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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2011 03:32 
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CPO CPO

Joined: 04 Apr 2007 13:11
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Location: Brisbane Queensland Australia
June 06, 2011
Buffalo News
A Marine Corps veteran who led the push for construction of a veterans memorial in Niagara Falls recently accepted a plea agreement for illegally wearing medals he had not earned, including one awarded to those who served in combat in the Vietnam War.
David A. Fabrizio, 66, is believed to be the first person in Western New York to be prosecuted under the U.S. Stolen Valor Act, signed into law in 2006 by then-President George W. Bush, law enforcement officials said Friday.

During a gathering of "Niagara Youth Marine Cadets" on Oct 3, 2009, the Niagara Falls resident wore several military decorations that he never earned, according to court papers filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Those decorations included a medal showing that he had served in Vietnam, which he never actually had done, prosecutor Michael DiGiacomo said in court papers.

Fabrizio also illegally wore decorations indicating he was a Vietnam War veteran, had earned the Presidential Unit of Citation and the Combat Action Ribbon, and was a certified scuba diver and an airborne gunner.
Fabrizio is chairman of the Niagara Falls Memorial Commission, a group that has worked for years to raise money for a $1.7 million veterans memorial soon to be built in Hyde Park.
A spokesman for Fabrizio said he did serve 33 years with the Marine Corps, but never overseas or in combat.
"My name and reputation will survive through this minor, yet dark personal event," Fabrizio said in a statement e-mailed Friday to The Buffalo News. He added that the incident will not deter him from his efforts to see that veterans are honored.


The incident has upset some local Marines, who said they do not consider it a minor matter.
"A lot of us heard about this, and yes, it did upset us," said Marine Lt. James Lalor, executive officer of the Buffalo-based India Company, 3rd Battalion of the 25th Regiment. "Any Marine who has ever earned a rank or an honor is sensitive to this kind of thing. A lot of Marines earned those honors but never got to wear them on their chest because they never came back alive."
The October 2009 incident prompted a complaint to the Buffalo FBI office, which investigated, authorities said.
Fabrizio pleaded guilty May 16 to a misdemeanor count of violating the Stolen Valor law by wearing unauthorized military decorations. The charge is viewed as a petty offense in the federal courts.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy fined Fabrizio $500 and then rescinded the fine after Fabrizio donated $500 to the veterans memorial fund, according to court records.

Why did Fabrizio wear honors he had not earned?
"I'm relatively sure it was an oversight," said Ken Hamilton, a spokesman for the veterans memorial commission who spoke to The News on Fabrizio's behalf. He said Fabrizio has assured him that he acted with "no malice."
Fabrizio was not trying to run for government office or to benefit himself financially by wearing the false honors, Hamilton said.
"He was speaking to a bunch of kids, trying to get them to consider military service," the spokesman said.
According to Hamilton, Fabrizio served four years as an active Marine and then 29 years in the Marine Corps Reserves, and did not serve any of his time overseas.

Fabrizio reached the rank of master gunnery sergeant, which took him to the pay grade of E-9, the highest an enlisted Marine can reach.
Hamilton said he believes that Fabrizio could have been found not guilty if he had insisted on going to trial.
He said Fabrizio decided to plead guilty "so as not to interfere with his efforts, and the efforts of the Niagara Falls Veterans Memorial Commission, to build a monument that is befitting to all service members."

Construction on the monument should begin within a few weeks, and the first phase should be done this summer, Hamilton said. He said Fabrizio and others have worked on the project for years.
Matt Szudzik, a Marine Corps veteran from Orchard Park, said he is thankful that the federal government prosecuted Fabrizio for wearing honors he didn't earn.

"I don't like the idea of anyone going around wearing honors they aren't entitled to wear," said Szudzik, the commandant of the Bett-Toomey Detachment of the Marine Corps League, a group of Marine veterans based in Lackawanna. "A lot of men really did serve in combat and got wounded. This kind of thing is a slap in the face to them."

Congress enacted the Stolen Valor Law in reaction to complaints from military veterans about people who were wearing military honors they had never earned, or lying about their military experience. But critics of the law claim that it violates free speech rights.
In Pasadena, Calif., a panel of federal judges in March overturned the conviction of a man who falsely claimed he had been a Marine and that he had won the Medal of Honor.

Court officials said that ruling is not binding on other federal district courts unless it is upheld in U.S. Supreme Court.

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Have been out here in Brisbane for 40 years. Miss the Andrew, the good mates and the runs ashore we all use to have. Miss being "G" "medically "T"


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012 15:59 
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Commodore Commodore

Joined: 01 Dec 2006 20:53
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Location: South West England
Toss the lying little scroat over the falls! After all he is a airborne scuba diving gunner, should be no problem to such a 'ero.......guys have to fight to earn those medals, in any army, many do not return, this sort of action cheapens their loss


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2013 00:03 
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F/CPO F/CPO

Joined: 15 Nov 2006 07:55
Posts: 5666
Location: Bundaberg Queensland
Something extremely odd about this guy. How can you serve for 33 years, not go
overseas, or see any combat. Must have had one of Mick's reserve fleet postings.

:o :o :roll: :roll:


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PostPosted: 21 Oct 2013 10:59 
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Commodore Commodore

Joined: 01 Dec 2006 20:53
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Location: South West England
Probably related! Thinking about it at least he got his medals -guess that's the only way I'd get my one from the Malaysian Government! C'est la Guerre


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