Terry J. Powell
Terry J. Powell (born 1951) falsely claimed to be a recipient of the United States' highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor, and a veteran of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. In June 2007 when confronted by Waukesha County sheriff's detectives he said he was a cook on the destroyer USS James O'Hara, which was in reality a transport ship decommissioned in 1961 and scrapped in 1968, and nursed several sailors sickened by food poisoning back to health. He showed the detectives a Medal of Honor certificate he says he received from former President Richard Nixon on July 15, 1972, and signed by Navy Secretary John Chafee. Later Powell claimed he lost the original certificate concerning the medal when his basement was flooded. During a 2007 Memorial Day speech, which was videotaped, Powell said he served three tours in Vietnam and one in Iraq. As late as August 2007, Powell was still wearing his Medal of Honor when he attempted to speak at a VFW post only to be rebuffed. Powell has been charged with unlawfully wearing the Medal of Honor, according to documents made public. If convicted, he faces up to a $100,000 fine and a year in prison.
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