John James Lavoie is fighting to clear his name after he was publicly accused of stolen valor.
Military memorabilia decorates the walls of Lavoie’s Jacksonville home — a roomful of medals, honors and awards all related to his 24 years of service in the US Marine Corps.
But A Florida Times-Union newspaper article questioning his service record also sits on his table, reminding him how his “life is crumbled,” says Lavoie.
Lavoie is being accused of “Stolen Valor,” a term used to describe non-veterans wearing veterans’ gear or service members wearing medals they did not earn.
“I was already guilty until proven innocent,” Lavoie told First Coast News in Jacksonville.
So Lavoie tracked down his DD 214 and 215—the document veterans use to prove their service history.
And indeed the form does show that Lavoie received Medals of Honor — including the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Silver Star.
The problem is papers from The National Archives don’t match the medals that appear on his DD 214/15 forms.
The National Archives in St. Louis released Lavoie’s service records, and the list of Decorations and Awards does not include a Purple Heart Medal, A Bronze Star or a Silver Star, according to the report.
Lavoie says he’s not going to give up until he restores his good name. He doesn’t have any explanation for why the documents don’t match up, but says he is going to do whatever he can to correct it.
The National Archives also make mistake’s. A path Lavoie might choose is to get St. Louis to send him a replacement set of medal’s. They, do this but once. But, when they send them they also, send an Award sheet of all medal’s awarded. And, St. Louis also make mistake’s. I rec’d a medal that was, awarded to marine’s that served in defense of Wake Island. My, father was of that time/war. One thing that, clearly stand’s out is, that marine’s home. It attests to his service.
David J Cheek
Hopefully he can clear his name. The records don’t always reflect what really happened. I know it happened to me on a couple different occasions. If he is guilty then it not good. I would not think a man of his rank and military service would need to do anything like that