WRAL Investigates

Onslow man sent to prison for exaggerating military record

Posted September 8, 2011

— An Onslow County man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison after he was convicted earlier this year of portraying himself as a U.S. Marine who served in Vietnam.

The Daily News of Jacksonville reported that Michael Delos Hamilton, 68, of Richlands, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Greenville on Wednesday.

Hamilton was found guilty in April of one count each of making a false statement to the government, larceny of government property, unauthorized wearing of a military uniform and unauthorized wearing of congressionally authorized military medals.

Prosecutors said he attended a veterans gathering in Jacksonville last year in a colonel's dress uniform, wearing combat decorations that included two Navy Crosses, four Silver Stars and eight Purple Hearts.

A subsequent investigation determined that Hamilton filed a claim for compensation with the Department of Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder. He told a VA psychologist that he suffered flashbacks and other symptoms from his military service in Vietnam, prosecutors said.

He fraudulently said during a VA compensation medical exam in 2009 that he saw repeated combat in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia that resulted in him being “shot, stabbed, and blown up, and witnessed atrocities such as the dismemberment and decapitation of his best friend,” according to a federal grand jury indictment.

The VA paid Hamilton $37,000 in disability payments over three years for service-related ailments, prosecutors said.

Court records indicate Hamilton served nine months and 12 days on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps, was transferred to the temporary disability retired list in 1962 and was discharged in July 1967.

His highest rank was private first class, and his only award was a Rifle Qualification Badge, according to court documents. 

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  • word636 Sep 15, 2011

    The VA paid Hamilton $37,000 in disability payments over three years for service-related ailments, prosecutors said.

    They paid him for 3 years before they checked his records? A waste!!!

  • whereisthedonkeyshow Sep 14, 2011

    Ex marines are funny folk

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Sep 8, 2011

    Not sure why the comments in this story turned to politics.

    Focus folks, focus!!!

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Sep 8, 2011

    Three million of them got amnesty from Ronald Reagan.

    Supported by the Demcrate majority in congress, this was also done based on a promise from Dems that they would secure borders and tougher penalties for hireing illegals, that of coarse never happended, they lied, just like they lied about the spending cuts they promised that caused the deficit.
    batcave
    GOLO member since January 17, 2008
    September 8, 2011 4:05 p.m.
    Ignore Report abuse

    YAWN. Who signed it again? I love you 2 party sheep. You will say the most unintelligent things trying to cheer your "team" on. Stop and use your brain for 2 seconds. Start with one second if that is too demanding. We know DEMS support amnesty. We also know a Republican signed the last amnesty bill INTO LAW. Period Kool-Aid boy. You had 6 years and Bush to fix immigration. U chose to try and fix a foreign nation. Stop crying. Matter of fact you chose a $400 BILLION drug plan over immigration. YES u voted for SOCIALISM over IMMIGRATION

  • Follow_The_Money27617 Sep 8, 2011

    Another fine registered Republican. SHOCKING!!

  • sendusmessage Sep 8, 2011

    If his sentence is for defrauding the VA, that's legit. However, if any significant amount is just for masquerading as a decorated officer, that's a waste of our money. After all, most car thieves don't even get jail time, and they trouble me more than some old delusional guy...

  • batcave Sep 8, 2011

    Three million of them got amnesty from Ronald Reagan.

    Supported by the Demcrate majority in congress, this was also done based on a promise from Dems that they would secure borders and tougher penalties for hireing illegals, that of coarse never happended, they lied, just like they lied about the spending cuts they promised that caused the deficit.

  • ifcdirector Sep 8, 2011

    Too bad he wasn't the former governor of the state or that he didn't engage in a bit of insurance fraud to go along with it. He would be sitting in a beach house collecting a pension for life with liberal trial lawyers lined up around the block to pay his $1,000 fine. That's justice for you.

  • RonnieR Sep 8, 2011

    AFAIK, on two Marine Colonels have two NC, Ken Reusser and Van Bell, Jr. So he was pretty easy to spot. BTW, only two have 5, Chesty Puller and Roy Davenport both deceased.

  • jonfa Sep 8, 2011

    Doesn't VA investigate before sending disability payments

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