News 4 Investigates: Phony War Heroes - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Phony War Heroes

This photo courtesy: "Daily Egyptian" at SIUC.
Take a good look at the picture. Can you spot the discrepancies?
I've listed them below.


It's a photo of James E. Scales, an administrator at SIUC and a retired Army Reserve veteran. In an article for the SIUC school newspaper, he claimed he was awarded 3 purple hearts, served 5 years in Vietnam, served in Bosnia, Honduras, Panama, the Persian Gulf and Iraq. Scales also claimed his willingness to give his life on the battlefield was a mentality passed along to him by his uncles and late father, who he claimed, died in the Korean War. News 4 Investigates looked into his claims and showed Scales repeatedly lied about his record and when pressed, eventually confessed to never serving in Vietnam and admitted he was never awarded a Purple Heart. A federal law passed a little over 2 years ago makes it illegal to wear certain military medals or even claim to have been awarded them when a person has not. Punishment for wearing a Purple Heart medal could be up to one year in jail and a $200,000 fine. Here's a list of claims made by Scales and the evidence to prove the lies.

Lie - Awarded 3 Purple Hearts
Proof - Military records obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration show he was never awarded a Purple Heart.

Lie - Served in Vietnam
Proof - Military records obtained from the U.S. Army Human Resources Command shows that Scales never served in Vietnam.

Lie - Also served in Bosnia, Honduras, Panama, the Persian Gulf and Iraq
Proof - Military records obtained from the U.S. Army Human Resources Command shows that during Scales career, he was stationed in Germany, Kansas and Wisconson, only.

Lie - Father and uncles died in the Korean War
Proof - A check of a database with names of those killed or missing in action in the Korean War, found no one with the last name of Scales.

James Scales Service Record.pdf Click on this link to read Scales' service record obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration.
James E. Scales.doc Click on this link to read Scales' service record obtained from the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

Here's a look at the discrepancies on James Scales's uniform:
1) The uniform shows he's a colonel... he actually retired as a Lt. Colonel.
2) It has jump wings... but records show he never graduated from an airborne training course.
3) The uniform has a combat infantry badge... but records show he never served in combat.
4) There is a Korean Presidential U.N. citation... records show he never served in Korea.
5) An Army Good Conduct Medal is on the uniform... but to receive that medal, requires that an individual have 3 years enlisted service... but records show Scales entered the U.S. Army in 1970, the same year he went through the Infantry Officer Basic Course.

Much credit goes to Douglas Sterner of Pueblo, Colorado for exposing James Scales' falsehoods. Veterans who saw the newspaper article about Scales became suspicious and contacted Sterner, who operates the website, Home of Heroes, and tenaciously works to expose fakers. He contacted News 4 Investigates and started researching Scales' record. Sterner helped write the Stolen Valor Act that outlaws wearing unearned service medals and is pushing for passage in Congress of House Bill 666 that would set up an searchable online database of men and women who have been awarded military medals. Such a database would make it easy to check someone's claims and might be a deterrent. Click here to read more about the proposal.

Here are more stories of military fakers:
Post office named for phony
Texas license plates
Jacksonville veteran
Who's Who
P.O.W. Network

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