America is proud of the men and women who have selfishly signed a blank check by enlisting in America’s armed forces. Between veterans and active-duty personnel, 7.3% of our nation’s citizens have raised their right hands offering to protect America’s freedom at all costs if necessary. All costs…
Once the strenuous rigors of in-your-face boot camp transform the metamorphosis of a raw recruit into a proud and disciplined combatant, they are then highly trained in their respective career field. Certain types of training can take up to a year to complete, and it’s ongoing throughout their tenure.
Many of America’s fighting forces will see combat. They will lose battle-buddies. Some will lose limbs. Some will never hug their loved ones again. Yet they willingly do this for the love of country, and every person residing therein.
Unfortunately, there are those who seek the valor that most veterans and active-duty members don’t care about. They want to be recognized for doing what way too many have died doing, without all of the risks involved. They want to wear a uniform they did not earn the hard way.
Some clown in California who was claiming to be a combat-injured Marine with two purple hearts so he could claim medical and housing benefits ended up receiving both. From the confinement of the Federal prison where he now clutches tightly to his bar of soap, which confidentially, we hope he drops. Repeatedly.
James Stiles, 43, of Orange, California, has the next 16 months to contemplate his disrespect of every service member who ever served this great nation. Once released, he’ll then need to dig his way out of the $167,234 he was fined, not just for good measure mind you, but because of some things he got away with before his reign of fraud was brought to a screeching halt.
Somehow or another, it’s all very puzzling, Stiles managed to rack up $195,000 worth of V.A. medical office visits, and he received $4000 in housing assistance payments. The valor-stealing slimeball has been formally charged with seven counts of government fraud.
When confronted by the V.A. concerning the legitimacy of his claim to have served as a combat Marine between the years of 1995 and 2005, Stiles had little choice but to come clean.
The V.A. immediately filed charges of healthcare fraud, theft of government property, and last but not least, providing false statements to a government entity. Now, hold on to your hat.
All together, Stiles was seen as an outpatient at the Tibor Rubin V.A. Medical Center in Long Beach, 692 times, for a total of $194,526 in treatments that were billed back to the Veterans Administration. Your tax money at work.
Stiles also misrepresented himself at a public hospital where he received emergency treatment for a grand mal seizure. The V.A. allows this for life-threatening emergency medical situations, and the bill is sent straight to them for payment, generally with no discounted rate.
Stiles’s poor attorney, Charles Farris, on a long-yard punt, issued the following statement.
“Mr. Stiles acknowledges that this care that he received was an intended benefit for members of the armed forces, and as such, he committed fraud and ‘stole,’ so to speak, this care from others that needed it. Mr. Stiles asks the Court to consider that he was desperate to begin fighting his mental health and substance abuse issues that have caused him problems his entire life.”
The sad thing is how the case of Stiles is not an anomaly. Stolen military valor is a common occurrence. Perhaps not to the degree of what Stiles is guilty of, but it happens regularly. People with no business doing so dress up in a uniform for the recognition it will bring them.
But now and then a veteran notices one of them, and it’s usually because something on their uniform is out of place or just doesn’t jive. Sometimes the cops are called, other times it’s handled internally…