Brandon Ryan Blackstone, 35, was sentenced Friday by Chief U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn to 21 months in Federal prison for falsifying valor awards to get financial compensation, according to a press release by the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Texas.
Blackstone, a former United States Marine who served between 2004 and 2006, which included a tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom, lied about receiving a purple heart to not only gain monthly disability compensation through the Department of Veteran Affairs, but also to mislead an organization called Military Warrior Support Foundation (MWSF) through which he later was granted mortgage-free housing.
In turn, he told VA compensation specialists at the Dallas Veteran Affairs hospital that his Humvee had rolled over an anti-tank mine, and as a result, he suffered multiple lacerations to his body. He also forged false witness statements from other Marines in order to have some fraudulent corroboration for his story.
“Any fraudulent claim of military valor is disturbing and disrespectful to the brave men and women who earned their honors through courage and sacrifice,” FBI Dallas Special Agent in charge Eric K. Jackson said. “Brandon Blackstone’s fraudulent claims, made repeatedly with the purpose of defrauding the government and obtaining personal enrichment, are not only especially egregious but criminal.”
“The FBI will not stand by in these situations,” Jackson continued. “We will investigate these cases to ensure justice is reached. We will do our part to uphold the integrity of the U.S. government and military institutions and to honor those courageous individuals who truly deserve their military honors.”