauds. Keep it up.

  • Richard B. Hathcock

    Through the freedom of info. act, I have received a DD214 on an individual who claims he was awarded a Purple Heart in Viet Nam and claims to be a CWO2. His DD214 does not back up his claim. His license plate say Purple Heart( Ca ). What do I do to verify and expose the truth? Guidence please. He is also a member of the VFW in my area, would they be of any assistance?

    thanks, Richard B. Hathcock

  • Ralph G

    The individual’s DD-214 is the final word on his awards and assignments. The VFW requires verification of wartime service via the DD-214. The Stolen Valor Act violation is a federal offense, therefore, the FBI is the point of contact to report the violation. Ralph G., former USMC, Vietnam Veteran 68-69

  • Navy Chief (Ret.)

    I served on active duty 59-79, the entire period of the Vietnam War. The American Legion, VFW, AMVETS to mention a few of the VSO’s do a poor job of screening out the phonies. Given today’s technology, anyone can make up a phony DD-214 and list any medals he/she wants. I can pick out the phonies within a few mins of listening to their BS war exploits. Real heroes don’t brag abt their combat experiences. As a former VSO post commander, I had DD-214’s from NARA to verify eligbility of all post members.

  • Re R. Hathcock/license plate: One man was nailed here in FL because he had signed official documents to obtain the plate. That was a state crime right there.

  • Vnbing

    Working on a phony now. Already posted on a phony website. Claims 2 silvers, 2 bronze. Freedom of Info act says none. See at
    Have had dealings with a fake SEAL and and a phony POW in the past. Guys this this human stool don’t deserve to walk thru the same VFW doors we do. Better yet, look him up, get his name and write him a letter telling him what you think of phonies.
    C/O VFW Post 1449
    Nanicoke Ave.
    Endicott, NY 13760
    On the website scroll to bottom to check out the DD214 he submitted and the FOIA.