A former U.S. Army soldier is in legal hot water over statements and claims he made about his military service.
Gregg Ramsdell of Columbus has been indicted in federal court under the Stolen Valor Act, according to information obtained by WRBL News 3.
That law makes it a crime to fraudulently claim to be a recipient of certain military decorations or medals in order to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefits.
The indictment came down last week, alleges that Ramsdell claimed in June 2017 he had been awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart to obtain civilian employment at Fort Benning. He knew that was false.
These accusations against Ramsdell are serious, says retired Command Sergeant Major Jeff Mellinger.
“In the document that I looked at, you have an individual who claims to have earned a Purple Heart and a Silver Star, which according to the indictment, he was not entitled to,” Mellinger said.”Which in itself is bad enough, but he reportedly used those same items to get a job with the military on Fort Benning. That is really the heart of the Stolen Valor Act.”
In an effort to get disability for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Ramsdell claimed to have seen war atrocities while serving in Afghanistan. He witnessed women and children being executed, and women holding babies while detonating themselves. The indictment says he never witnessed either event.
Ramsdell’s Linkedin page says he spent more than 30 years in the Army and retired in 2014 as a sergeant major. He faces his first court date later this week.
“When people fabricate events that they benefit from, as apparently the charge, in this case, is, where a guy claimed to have seen horrible things in an effort to get PTSD diagnosis which equates to money from the VA, that’s another version of stolen valor,” Mellinger said. “It didn’t happen. It’s like saying you were shot down on an aircraft that didn’t get shot down. It’s lying.”
It is not just a war story, Mellinger said.
“It’s different from I can’t remember if it was Tuesday or Wednesday or whether it was three or four,” he said. “It’s a total fabrication in an effort to get benefits. And that hurts people who really are entitled to the benefits, and more importantly the treatment that the Veterans Administration offers.”
Ramsdell was charged in Middle District of Georgia and will face his first court appearance later this week.
Check out the entire indictment document below: