PDA

View Full Version : POW/MIA speaker found to be a hoax


BMT (RIP)
01-03-2009, 07:08
When Charles T. White stood up at Jacksonville Naval Air Station a few months ago to serve as keynote speaker at a POW/MIA Recognition Observation, he went into great detail about his career in the Navy and Marines. He talked about the 7 months he said he spent as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese and the four Purple Hearts he had won.


Now it appears the whole thing was a lie.


The U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against the 68-year-old St. Augustine resident Tuesday, accusing him of violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 by claiming the Purple Hearts. The law makes it a federal misdemeanor to claim military honors that haven't been granted. White faces two years in prison and a $200,000 fine.


According to the military's Personnel Records Center, White also lied about being a POW.


Although he was in combat from July 9, 1966, to May 1, 1967, there is no record that White was held in three prison camps for a total of seven months, as he has said.


White received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with a star signifying participation in one campaign and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.


There is no record that he received the Prisoner of War Medal or any Purple Hearts.


"This is such an insult to the men who earned the decoration he's wearing," said Mary Schantag, a historian with the POW Network, an organization that tracks real and fraudulent prisoners of war. "They want the honor and the integrity and the accolades, but they don't take the nightmares and the pain these men wake up with every morning."


White's phone number is unlisted. A woman who answered the door at his home said he was unavailable to comment.


Jacksonville NAS refused to discuss the matter, saying it was a civilian issue.


"This is a very unfortunate incident," said base spokeswoman Miriam Gallet. "The case is in the hands of the U.S. Attorney's Office and it would be inappropriate for me to comment."


So the base couldn't answer how White came to be the speaker at the POW event or how he was vetted.


Personnel record problems


Many of the details that White told the base newspaper for an article leading up to the event are contradicted by the personnel record, which says the sailor was a seaman apprentice for the two years he was in the Navy, not a combat medical specialist.


His record also said he was discharged from the Marines as a lance corporal in 1967, not as a gunnery sergeant in 1970.


The record also does not support White's statement to the Jax Air News that he served on the USS Miller, that he was head corpsman on the USS Dealey and that he worked at Cuba Naval Hospital during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1961.


The decorations White wore at POW events had other problems, according to POW Network, including the wearing of the Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon, the Navy Overseas Service Ribbon and Navy Sea Duty Service Ribbon. None of these existed when he was enlisted. Another one was the Army Good Conduct Medal, but he was never in that branch of the service.


Disappointed colleagues


A variety of organizations began digging into White's records after his appearance at the September POW/MIA Recognition Observation, although some people began doubting his story about a week earlier when White was involved in a ceremony renaming the St. Augustine Veterans of Foreign Wars post in honor of Bryan Tutten, the first St. Johns County resident killed in Iraq.


During that ceremony, White told people that he had been a POW and earned the Purple Hearts. That raised suspicions, said Rick Hall, a member of the post's house committee.


With those suspicions confirmed, White will probably be barred from the post, where he was a member of the honor guard.


"Everyone was very, very disappointed and a little angry. Well, more than a little," Hall said. "To a serviceman, that's probably the most shameful thing you can do. It darkens the efforts and sacrifices of others."

:lifter


BMT

Richard
01-03-2009, 07:11
And another one bites the dust! :mad:

Richard's $.02 :munchin
**********
http://www.jacksonville.com/news/metro/2008-12-10/powmia_speaker_found_to_be_a_hoax

When Charles T. White stood up at Jacksonville Naval Air Station a few months ago to serve as keynote speaker at a POW/MIA Recognition Observation, he went into great detail about his career in the Navy and Marines. He talked about the 7 months he said he spent as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese and the four Purple Hearts he had won.

Now it appears the whole thing was a lie.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed charges against the 68-year-old St. Augustine resident Tuesday, accusing him of violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2005 by claiming the Purple Hearts. The law makes it a federal misdemeanor to claim military honors that haven't been granted. White faces two years in prison and a $200,000 fine.

According to the military's Personnel Records Center, White also lied about being a POW.

Although he was in combat from July 9, 1966, to May 1, 1967, there is no record that White was held in three prison camps for a total of seven months, as he has said.

White received the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with a star signifying participation in one campaign and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.

There is no record that he received the Prisoner of War Medal or any Purple Hearts.

"This is such an insult to the men who earned the decoration he's wearing," said Mary Schantag, a historian with the POW Network, an organization that tracks real and fraudulent prisoners of war. "They want the honor and the integrity and the accolades, but they don't take the nightmares and the pain these men wake up with every morning."

White's phone number is unlisted. A woman who answered the door at his home said he was unavailable to comment.

Jacksonville NAS refused to discuss the matter, saying it was a civilian issue.

"This is a very unfortunate incident," said base spokeswoman Miriam Gallet. "The case is in the hands of the U.S. Attorney's Office and it would be inappropriate for me to comment."


So the base couldn't answer how White came to be the speaker at the POW event or how he was vetted.


Personnel record problems


Many of the details that White told the base newspaper for an article leading up to the event are contradicted by the personnel record, which says the sailor was a seaman apprentice for the two years he was in the Navy, not a combat medical specialist.


His record also said he was discharged from the Marines as a lance corporal in 1967, not as a gunnery sergeant in 1970.


The record also does not support White's statement to the Jax Air News that he served on the USS Miller, that he was head corpsman on the USS Dealey and that he worked at Cuba Naval Hospital during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1961.


The decorations White wore at POW events had other problems, according to POW Network, including the wearing of the Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon, the Navy Overseas Service Ribbon and Navy Sea Duty Service Ribbon. None of these existed when he was enlisted. Another one was the Army Good Conduct Medal, but he was never in that branch of the service.


Disappointed colleagues


A variety of organizations began digging into White's records after his appearance at the September POW/MIA Recognition Observation, although some people began doubting his story about a week earlier when White was involved in a ceremony renaming the St. Augustine Veterans of Foreign Wars post in honor of Bryan Tutten, the first St. Johns County resident killed in Iraq.

During that ceremony, White told people that he had been a POW and earned the Purple Hearts. That raised suspicions, said Rick Hall, a member of the post's house committee.

With those suspicions confirmed, White will probably be barred from the post, where he was a member of the honor guard.

"Everyone was very, very disappointed and a little angry. Well, more than a little," Hall said. "To a serviceman, that's probably the most shameful thing you can do. It darkens the efforts and sacrifices of others."