WRAL Investigates

Onslow man guilty of faking Vietnam claims, taking vet benefits

Posted April 21, 2011

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— A federal jury on Wednesday convicted an Onslow County man of lying about his military service and illegally claiming more than $30,000 in veteran’s benefits, authorities said.

Michael Delos Hamilton, 68, of Richlands, was found guilty 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 Hamilton wore a Marine colonel’s dress blue uniform and medals during a military recognition day ceremony last year in Jacksonville, which adjoins Camp Lejeune.

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.

The VA paid Hamilton $30,000 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.

Hamilton will be sentenced in August.


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  • superman Apr 22, 2011

    Wonder where he got all the medals from? He did pretty good he was able to fool the military and get benefits they said he didnt deserve.

  • USAF20YR Ret Apr 22, 2011

    A real disgrace of a human being, and a bigger disgrace to the USMC, of which he was part for a very short time. As a USAF Vietnam veteran (1970-1971) it makes me want to cry to see this lying, inconsiderate, miserable excuse of a human being disgrace the USMC uniform; and wearing medals that many were awarded to those that served and survived, as well as posthumously to many. Losers like this just add another undeserved black eye to Vietnam veterans, and era veterans. People see this and all they get out of it is "Vietnam" veterans.
    Vietnam veterans did an outstanding job in Vietnam, because that is what they were asked to do. Unfortunately, the country was submerged in alcohol, dope, and Hippies. Add to that loser politicians, and we arrive at where we are today. Minus the Hippies, nothing has changed.

  • ccs1920 Apr 21, 2011

    This is a sorry old dude. Get the $30,000 back and give him a few months in prison.