SPECIAL REPORT: Veteran admits to fabricating service awards - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

SPECIAL REPORT: Veteran admits to fabricating service awards

DENISON, TEXAS – As home to Nation's only Medal of Honor City, Texomans value their military men and women more than most.

When local author Ron Stone's Book, “Reflections on a Black Wall,” was released he held book signings for the event around town.

The non-fiction book details his time in the Vietnam War as a green beret in the US Army Special Forces.

He was no stranger to killing the enemy.

"The porch guard was trying to get his rifle off his shoulder when my well placed round put a red dot between his eyebrows,” he writes.

He is unafraid, even after hearing there is a bounty on his head from the Viet Cong military.

“The look on his face when he looked down at the bloody floor was a real Kodak moment,” Stone writes. “You could really see absolute fear come across his face that he was really about to die." 

The passages fill 175 pages of non-fiction. All available on Amazon for the taking at $24.95, but after military personnel records did not match his accounts of war, veterans began asking questions.

"None of this stuff is even remotely legitimate,” said B.G. Burkett, the author of the book “Stolen Valor.”

Burkett has spent the better part of decade outing imitation war heroes.

"When he's claiming he was in combat and decorated he's claiming that he served shoulder to shoulder with those men,” he said. “To me, it's an outrage, it's a form of sacrilege." 

Stone's claims are not just what's written inside the book. The back cover lists eleven awards. Including the Distinguished Service Cross. Considered the military's highest award, second only to the medal of honor.

But his military personnel record list only three decorations.  

His records came into question by a Facebook group.

Stone provided photos of his certificates for his Special Forces Sniper training and award for the Distinguished Service Cross  

The trouble is, the commanding officer's signature on Stone's match copies of certificates that can be bought online.

We took our findings to the author himself outside his Denison home

KTEN:Why did you decide to do all this to begin with? Was it to sell books? 

Stone: I was trying to tell a story.

KTEN: Why couldn't you tell the true story?

STONE: It was a fictional book. 

Despite what he said, the last page of his book reads "The events and dates of the book are true to the best of my knowledge and recollections and are stated without reservations.”

Stone eventually admitted to lying about parts of the book.

"I made up some of the medals,” he said. “I am deeply ashamed of it." 

He said the fake awards provided an ego boost, but maintains at least some parts of the book are true, but classified.

"The government would not let me talk about what I did in the service. They stole my military history,” he said.

It's a story Burkett has heard from multiple people who have fabricated war stories.  

"Many, many times these guys will say, well of course you didn't find anything in my military record,” he said. “You know, when you're on secret missions the government covers that up." 

After examining hundreds of Vietnam War heroes' records, Burkett notes other essentials are missing from Stone's records.

Under geographical locations, there is no mention of Viet Nam and no US Army Special Forces Training.

"Every bit of the training would be there. They don't just say, ‘finish up your meal, you're going to Laos." 

Burkett's book is the basis for the Stolen Valor Act. Making it a misdemeanor for those to profit from a fraudulent military career.

Despite his book sales, Burkett said it is unlikely Stone will be charged.

"Even when you present all the evidence to the FBI or justice department, it costs them tens of thousands of dollars to prosecute somebody." 

The cost is too high to prosecute a misdemeanor.  

Inside the Sherman Vietnam Veterans of America chapter meeting, a vow to serve country is taken time and time again.

Including for those without any honor of their own.

Stone said he would pull his book, but it was still available online at last check.

"All I did was lie,” Stone said “And there's no law against lying.”

Fellow veterans admit their disgust 

"it's very aggravating. It's very aggravating and I get hot," said Saint Torres, who served in Iraq. 

"If you knew what I went through, you wouldn't be doing that,"said Vietnam Veteran Anthony Jablonski. 

The book is a strong reminder that what's written on paper may not always be true, but for the thousands who are willing to pay the ultimate price, total freedom comes with complications. 

"Freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms. That's our freedom,” Torres said. “Freedom to do as we please. That what other countries don't get to do.”