Agent involved in Army officer's murder case charged with lying about earning a Purple Heart
The Washington Post
By DAN LAMOTHE
Published: February 14, 2019
The charges, if proved, amount to what U.S. troops refer to as “stolen valor,” when service members claim details about their military service that are not true in ways that benefit them. Delacruz has been suspended from his duties since the allegations came to light late last year, Castro said.
A special agent with U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command faces criminal charges after allegedly lying about his military service, Army officials said Thursday, complicating a case he was assigned in which a former Green Beret officer has been charged with murder.
Matthew L. Golsteyn, a former Special Forces officer who is being investigated for alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan, in his Washington office with his wife, Julie, and their 4-month-old son Henry. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Delacruz, who is assigned to the Army CID office at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was charged with the unauthorized wear of a Purple Heart, Air Assault Badge, Pathfinder Badge and Combat Action Badge and is accused of submitting a package to an Army promotion board that stated he earned a Purple Heart when he did not, said Jeffrey Castro, an Army spokesman. The Purple Heart is awarded to U.S. service members who have been wounded or killed in combat.
The charges, if proven, amount to what U.S. troops refer to as "stolen valor," when service members claim details about their military service that are not true in ways that benefit them. Delacruz has been suspended from his duties since the allegations came to light in late 2018, Castro said.
The accusations, first reported by NBC News on Thursday, complicate the case of Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who is accused of premeditated murder in connection with the death of a man in Afghanistan in 2010. Golsteyn, 38, was charged in December following an on-and-off investigation that dates back to 2011, when the former Green Beret officer acknowledged killing an unarmed man that he believed to be a Taliban bomb maker during a job interview with the CIA.
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