Sailor wears medals he didn’t earn

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by ccheese, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    On July 14, 2006, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dontae L. Tazewell stood before a jubilant crowd at Norfolk Naval Station.

    There, Capt. Bruce Gillingham, deputy commander of Portsmouth Naval Medical Center, pinned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart on Tazewell's chest.
    The honors recognized Tazewell for heroism in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, crediting the hospital corpsman with single-handedly rescuing six Marines and recovering the bodies of four others while under enemy fire during an ambush on March 28, 2003.

    "If you want to know what honor, courage, commitment look like, you need to look no further than to Petty Officer Tazewell," Soundings magazine reported Gillingham as saying to the crowd of 150.

    The problem is, it's possible that those stories of heroism are just stories.
    Tazewell, 28, has been charged with forging documentation for and improperly wearing 11 different honors, including the Combat Action Ribbon, Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

    The awards are related to the supposed rescue and other certificates that he allegedly falsified at a later date.

    In Tazewell's court-martial, which began Tuesday at Norfolk Naval Station and continues today, the prosecution painted a picture of a young man on the verge of being kicked out of the Navy for subpar performance who created stories of himself as a hero to stay in uniform.

    In his opening statement, Navy Lt. Matthew Wooten, one of the prosecutors, said "this case is about a sailor with a plan to con the Navy. This case is about stolen valor."

    The defense did not make an opening statement Tuesday. The prosecution witnesses included several of Tazewell's supervisors.

    Under questioning by prosecutor Lt. j.g. Allison Ward, Senior Chief Petty Officer David Short told of how, in May 2006, then-Petty Officer 3rd Class Tazewell learned he had not scored high enough for promotion to petty officer second class. Due to his time in the Navy, this meant Tazewell would have to leave.

    Soon after, Short testified, Tazewell said his former duty station "had some awards" for him, including the Combat Action Ribbon, Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

    "These are significant awards for anyone," said Short, who sent the award binders up the chain of command. That led to the July 2006 ceremony. The honors also gave Tazewell the bump he needed for promotion.

    The following summer, Short testified, Tazewell brought him paperwork for more awards. But this paperwork was old and odd.

    There was a mix of unit and personal awards on a single document, Short testified. There was also an extra space on the document, between the subject line and the first paragraph. This was a quirk of Tazewell's writing, Short said, and it made him suspicious.

    By then, Tazewell had undergone counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder, Short testified. As part of that, he had told the rescue story in great detail and earned the respect of his fellow corpsmen. He'd also gotten Bronze Star license plates for his car.

    Two of Tazewell's direct supervisors during his 2003 Middle East deployment testified Tuesday that Tazewell was not involved in any action that would have merited the awards.

    When shown Tazewell's certificates, Senior Chief Michael Smith, who oversaw enlisted personnel for Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, testified that they had multiple errors, including misstating the squadron's name and the rank of the Marine officer who headed the group.

    In addition, Smith testified that none of the hospital corpsmen under him ever served with foot patrols, as Tazewell's awards stated he had done. Instead, they were stationed at air bases in Kuwait and occasionally accompanied convoys around the country.

    "Basically, none of this happened," Smith testified.
    In subsequent testimony, Ward asked Chief Petty Officer Santiago Chavez, Tazewell's supervisor at Joe Foss Expeditionary Airfield, to describe a photo he'd taken.

    It showed the hospital corpsmen stationed at the airfield as of March 30, 2003. Tazewell is among them. Yet, according to his award certificates, he had been wounded two days earlier in the Iraqi ambush.
    Tazewell said nothing in court Tuesday. At his request, he is being tried by a judge.

    His attorney, Navy Lt. Matthew Cutchen, said after the hearing that Tazewell "adamantly denies the charges against him."

    If convicted on all charges, Tazewell could face more than 40 years in prison, demotion to seaman recruit, loss of all pay and allowances, and a dishonorable discharge.

    This from today's Norfolk Virginian-Pilot...
     
  2. wilbur1

    wilbur1 Active Member

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    Holy sh** i hope they hang him:evil:
     
  3. Becca

    Becca Member

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    THAT is sickening.
     
  4. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I would certainly throw him in jail. What a fu_cktard!
     
  5. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Just wait til Les sees this.....

    Charles
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    I'm gonna take cover I think....let me know when he's done....
     
  7. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    What a lousy stinkin no good piece of sh!t, fu*ktard blemishes all of us that put it on the line in the name of our country.... If there is any justice in this world, he should hang himself in humiliation....

    Im actually kinda surprised it got as far as it did tho... Proves how thorugh the Navy is in that dept... I would assume the Navy is gonna throw the book at him to set an example... U dont hear this kind of sh!t EVER, so his ass is gonna get slung up....

    "Hey Grandpa, what did u do in the Navy???"

    "Ummm, Liar 2nd Class.."
     
  8. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I'm glad that Les didn't let me down. I dare say he'd kick his @ss if
    he could get his hands on him. I'll keep the forum advised what he gets.
    Eleven awards he didn't earn...... What a scumbag....

    "This case is about stolen valor." That sez it all.....

    Charles
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    My opinion about this.....person, but it isn't suitable for priniting. But I agree with Les...100%
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    One word...disgraceful.
     
  11. Konigstiger205

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    I don't think disgraceful covers it...dishonorable and I could think of a few words in my language but I can't translate them in english...if they got that low this world is digging its own grave...
     
  12. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Trust me, when I say something is disgraceful, it's the worst kind. He is lower that whale dung. I hope they throw the book at this sad excuse for a human being. He has done a great disservice to the Navy, and any other US military service.
     
  13. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Since he wore the combat medal, they ought to make him earn it. Have him lead a few patrols through downtown Bhagdad. Problem is, he would probably get the rest of his patrol killed. What a P.O.S.
     
  14. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    NORFOLK
    Navy man convicted on 10 of 11 counts of wearing medals he had not earned.

    A Navy petty officer was convicted today of improperly wearing 10 different honors, including the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Action Ribbon.

    Petty Officer 2nd Class Dontae L. Tazewell claimed to have single-handedly rescued six Marines and recovered the bodies of four others while under enemy fire during a 2003 ambush in Iraq.

    Tazewell was acquitted of an 11th charge of wearing the Navy and Marine Corps commendation medal with Combat "V."

    A sentencing hearing due to start at 9 a.m. Thursday.

    The Navy also had accused Tazewell of forging documents to obtain the honors. A judge dismissed the forgery charges earlier today after Tazewell’s lawyer argued that Tazewell had not caused the Navy any actual harm.

    This, at of 1639 Easter time, today.

    Charles
     
  15. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Think disgraceful is the perfect word to describe this piece of garbage.

    TO
     
  16. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Freakin piece of sh!t, I wish they could hang him from the yard arm...
     
  17. DBII

    DBII Active Member

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    I think that he did do harm to the Navy. They should have nailed him for all charges. Any jail time...I hope?

    DBII.
     
  18. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    There will DEFINATLY be jail time in Leavenworth for this scumbag...
     
  19. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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  20. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    is that Federal time - no parole? heh, heh.
     
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