Thursday, November 29, 2018


h/t Weasel Zippers

Usually, this kind of Stolen Valor douchebaggery makes me want to see these guys punched in the mouth. I'll settle for him getting a stretch in the state pokey.
(MSN) Cary Haerlin, 56, certainly looked the part in his decorated dress blues uniform each year at the Marine Corps League Ball and various conventions.But detectives say he got his medals online, and his influential position as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps League by forgery.
“I received information from another Marine Corps League member who was onto his hoax and didn't think everything was truthful,” said St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Detective Matthew Brewster.
Brewster, himself a Marine, requested Haerlin’s official discharge document.
Brewster said it shows Haerlin was a refrigeration mechanic who was discharged in 2000 as a private first class under conditions "other than honorable.” The reason was listed as drug abuse.  
But Brewster said Haerlin forged a copy of the document to indicate that he was a machine gunnery corporal, who served in combat overseas and received a slew of honors and citations.
“I couldn't believe it - I was kind of hoping something was truthful to it, but nothing was true, even down to his basic rifle and pistol badge, that was false as well,” Brewster said.
He added that Haerlin used the forged document to secure a local position in the Marine Corps League, a national veterans group, in 2008.
His position as judge advocate meant he helped decide bylaws and other rules for the group.
He also traveled each year to League events, and was able to get reimbursed for that travel. According to the arrest document, Haerlin took almost $3,000 in reimbursement money – the reason for the charge of grand theft.
“I know he stayed in some nice hotels,” Brewster said.
Haerlin at first denied the forgery when finally interviewed by detectives, Brewster said. It was only when Brewster told him he was also a Marine, and he should have some honor and come clean, that he said Haerlin admitted it.
“He would only give a one word reason why he did it – ‘stupidity,'” Brewster said.
I have to think the guy had attained some higher rank than PFC in 2000 - when he was 38 years old. That has to be his adjusted rank after a court martial and separation. But if not, what a sad sack to only be lower level enlisted at nearly 40, and then get shitcanned for doing drugs. Some guys are retiring at 38. Recruiters should be saddled with a negative letter for signing up a slug like that if it happens on their first hitch.

But what an enormous skidmark on the world's underpants. Kudos to the FL detective who unsaddled that jackhole.
Hope he enjoys prison. And his new boyfriend. 


Anonymous said...

Justice will be done.

Tim Carter said...

just a great blog gotta say

TiredPoorHuddled Masses said...

Looks like his next roleplay stint will be in the Navy, courtesy the Village People.

Anonymous said...

Totally OT but I'd love our esteemed host's insights into this situation:

Badger said...

"Usually, this kind of Stolen Valor douchebaggery makes me want to see these guys punched in the mouth."

Well, young feller, that's probably likely to happen anyway. Makes what Bubba has in mind next a little "special."

SiGraybeard said...

St. Lucie county? I can almost see it from here if I get on a tall building. Good to see the detectives are worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

I've never understood the stolen valor thing. If you say you're something you're not, YOU know it's a lie. How could you wear medals and present yourself as something you're not and get any enjoyment or satisfaction from it? YOU know it's not true! That whole thing just doesn't compute in my brain for some reason. Anything you gained or recognition you received wouldn't bring any sort of satisfaction or pride if it's based on a lie.

In my late teens I was wearing a surplus woodland M65 jacket and was asked if I was active duty or just got out. I certainly wasn't representing myself as anything and explained that it was just my coat. We were rural kids of limited means and shopped at the army surplus store for our outdoor and hunting apparel. I was embarrassed and felt sorta shitty about the whole deal and I wasn't doing anything wrong. I just can't understand running around pretending to be something you're not. My brain just doesn't work that way.

Old NFO said...

About damn time... sigh... MORE of these asshats need to go to jail!

Aesop said...

@Anonymous 5:06PM

1) Medicare isn't going to terminate Vanderbilt's Medicare contract:
They want changes, and they'll get them. They may even financially punish them, but they won't go to contract termination. That's just saber-rattling. It would ruin the hospital, possibly all the way to financial failure, and punish the Medicare recipients who lost that resource far more harshly than necessary, even more than the hospital.
2) Vanderbilt personnel should be terminated:
a) the person(s) who was/were responsible for making a report to state medical oversight, and tried to hide the incident
b) the nurse who screwed the iriginal order/med administration up

BTW, vecuronium is a paralytic, used for intubation, while Versed is an anti-anxiety med/sedative; how someone not insane could switch one for the other and not notice is something that should be investigated, under oath, at a hearing to suspend or revoke nursing licensure at inquest, and probably at criminal arraignment.
That's an admin error that resulted in a fatality, and requires that whoever did it was at minimum a total moron, or else trying to kill someone. That level of negligence, if that's indeed what it was, or worse, should be answered at an inquest and probably a criminal trial as well. At a minimum, we're talking involuntary manslaughter by gross professional negligence.

As a single incident, it would be difficult, and gross stupidity, to punish an entire hospital system for a single medication error, even one that lead to a death. That's swatting a fly with artillery. But the failure to mandatorily report the mistake is conspiracy to cover up after the fact, and the person(s) who did that should be fired, if not prosecuted as well. That's something for the state's attorney general to look into, along with what lawyers are going to turn into a lotto payday for next-of-kin.

As these are slam-dunk cases based on that article, I'm wondering why they aren't already referred for prosecution at every level.

If I were the member at large for the state nursing licensure board, that nurse's license would either be suspended for 10 years at minimum, or revoked outright.
That level of screw-up is inexcusably and unexplainably outrageous.
If I were on the civil jury for the family, the payout would be in the low 8 figures: $2-5M for the death, and treble that in punitive damages for the cover-up.
Along with criminal charges and fines, that's the only way they learn not to do that.

DAN III said...


I worked with Army recruiters for more than a decade. Integrity and honesty are words that DO NOT occupy a military recruiter's vocabulary. Nor do those words mean anything to the commissioned officers in Recruiting Command. Recruiters would peddle their own mother's ass if they believe it will get them a number for the monthly mission. Hell, even the MEPS people are as much scoundrels as the recruiters themselves.

The LAST person I would hire for a civilian job would be a military recruiter.

Dinochrome One said...

Back in 1988, I had a serious brush with recruiting duty; the Fickle Finger of Fate at the Navy detailer's office in Washington picked me for Navy Recruiter in Saint Louis,..... luckily, I already had a tour-extension request in with my command at NSGA Adak. Also, Master Chief Weaver (CPO Mess President) took me aside to say that he didn't think that I was the right guy for recruiting; I took that as a compliment.

Stolen Valor: nothing heats up a VFW or American Legion meeting like stories about THESE scumbags.

Anonymous said...

Putting him in prison is expensive. I suggest stripping him naked and tieing him to a barrel to be pissed on by active, retired, reserve, and VFW people for some prescribed time. Maybe a "D" branded or tattooed on his forehead to boot.

The Gray Man said...

We all know where these stolen valor losers come from. They do it for the positive attention from the public and their friends and family. Certain types of military get more positive attention than others. How much worship is a refrigeration mechanic going to get? Some "thanks for your service" comments, but not as much as a machine gunner with a chest of medals. That'll get you an entire conversation of war stories pretty much anytime you feel like it.

Who's going to stand there talking to a fridge tech about how one time he was recharging some freon at KAF? That's a one-way ticket to having even your family members not care about talking to you about your service.

Too many of these no-combat-ever role players are not willing to accept that lower level of attention. Despite the fact that we NEED fridge mechs, HVAC repairmen, laundry specialists, Human Resources people, etc., some of them see the attention that the combat arms guys get, the pilots, the intelligence guys, the JAGs, and they want that same attention. People have always lied about who they are for positive attention. We now have an entire Silicon Valley-based industry geared exclusively toward assisting people in creating their fake personas.

These stolen valor types aren't ever going away.

Elaine said...

Another good article--of course.

Aesop, I have a question way off topic and don't know any other way to contact you. I've had breast cancer twice, 1995 and then in 2015/2016. Just found out the cancer is back, as they say, "I'm eat up" with it. It's every where. But not writing for sympathy. I enjoyed those three articles you had written about the 'opioid crisis'. Our newspaper and local news of course does their part to spread the fear. Finally getting to my point. My oncologist wrote me a script for the long acting oxycodone(?), is that correct. Anyway, he had to jump through some hoops to get my insurance to approve the prescription.

Maybe, this is my point. I would like to share those articles you wrote (print them off). Is there any way you can send them to me via email? I sure would appreciate it. Then I would also look up the sources you referenced.

If you can do this, I would certainly appreciate it. If you don't want to mess with it, I understand that also.

Thanks, Elaine

Aesop said...


My sincere sympathies for the return of the big C.

As for the articles, be my guest: Share them any way you'd like.
As for sending them...they're on the blog.
What exactly would you like me to do beyond that?
Is it looking for them, or...what, exactly?
Not understanding the request at this end, but I'd be happy to make it easier if that's possible.

Here are the links for the main three, plus a couple of follow-ups:

If you need more than that, let me know, and I'll do whatever I can.

Anonymous said...

I guess I don't understand the problem.

Is the idea that a machine gunner makes better rules than a refrigerator repairman?

If so, how could it possibly have taken 10 years to have noticed?

Stolen valor isn't a new thing, particularly after 9/11. In the private sector, I'd be kicking myself for not having checked the guys references, and made sure never to fall for it again. Yet that seems not to be the lesson learned here.

Seriously, how hard would it have been to check his DD 214?

millerized said...

This isn't uncommon. Actually getting caught....not uncommon. Getting sentenced though....that's the tough cookie to get done. Glad someone pays, but there are hundred, no, thousands doing this daily across the US. Just no one thinks to check. highlights some of the 'better' ones on occasion.

Aesop said...

I don't know whether your DD214 is a searchable database, though I assume it is.
But he forged his, and servicemembers tend to give a bit of slack to fellow-service-members who don't raise red flags from the outset, like claiming to be Secret Special Agent Orange, with tours with the SEALs, SF, Ranger, and Force recon, all in the same week.

But as noted, there isn't a helluva lot of cachet to being a refrigerator repairman during a war (unless you ask the guys who just got sodas, beer, or ice cream from one). That level of "Thanks for your service" from the guys in the Sandbox should have been sufficient for anyone, but then again, this was guy who got kickedTF out of the Corps for drugs, so he's a douchebag ex-Marine already.

I'm still wondering what his actual max rank was before court martial, and WTF he was doing in the service at all at 38, if he was still just lower-level enlisted. Besides fucking up by the numbers.

At lest two of the guys who graduated boot camp in my platoon of 75-80 guys should have been shit-canned before that point, but were retained because it would make everyone from the OICs to the drill instructors look bad. That mentality needs to change. (And highlighting that peer evals are 100% accurate, I kept track, and both those shitbirds in my platoon were later separated via BCD following court martial. You can fool the Corps, but you can't fool your platoon.)

Sandy Winter said...

We have an even worse situation in Missouri regarding the MCL. At least the subject of this article had been a Marine at one time but in our case, the poser has actually admitted to having never been a Marine. In fact, when this individual was reported to the Fake Warrior Project, it was revealed that this imposter has no record of service in any branch of the armed forces. However, this character actually became MCL state commandant through a rigged election in which she was the only candidate (a second candidate was added after the vote had been cast). Nevertheless, this character has wormed her way into some of the highest positions in the district as well as the Military Order of Devil Dogs. As a consequence, many of our most prolific fundraisers have left either her detachment or else have given up the MCL altogether, in disgust. Wearing the Marine dress blue bravo uniform with sergeant's chevrons and even a good conduct ribbon to a state convention takes guts but this character has been exempted from enforcement of the state's stolen valor law by local politicians, so the problem persists and not only does the MCL come out the loser, but the Marine Corps itself.

Anonymous said...

Being somewhat familiar with this sad situation, it's tempting to believe that had this senior MCL officer moved to our state, he would have been protected from detection and even been free to use his false status to advertise his business. Although the state AG states that the Stolen Valor Act is to be enforced, the process must be initiated by the local DA who in our case, doesn't act on these complaints. The situation regarding the counterfeit described is well known in our area and it has had a negative effect upon the recruiting efforts of veterans organizations in general. As a fundamental matter of policy, all veterans organization in our area but the MCL require that a DD214 be maintained on file.

Unknown said...

I was married to him 4th wife ( I know) met him in 1998 and and divorced him in 2013. What a shock to find this out. does this mean my whole marriage was a big fat lie!! Yep

Unknown said...

All charges were dropped. The Dept of the Marine Corp League said they were not charging him with any crime.

Aesop said...

Links, or it didn't happen.
The Marine Corps League doesn't charge crimes, the district attorney does.