HELL awaits he who steal the valor and builds his reputation on the graves of the brave Marines and Corpsmen who gave their all.
Kenneth J. Nelson
The Case of: Kenneth J. Nelson, Sacramento, CA
On 1/13/2008 – I received an e-mail from Bob Fowles entitled “POSER?”Bob asked if I had access to the full 1/9 roster.If so, could you check for a Ken Nelson?Claims service with 1/9 in 60 mortars.Nelson is a member of Sacramento Marine Corps League (MCL) and displays Silver Star, Bronze Star, 4 Purple Hearts plus other decorations.Claims to be an E-7 with active duty from 67-70, which is impossible.Also claims he is a veteran of Khe Sanh.
I immediately sent out a message to Dan Beckham, Doc Stubbs & Casey Piatt requesting they check the 1/9 rosters for a man by that name.The response on 1/14/2008 was predictable – “Guys, I looked at all the rosters for January thur April 1968 (Khe Sanh period) and did not find him.”
On 1/14/2008 I contacted Mary Schantag at pownetwork.org and discussed Ken J. Nelson, to which she stated she had already been receiving a lot of inquiries on this guy from both the U.S. and overseas stations.That same day I asked Bob Fowles if he had contacted the MCL Sacramento Detachment Commander.I also asked if he could be engaged to divulge specific information, like when he came in country, what he did, was he a gunner or a humper, how many mortars did he carry or did he hump the base plate?How many were in his mortar group? Copies of his DD-214, citations for decorations etc., all would be useful.
On Tuesday, January 15, 2008, I sent out a message “trap has been set in motion.MCL National HQ has been notified.MCL Sacramento has been notified.POW Network has been notified.Another Gugle Clone scummy will go down in flames.”Then, Dan Beckham’s memory was sparked; he recalled the name of Kenneth J. Nelson from an earlier inquiry and sent to me the following photo and link:http://www.americasveterans.org/fvet/0802.html
Read the list of decorations on this individual:
U.S. Marine Corps
1st Battalion 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, The Walking Dead
3 Purple Hearts
Bronze Star with V for Valor
Civic Action Ribbon
Code of Conduct w/Bronze Star
Presidential Unit Citation w/Bronze Star
USMC Heroics Medal
USMC Special Service Award
USMC Commendation w/V for Valor
Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Oak Leaf Cluster
This idiot went so far as to claim the Navy Cross and then made up his own decorations, which do not even exist in Marine Corps Inventory, i.e., “Code of Conduct” medal – what a jerk.Kenneth J. Nelson had previously claimed he served at Khe Sanh (not found on any rosters).He also claims Marine Corps service from 1967-1971.The most outlandish claim was rank as GySgt. E-7 (within a 3 year enlistment).
Because this link is still active, I did not contact the American Legion for one simple reason.I did not want them to get a tip to remove this post before the FBI could verify it was active after the signing of the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.
The Vietnam Veterans of America, Post 500 in Sacrament, California was most gracious in cooperating with my search for photos and information on Ken Nelson.Mary Lou McNeill responded to me on 1/17/2008 with information and additional photos of Ken Nelson, all of which was forwarded to the State Commandant of the Marine Corps League.By now I had the FBI in the loop or correspondence as did May Schantag of the pownetwork.org.His claims remained posted well after the Stolen Valor Act went into effect, so Sacramento’s resident wannabe, Kenneth J. Nelson, is subject to full prosecution.Kenneth J. Nelson’s date of birth was claimed to be 1949, while Mary Schantag found his true date of birth to be in October 21, 1957 and had his SS# in had.The FOAI request was now firmly in the hands of the NPRC.
Then I located additional links on Nelson which I pasted in the letter that I sent out the following letter/e-mail to the Marine Corps League, both the local Chapter Commander and the National President, Sr. Vice President, Jr. Vice President MCL and to the Vietnam Veterans of America, Sacramento:
Marine Corps League
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
P.O. Box 255484
RE: Nelson, Kenneth J.
Above addresses include the District Commander Marine Corps League, Sacramento, National Commandant, Sr. Vice Commandant, Jr. Vice Commandant.It is also being directed to the Vietnam Veteran’s of America, Chapter 500.Other commands, federal offices are being blind-copied this correspondence.Your cooperation in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
(1)This man’s name does not appear on any 1/9 unit rosters for the period 1967-1969.
(2)The list of Medals/Decorations is not consistent with the Marine Corps awards & decorations available.
(3)This man’s name does not appear on any listing of the Marine recipients of the Silver Star.
That being said, I have serious doubts about the authenticity of any service he professes.I have previously written to the Marine Corps League and have not yet to receive any response.I would hope a response will be forthcoming.I challenge the authenticity of any documentation he may have presented in gaining membership in both the Marine Corps League and the Vietnam Veterans of America organizations.
It is requested that you review the below items and photos, compare with the individual at your Sacramento Chapters, and begin an immediate investigation as to why and how he became a member of your organizations.If he insists all is correct and legitimate, I challenge him to contact the 1/9 Network and submit an application for membership.A copy of his DD-214 will be required.If you will provide his mailing address and service number, I will be more than happy to provide him a membership application form.
I request you all review closely the below information and photos.Again, your cooperation in this matter and the courtesy of a reply would be greatly appreciated.
//s// John J. Freeman
Source: The Proud Warrior (March 2008)
John J. Freeman served in the Marine Corps from 1964-1971 obtaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.John J. Freeman is a member of the First Battalion Ninth Marines Network, Inc. having served as National Membership Chairman he currently serves as a member of the Membership Committee.John also serves on the Special Investigation Team for military frauds.
Larry E. Gugle
Larry E. Gugle
A letter was sent to Larry E. Gugle, former Vice President and former member of the First Battalion Ninth Marines Network, by its National Membership Chairman. Mr. Gugle had represented himself as a retired Sergeant Major, a 1/9 Charlie Company Vietnam Veteran and an honored Marine who was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Sadly, Larry was a Wannabe; he did retire a Gunnery Sergeant, but was never in Vietnam, never served with 1/9 and therefore did not earn any of the medals in combat in Vietnam. The investigation took over a year.
As Founder and Past National President I am both hurt and ashamed of the dark shadow that this individual placed on our organization and the memory of the Marines and Corpsmen who served proudly. He even had the gall to participate in our Memorial Service honoring our Marines and Corpsmen killed in the line of duty.
I am both mad and hurt because he attempted to steal the basic love, respect and trust the we have as Marines and Corpsmen that served under the banner of the 1st Battalion 9th Marines.
But, I am proud of the organization, its’ Membership Chairman, his committee and our National President for their hard work. They followed our bylaws to rid our organization of this cancer and I especially applaud the individual who brought this case to the organization.
I hope his soul rots in HELL.
Roger W. Liggon, Sr.
Founder & Past National President
Additional information on 1/9 wannabe Gugle from the Official Website of the First Battalion Ninth Marines Network, Inc.
Casey, no excuses, only one thing can be said and that is "I'm Sorry."
I have always considered you a friend and brother Marine, and will continue to respect you as such and will always consider you a friend, no matter what!
I also apologize to all others of the 1/9 Network. Please pass on to whomever else in the Network you see fit to pass on this typed apology.
One point of fact! I always spoke of and about the great legacy of 1/9 whenever speaking to the public and never spoke about myself to anyone other than a 1/9 Network member.
Another point of fact is the files received from the Freedom of Information Act didn't have any information about my recall to active duty after retirement for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. My final DD214 shows "Participated in Operation Desert Storm." So I do have awards received for serving in a Combat Unit, and they are; Southwest Area Service Medal (SWASM), Kuwait Liberation (Kuwait), Kuwait Liberation (Saudi Arabia), and the Combat Action Ribbon (CAR). I don't know why this record doesn't show up in the paperwork that was received.
Response to Gugle’s letter by a member of the First Battalion Ninth Marine Network and Past National Membership Chairman.
I, for one, don't buy that apology. Statements made in the apology from Gugle are inaccurate and, in my opinion, a continued effort to dupe everyone on his actual record!
I cannot accept Gugle's report that "whenever speaking to the public" he "never spoke about (himself) to anyone other than a 1/9 Network member."
I have on file a speech created by Gugle for the the Redstone Arsenal Birthday Ball of 2005 in which Gugle repeatedly refers to "himself." He was the 'keynote speaker' for that event and appeared in dress blues with full medals, all of which he did not rate, and in the uniform of a Sergeant Major. Tom "Doc" Stubbs obtained this speech and shared it with me. I will share the content of the speech with you all and let you all make up your own minds on the validity of Gugle's statement. I will send that by a follow up email.
Let me address the second comment in his so-called 'apology'. The NPRC is the only official source of records, and they have CONFIRMED AND VERIFIED that the records sent in reply to our FOIA request are the official records! That letter sent to our current Membership Chairman, Tom "Doc" Stubbs emphasizes the following:
"The pages provided -- on December 5, 2005 are copies that were taken from the Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) that was retired to this center by Headquarters, United States Marine Corps shortly after the veteran was transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve effective April 1, 1990 in the grade of Gunnery Sergeant (E-7). The retiree's record is maintained in the microfiche format. This microfiche format was created at Headquarters, United States Marine Corps, and not at this center."
The letter goes on to state the following:
"Any information provided to you by any source outside of this center, the VA, or HQ USMC should not be taken as official documents unless those documents contain the seal of this agency, the VA, or HQ USMC."
"The NPRC is the physical custodian of the military records of former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S. Marine Corps retains legal custody of military records. Therefore we are referring your inquiry along with the military record, to the Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps, Personnel Management Support Branch, which has jurisdiction over this matter."
I report to you all that Larry E. Gugle has a repeat record of deceiving others (or attempting to), which can be traced back to his active duty conduct and the reason for his reduction in grade and transfer to FMCR. My personal inside contact at the NPRC has verified this fact to me on several occasions "off the record", and has also spoken with our current Membership Chairman, Doc Stubbs. That contact shall remain "confidential" for the purposes of this report.
Knowing the facts, as I do, I take this "apology" of Gugle's as totally unacceptable and yet another example of his fraudulent behavior and stories.
Take my letter for whatever you wish, I believe you all should know me by now.
Larry Gugle had visions to run for and be elected to the office of the Presidency of this organization and didn't hide his disagreement with several of us who might possibly counter his comments of dissatisfaction with the former and seated Presidents, and the members of the Board of Directors. Perhaps now you all can understand why - he didn't want anyone to possibly uncover his guise.
Larry E. Gugle was never a member of 1/9 nor did he serve in Vietnam. Gugle has been flushed out and exposed as a fraud and a wannabe, and that is the important fact. The 1/9 Network, Inc. should be stronger for it!
I, for one, would not use his so-called apology for a piece of toilet tissue, or ass-wipe for those who will allow me to be be politically incorrect.
John J. Freeman
HOW TO EXPOSE A PHONY
Written by: John Hoellwarth Gunnery Sgt. Alex Kitsakos, who spotted a phony Marine and forced him to surrender his uniform in May, showed a lot of gumption, said FBI Special Agent Tom Cottone. Still, Cottone recommends a less in-your-face approach for leathernecks and others who think they’ve found a fraud. “If they’re being an impostor, they’re doing it for dishonorable reasons,” Cottone said. “So you never know what they’ll do when confronted.” Cottone suggested that anyone who comes in contact with a potential poser should take the following steps: 1. Trust your gut. If you think someone is an impostor, chances are you’re right. Cottone said nearly all the tips he gets about fakers come from private citizens. Of those, “well over 90 percent” of the suspicions turn out to be warranted, “especially when it comes to valor awards,” Cottone said. 2. Initiate a conversation. Be curious. Ask questions about the person, his service and his awards without being confrontational. Mentally take notes of dates and units. Whereas legitimate recipients of valor awards rarely speak about their awards, fakers rarely miss an opportunity to brag about their supposed heroics, Cottone said. The intent is to collect as much information as possible that will help law enforcement officials identify the impostor later. 3. Get a picture. It’s not a crime to lie about military service, at least not yet. Posers aren’t breaking any laws until they wear the rank, awards or uniforms they don’t rate. To successfully prosecute fakers, photographic evidence is key, Cottone said. Most fakers won’t mind a request for a picture or an unexpected camera flash because they’re in it for the attention anyway, Cottone said. If possible, snap a shot of their license plate, too. This should all but gift wrap the conviction. The feds will know exactly what door to knock on when they see your pictures. 4. Contact the authorities. Wearing medals fraudulently and impersonating a service member are federal crimes. Don’t bother with the local cops. Get all your information together and contact the local FBI office, Cottone said. Source:MarineCorpsTimes - July 03, 2006