ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
53°
Mostly Cloudy
H 65° L 49°
  • cloudy-day
    53°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 65° L 49°
  • cloudy-day
    63°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Cloudy. H 65° L 49°
  • clear-night
    60°
    Evening
    Mostly Clear. H 65° L 49°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National
Phony Navy SEAL buried with military honors
Close

Phony Navy SEAL buried with military honors

Phony Navy SEAL buried with military honors
John Marcus Alberti claimed he had military honors given by President John F. Kennedy. But that was a lie.

Phony Navy SEAL buried with military honors

A man who claimed he was a decorated Navy SEAL was buried earlier this month will full honors at a cemetery reserved for military heroes.

But the man was a fake, KIRO-TV in Seattle reports.

The man never served a day in the Navy, and officials at Tahoma National Ceremony in Kent, Washington, were unaware of his bogus claims until KIRO-TV checked the man’s background and explained his phony documentation.

Now, outrage is growing among actual military veterans, and some are calling for his remains to exhumed.

John Marcus Alberti died in April and had no next of kin. A friend went through his belongings and found a military discharge paper called a DD 214. The paper detailed how Alberti served as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, winning numerous medals for bravery.

>> Read more trending stories

The document even said he was honored by President John F. Kennedy.

The friend, who believed Alberti served because of the document, took the paper to American Legion Post 78 in Auburn, Washington. Officials there worked with the Tahoma National Cemetery. Click here to download a PDF of Alberti's bogus military document.

On July 24, Tahoma National Cemetery gave Alberti a ceremony with full military honors. Post 78 originally posted pictures of the ceremony on its Facebook page.

But the paper has some glaring mistakes.

Navy SEAL veteran Don Shipley is dedicated to exposing fake Navy SEALs. “Not to me. I saw it."

“The guy couldn't even spell Saigon,” Shipley said.

For true military heroes to be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery, the cemetery needs a certified military discharge paper. But Alberti's fake discharge paper was good enough to fool the American Legion and cemetery staff.

Alberti was first exposed in 2008 by the POW Network. Alberti was homeless at the time and staying with a couple in Kent.  They sought out the POW Network, saying he told them stories of being a prisoner of war.  

The POW Network did a check to confirm his service and found Alberti was a phony.  At one point, the network posted his name on its other site, fakewarriors.org.

But in 2012, that site took down the names of those who’d been exposed as phonies.

KIRO-TV spoke to the director of Tahoma National Cemetery, who said the cemetery accepted Alberti, believing the fake military discharge paper was real.

In other cases, bodies have been removed from national cemeteries after officials determined the deceased were not eligible. A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman said the agency is still investigating Alberti's case.

“He needs to get out of there,” Shipley said.  “He's buried among heroes.”

Statement from American Legion Post 78

Prior to the interment of John Marcus Alberti and the Auburn-Reporter's published op-ed - written by a friend of Alberti - a Google search of his name produced little information aside from innocuous items such as FaceBook and LinkedIn pages. It was not until we were contacted by Don Shipley on Saturday (7/26) that we became aware of the "stolen valor" issue. On Sunday (7/27), a search of Alberti's name on the Fakewarriors.org website produced absolutely ZERO results.

Auburn Post 78 had no knowledge of, nor contact with, Alberti prior to his death in April 2014. Alberti died on 4/18/2014 and his body was turned over to the King County Medical Examiner's Office in Seattle. In late April, Alberti's girlfriend of about 7 years contacted our Post service officer for assistance as Alberti had no known family and she was not legally his next of kin. She provided the Post with a copy of a DD214, that she apparently found in his possessions with a VARO Seattle "true copy" stamp and signature on the back.  The DD214 was taken to Tahoma National Cemetery to schedule interment. A representative there researched him on their system and determined he was eligible to be interred at TNC.

At this time, all postings and pictures regarding Alberti have been removed from the websites and Facebook pages over which we have control. We at Auburn Post 78 are extremely distressed that we may have played a role in interring a "fake warrior" in our National cemetery; however the last we heard, the folks at TNC say he is an eligible Navy veteran (disclaimer: being eligible to be buried in the National Cemetery does not in any way imply that the service/training/awards listed on the DD214 are correct).

Carol Reed
Adjutant, Auburn Post 78

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • UPDATE Friday morning:  Logan Mott’s mother has posted a heartfelt message on Facebook, pleading for a safe return of her 15-year-old son and his grandmother, Kristina French.  UPDATE 11/23/17 5:40 PM: The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says there’s no new information to release. ORIGINAL STORY: A missing child alert has been issued for 15-year-old Logan Mott out of Neptune Beach.  The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Jacksonville Police believe Logan is in the company of his grandmother, 53-year-old Kristina French.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says firearms are missing from a home they are associated with. Our partners at Action News Jax spoke with Logan’s mother who says the home that had the firearms looked like it had been ransacked.  The two are believed to traveling in a 2015 silver Dodge Dart with Florida tag D-L-L-T-4-2.  JSO says with the firearms missing, you should not approach them if you see them. You are asked to call 911. This is a developing story, check back for more updates. 
  • If you need a Christmas tree you might want to head over to Hendricks Avenue Elementary School. Kick off your holiday shopping by paying a visit to their Christmas lot which officially opened today.  The School’s Ambassador Program which includes the Safety Patrol and Leaders of Tomorrow are raising money for their end of the year trip.  You will be able to visit the lot to buy trees or wreaths over the next three weeks, proceeds will benefit the program. If you aren’t looking for a tree or a wreath, there will also be a donation jar.  Prices of the trees will depend on the size of the tree and based on the pricing structure given to the group by the tree farm. 
  • It’s no secret that you’ll encounter crowded stores, malls, and parking lots this time of year. Whether it’s Black Friday or any other shopping day for you, troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol wants to make sure you are safe while shopping.  As parking areas fill during the holiday season, shoppers are often forced to park from shopping center exits, sometimes in poorly lighted areas. With Daylight Savings Time ending in November, you’ll probably walk into the store while the sun is up and leave when it’s dark out.  Which is exactly why FHP wants you to follow these tips:  • Park as close to entrances and exits as you possibly can.  • Always try to walk to and from your car with another person. If you are shopping alone, consider walking near other shoppers in the parking lot.  • If you are shopping alone and leaving at night – particularly if you’re carrying several bundles of gifts, you can ask a security officer to walk you to your car. Troopers say most malls will provide that service.  • If you can’t find a spot up close and have to venture into the far reaches of the lot, try to find a spot that’s well-lit or near a well-traveled road.  • You should put all of your purchases in your trunk and away from plain sight to prevent possible thieves. Troopers suggest saving your most expensive purchases for last, so you can head straight home.  • Make sure you have all the right kind of equipment if you’re buying a huge load, a tree, or any type or large cargo.  • Have your keys ready when you approach your car. Before entering, do a double check to make sure nobody is inside (who is not supposed to be).  If you think about being followed, FHP is providing the following tips:  • Don’t drive home. You would only be telling your follower where you live.  • They want you to stay calm. As long as you think clearly, troopers say you’ll be in control of the situation.  • Flash your lights and honk your horn long enough to attract attention to you, and consequently the person following you.  • Drive to a safe location, like a police station or another type of law enforcement station. Do not leave this safe location, until you’re sure your follower is gone.
  • We're still damp this morning, with some mist and fog early.  Gradually the rain is expected to end and CBS 47/Fox 30 Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist Mike Buresh says skies will clear.   Thursday saw a tremendous amount of rain.  “Unofficial reports of as much as 6’’ in the St. Augustine area, pretty widespread rainfall of 2-5’’ for parts of Clay and St. Johns County and even into southeastern Duval County”, Buresh said.  Mike says we'll gradually see skies clear through the day and by tonight.   That sets up a really nice, dry weekend with temps in the low 70's. LISTEN:  Mike Buresh Weather Podcast
  • Whether you’re leaving Jacksonville or coming back home, expect to see more Florida Highway Patrol troopers on your busy roads this weekend.  The Thanksgiving holiday is a peak travel period for families nationwide. During this time last year, troopers and other law enforcement agencies state-wide worked more than 10,000 crashes. All sworn FHP personnel, including Auxiliary, and Reserve troopers will patrol major roads as the Thanksgiving holiday weekend comes to a close on Sunday.  “It’s imperative to buckle all seatbelts, get plenty of rest before a long trip and allow sufficient time to reach your destination,” says Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. The public is encouraged to report impaired or aggressive drivers by dialing *FHP (*347).

The Latest News Videos