An Army veteran from Columbus claimed he suffered
from PTSD after a deployment in Afghanistan that
earned him a Purple Heart and Silver Star. As a
result, he collected $76,000 in benefits for the
mental condition. He later admitted, that all of that
was a lie.
He was not deployed to Afghanistan, never suffered
PTSD and never received the two honors, which are
among the highest bestowed for military service.
Gregg Ramsdell, 61, faces up to six years in prison
and a $500,000 fine after pleading guilty to stolen
valor and making false statements, the U.S.
Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia
said in a news release.
After being honorably discharged, he applied for
disability benefits from the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs on Sept. 7, 2014, claiming he
witnessed horrible atrocities in Afghanistan from
October 2008 through March 2009, the release said.
Those atrocities included claims of “women holding
babies while detonating themselves,” “IED
explosions causing severe bodily injuries and death”
and “having blood and body excrements being blown
onto (his) uniform,” the release said.
Ramsdell said those experiences, which he had
made up, made him “unable to live a normal life,”
the release said. He was awarded $76,000.
He served “interrupted periods of enlistment” in the
Army, the Army National Guard, the Air National
Guard and the Army Reserve from 1981 to 2014,
However, FBI investigators discovered he was not
in Afghanistan between 2008 and 2009, the release
said. He also later admitted to lying about having
Ramsdell was able to attain a civilian position at
Fort Benning in 2017 due to his resume, which
listed that he was both a Silver Star and Purple
Heart with Cluster recipient, the release said.
The FBI handled the investigation. Ramsdell’s
sentencing is scheduled for March 2020.
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