Gervais pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful use of military uniforms and unlawful use of military decoration while dressed as a sergeant while attending Remembrance Day services at the National War Memorial in 2014.
However, the official records tell a different story.
Mr JOHNSTON was a US Marine Corps Private First Class (E2), Aircraft Recovery Specialist (1994-98) and a US Army / National Guard Specialist (E-4) Unit Supply Specialist (2010-2011). He served for a total of 4 years and 9 months in the US military, and even using new math, that doesn’t add up to the near 20 years of service he claims.
The attached US DD214s, courtesy of our US Partners, indicate that JOHNSTON was never a Staff Sergeant of Marines nor was he a Scout-Sniper with seven combat deployments!
But, he has all the medals & dress blues…
Baby Blue Marine…
Johnston must also be a time traveller as he’s rockin’ the Medal for Humane Action which recognizes 120 days of service during the Berlin Airlift 1948-49… There are many other inconsistencies with his group of medals when his official documents are reviewed. There’s no explanation for the UK General Service Medal (Northern Ireland) along with the Gulf War (90-91) group…
His medal group indicates he was Wounded In Action twice while serving as a member of the US Army, the records do not support that claim!
Of course, no “Staff Sergeant/Scout-Sniper” would ever deploy to an operational theatre without his mail clerk credentials!
We were asked to review a number of photographic images of “Sergeant” Robert Cooper who resides in the Wetaskiwin, Alberta area.
Our review identified many inconsistencies in his medallic display and, when combined with his confusing claims of service, that gave us cause to question his entire military narrative.
Our team conducted a thorough review of all available records, this included websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, regimental tour books, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents in Canada and the US in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
SV-C then reached out to the regimental and corps associations, their museums and other organizations in which Cooper has claimed to have served. The publicly accessible records, that we have had the opportunity to review, do not support the majority of his claims. The absence of verifiable records alone does not conclusively prove that an individual is a fake or embellisher, it just indicates that there are no records…
Mr Cooper has been playing his came for a number of years until the RCMP came knocking on his door.
From the images we were asked to review, It appears that the individual is wearing the Medal of Bravery (MB) and the Sacrifice Medal (SM). Fortunately, one’s entitlement to the MB is easily confirmed via the list of recipients available on the Governor General’s website ( http://gg.ca/honours.aspx?lan=eng ). Not surprisingly, Cooper is not listed.
Entitlement to the SM is somewhat more difficult, there have been approximately 850 awarded since its creation and the names of the living recipients are not in the public domain, except for the individuals who received their’s @ Rideau Hall during the initial presentation ceremony. That being said, it’s virtually impossible for a living individual to have a SM without an accompanying campaign medal.
Cooper claims this group of medals from his “service” as a civilian contractor working for the US Army and USMC.
US Purple Heart Medal – In 1997, at the urging of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the USCongress passed legislation prohibiting future awards of the Purple Heart to civilians. Today, the Purple Heart is reserved for men and women in uniform. Civilian employees of the U.S. Department of Defense who are killed or wounded as a result of hostile action may receive the Defense of Freedom Medal created after the terrorist attacks on 11 Sept 2001.
Once again, purchasing a bogus certificate and wearing a fake medal doesn’t change simple arithmetic and recorded history!
What we do know, Cooper was a Signalman (Private) radio operator in I Headquarters and Signal Squadron located in CFB Calgary in the early 1980s. By all accounts, he had a some what lack lustre career trajectory, he couldn’t pass the Battle Fitness Tests required of all soldiers in the field force and it’s reported he went AWOL on at least 2 occasions! And, he was shown the door…
It appears that Mr Cooper doesn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to his claim of being involved in a mine strike! And, if you are offended by this caption perhaps, you should direct your ire towards Mr Cooper, an individual who portrays himself as a combat wounded vet!
Stolen Valour Canada was advised by a number of parties that there was a potential issue with the medals that Mr Lafontaine, a former Gunner and Supply Technician, had been photographed wearing.
SVC does not act upon unsubstantiated intelligence or malicious tips that are often initiated as a result of petty jealousy, marital misadventure or, sheer vindictiveness. We won’t waste any staff effort on someone’s “gut feel” nor do we do participate in witch hunts. Tipsters must provide evidence (pictures, news articles, social media links) of their concerns before we can move forward.
Prior to investing any research effort into what has the potential to become a wild goose chase; we contact named individuals in order to provide them with an opportunity to sort out the reported situation. Our hope, they would take advantage of our offer to protect his reputation and silence this issue once and for all.
To that end, we asked that he provide us with the documentation that would prove his entitlement to the Special Service Medal – ALERT (May-Aug 94), UNPROFOR (Jan-Jun 95), UNMIH (Jun-Nov 96) and the Canada 125th Medals.
Of particular concern to us, his claim of being held, along with a Corporal as a “hostage” by the Serbs for 31 days in 1995.
SVC is well aware of hostage incidents involving Canadians that occurred in the UN’s Bosnia-Herzegovina Command including those involving Canadian Army units in Bosnia (GT 12e RBC, RCD BG, 3 R22eR and Canadian UN Military Observers) over the course of the UN Protection Force mission.
There is no open source evidence that CF personnel were held in excess of one month by any of the warring factions. However, given the press coverage of actual hostage events, it’s difficult to believe there’s absolutely no record of the event Lafontaine describes…
Mr Lafontaine quickly sent us a copy of his Military Personnel Records Resume (MPRR) dated 6 August 2003 however, there were a number of anomalies that caused us some concern. Now, these anomalies could be easily explainable administrative errors or, more ominously, could it be an attempt to deceive us by providing an altered document?
When the anomalies were questioned, Lafontaine’s response followed an entirely predictable path,
(1) Feigned cooperation,
(2) Indignation, denial and veiled threats of legal action when asked to clarify our specific concerns,
(3) Removal of photographic evidence of medallic fuckery™ from social media accounts, and
(4) Followed by blocking us from those same accounts.
An interesting response particularly, after he willingly sent SVC his MPRR… Was it because we questioned his claims?
Former MCpl Lafontaine’s work in the veterans community, for which he has been formally recognized by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Affairs Ombudsman doesn’t earn him a pass on his highly suspicious operational narrative.
The puck is clearly in his end of the rink, he can either produce independently verifiable documents that will support his claims or, he can apologize for his medallic fuckery™ and commit to surrendering his bogus medals and insignia.
***Update 17 Sept 2018***
Lafontaine, in a now pulled French language radio interview, admitted that his hostage story was a complete fabrication and that he purchased the UN Haiti medal and added it to his group. He has yet to cowboy up in regards to the medals he wore indicating service in Alert, Bosnia (UNPROFOR), along with the Canada 125th Anniversary medal, the Chief of Defence Staff Commendation and a Commander’s Commendation..
We were asked to review a number of photographic images of “Sergeant” Robert Kelly who resides in the Leamington, Ontario area.
Our review identified many inconsistencies in his dress / appearance and, when combined with his confusing claims of service, that has given us cause to question his entire military narrative.
Our team conducted a thorough review of all available records, this included websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, regimental tour books, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents in Canada in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
SV-C then reached out to the regimental associations, their museums and other organizations in which Kelly has claimed to have served. The publicly accessible records, that we have had the opportunity to review, do not support the majority of his claims. That being said, the absence of verifiable records alone does not conclusively prove that an individual is a fake or embellisher, it just indicates that there are no records…
Kelly has alluded to being a WW2 Veteran yet, he was born in Douglastown, New Brunswick in 1936. Now, we are not mathematical geniuses but, those numbers just don’t work… Therefore, question becomes, is he a legitimate Korean War Veteran, a Cold War era Veteran or, is he a Veteran at all?
In addition to his World War 2 foolishness, he has also claimed over the years to be an infantryman with The RCR “SPECIAL FORCES” (1953-1959), a “sky trooper”(whatever the hell that is!), a “NATO Peacekeeper” in Europe, a Code Talker, a Korean War Veteran, a British trained commando and, quite amazingly, he claims to have served in the Canadian Airborne Regiment over a decade before it was formed in April 1968.
Judging by the extensive press coverage he has received over the years, it appears that he’s being pimped as the veteran “go to guy”. The leadership of the Windsor Veterans Memories Project have showcased Mr Kelly at many of their events so, one would assume that they must have verified his military service. Factual errors and omissions occur due to misremembering & that can be forgiven. However, complete fabrications, not so much…
In the old style Battle Dress uniform image, he’s wearing a highly unlikely, and quite confusing display of medal ribbons including the (1) unofficial Aboriginal Millennium Medallion in the senior position, (2) followed by the 2 x WW2 ribbons (including the France & Germany Star), (3) the Special Service Medal NATO, (4) the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal without any accompanying tour medal , (5) the Coronation Medal, (6) the Canadian Decoration indicating a minimum of 12 years of good conduct and loyal service, (7) the Commissionares Long Service Medal, (8) the Service Medal of the Order of St John (without its accompanying ribbon) is often worn on his right lapel & there’s are some sort of parachutist wings on his left breast pocket.
On a stand up poster prominently displayed in the Windsor area, Kelly’s story included the following -“While in Europe, his tours included Germany, England & Holland. A highly trained reconnaissance soldier, as part of a 30 man reconnaissance team. He would gain information on Germany during the day, and then inform his Commanding Officer in the morning”
Was he alluding that he’s a WW2 vet who gathered information on the Nazis or, is he implying that he crossed the IGB and was gathering intelligence on Warsaw Pact Forces? Wearing the France and Germany Star leads us to believe that he was proclaiming himself to be a WW2 Vet!
In the more recent/current images, he’s wearing a maroon blazer along with maroon beret & any evidence of his claimed WW2 service has been removed.
The constant on his many make-believe uniforms is the Queen’s Coronation Medal. That particular medal was presented to just 15 junior ranks of the 2nd Bn of The RCR, all combat veterans/paratroopers who were members the Canadian Contingent in London, England during the 1953 ceremony. Not surprisingly, Mr Kelly’s name is not on that list…
He also says that he met the Queen in Picadilly Circus, and he talks about JOHN Prince (Does he mean Sergeant Tommy Prince MM of the 2nd Bn PPCLI?) who he claims he was forgotten by his regiment and family!
Other than the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, which he is a bonafide recipient, and the Special Service Medal (NATO) which he would have been awarded for his limited service in Europe, what’s the story regarding the other medals he’s been sporting?
This includes the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD), which requires 12 years of qualifying service and good conduct so, how can an individual who claims only 6 years of service (1953-59) be entitled? Additionally, there’s absolutely no evidence that he’s eligible “peacekeeping service” to wear the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal.
We believe Mister Kelly may have found himself in a situation in which his stories, unchecked embellishment & outright lies finally caught up with him, and he was finding it difficult to extract himself. SV-C was prepared to assist with correcting this situation if and when Kelly made contact with us.
*What we do know.*
Private Bob Kelly, actually served in the Canadian Army as an infantryman with the 2nd Bn, The Royal Canadian Regiment in NW Europe. This was followed by a number of short time periods of service as a reservist in the Royal New Brunswick Regiment and the Windsor Regiment. He never advanced past the rank of PRIVATE during any of his actual service nor, did he get anywhere near the 12 year threshold to be awarded the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD).
SV-C reached out to Kelly in order to clarify the situation & he has not responded. But, the President of the Windsor Historical Society – Veterans’ Memories Project jumped into the discussion, vouched for Kelly’s service, and states he has all the paper work to back it up his buddy’s claims. However, he has refused to release the information so it could be independently verified and, has threatened SV-C with legal action, because we had “slandered an innocent soldier”!
What’s particularly disturbing, his supporters were actually going turn a blind eye to Kelly’s military fairytales and allow him to escort Hockey’s Memorial Cup, a trophy that is dedicated to all Canadian Armed Forces members who gave their lives in the service of our great country.
Kelly’s wife believes that the Memorial Cup was “designed with veterans in mind” and, here we thought the Memorial Cup commemorates Canada’s military sacrifices.
*The bottom line*
PRIVATE Robert Kelly had legitimate military service during the Cold War, that’s something in which he should have taken great pride. He had no need to embellish his time in the Army but, by doing so, he stood in the blood of our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price for our freedom during the period 1947-1991!
All of our research was provided to the law enforcement agencies which would have jurisdiction(s) in the area in which the alleged violation of s419 CCC had occurred. Additionally, we provided them with the contact information for the Library and Archives – Canada and the CF’s Directorate of Honours and Recognition so, a formal request for relevant documents should they so desire to further investigate Mister Kelly’s bogus military narrative.
Regardless, it’s been a long slog with former Private Kelly as a number of his supporters and enablers interfered with our activities, this entire situation could have been wrapped up a year ago!
We have no doubt that the demand for an apology has now been taken off the table.
The truth was always out there, now a friend and supporter of SVC has Kelly’s medals in his care and custody, the bogus medals will be removed from the group, and the legitimate medals will be returned in the very near future.
SVC also expects a public apology will be made to everyone who has been negatively impacted by Mr Kelly’s medallic fuckery™.
Mr. (Patrick) Robert (Bobby) Collins came to the attention of SV-C when an on-line image his unique stand of medals was featured on the cover of the Peninsula News Review on 13 November 2015. After Collins’ picture was published, there was a significant activity spike on veteran’s web sites discussing his medals and their legitimacy.
Shortly thereafter, a thorough review of all available records including web sites, newspaper articles, photographic images, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents, both in Canada and the US was conducted. Our findings indicate that Collins appears to be wearing many medals, awards, military insignia and accoutrements without meeting the legal requirements or having the qualifying service. This could be due to a series of long overlooked, administrative errors or, it could indicate that Collins has embellished his claimed military service. In fact, he’s likely committing an offence under s419 of the Criminal Code of Canada – “Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates”.
Mr. Collins is/was a member of several Victoria, BC area veteran’s organizations including the Canadian Association of Veterans of United Nations Peacekeeping, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Legion of Frontiersmen. He has been recognized for his advocacy work by the Minister of Veterans Affairs and a local Member of Parliament. (VAC Minister’s Commendation / Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal)
Collins says that he was a member of the Canadian Forces from 1963 to 1979 and served as an Infantryman in the 1st and 2nd Bns of the Canadian Guards, 2nd Bn PPCLI and The Canadian Airborne Regiment.
He also claims service in the Republic of Viet Nam as a draftee, infantryman / paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and / or the 101st Airborne Division (dates unknown however, his previously claimed CF service would have precluded any RVN service). There is no record of him ever being a member of the US ARMY nor, is there any record of him being awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Viet Nam Campaign Medal, the Viet Nam Service Medal and the US Army’s Senior Parachutist qualification insignia.
Collins is wearing the hazardous skill badge of a CF Parachutist, stating he trained in Rivers, Manitoba in 1974 however, there is absolutely no record of him holding this qualification nor, is there any record of him serving in any capacity with the Canadian Airborne Regiment. There is a legendary paratrooper with the same last name who proudly served with the CAR, let’s not confuse this individual with the real deal as some of Bobby Collins’ supporters and enablers have done.
As a result of our research, SV-C believes that Mr. Collins has been (1) Wearing the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal without any legal authority. (2) Wearing Canadian Forces Parachute wings without legal authority. (3) Wearing the US Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Viet Nam Service Medal and Viet Nam Campaign Medal without legal authority. (4) Wearing US Army Senior Parachutist wings without legal authority. (5) Wearing privately purchased United Nations commemorative medals, in conjunction of at least one legitimately awarded medal in direct contravention of the Canadian Order of Precedence, http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14979.
PO2 Collins’ undress ribbons and miniature medals were sent to the Chancellery in Ottawa for disposal.
Collins was a cook in the Canadian military from 8 June 63 -10 Nov 1979 so, he must have served in the RVN with the US Army on nights week ends and on annual leave…
Mr Collins, it’s long past time for you to cowboy up and apologize for standing in the blood of the wounded and fallen!
Leonard came to the attention of Stolen Valour-Canada (SV-C) when we were asked to comment upon photographic images of him attending military and veteran oriented ceremonies in the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario. According to multiple sources, Leonard claimed to be a long serving Military Police member who was wounded in action during combat operations in Kandahar in 2003. He also stated he had completed deployed operations in Cyprus and in the Balkans where he witnessed ethnic cleansing and due to the rules of engagement, he was left powerless to intervene.
SV-C conducted a thorough review of all available records including websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from military documents in Canada in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
The first document we uncovered was the newsletter of Region 2 Canada of the International Police Association dated March 2016. The lead article titled “A Military Veteran’s Personal Journey with Combat-Related PTSD” is a most amazing story detailing the life of a wounded veteran suffering the effects of a penetrating head wound/traumatic brain injury and PTSD. He details his struggle from emerging from a comatose state after aeromedical flight to Canada, his long term rehabilitation and the positive impact a service dog had on his daily life…
Unfortunately, his narrative doesn’t match the time line! The first red flag, claiming to have been wounded in action in Kandahar Province in 2003 and, taken to the “military wing” of Mir Wais Hospital in Kandahar City. Anyone who knows of Canada’s experience in Afghanistan, will realize that “MP Sergeants” weren’t in Kandahar Province during that time frame nor were they tasked on missions to arrest criminal/terrorists! In fact, Canada’s main effort was taking place in the Kabul area until December 2005!
Coalition casualties, would have been treated at the then US lead Combat Support Hospital located on Kandahar Airfield… The description of his injuries is amateurish at best, and his story of being held in comatose state for 30 days in a German hospital is a complete fabrication according to individuals who were intimately involved in the movement of wounded Canadian Forces personnel by aeromedical evacuation resources during the time frame!
Secondly, the medals pictured in the IPA article do not match the medals he is wearing, Leonard claims to have served 3 tours in the former Yugoslavia under a United Nations mandate yet, he wears the NATO medal… The article states “Sgt. Art Leonard has been acknowledged for his exemplary military police service with a number of prestigious medals, including: the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) with bar; the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal; the UNPROFOR medal (3 tours); the Cyprus medal (2 tours) the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan; and the Canadian Forces Sacrifice Medal [Canadian equivalent to the Purple Heart Medal]”
In his own words, “ My life was haunted with flashbacks, sleepless nights, cold sweats and anxiety from living through some of the darkest, most terrifying experiences that a person could ever endure………despite a chest full of medals for my service, I had hit rock bottom; I had reached a point of not caring to live anymore”. “For a long time I blamed myself for failing as a Soldier. I would think that if I hadn’t been injured my family wouldn’t have left me, and my career in the military would still be intact. Instead, I was left alone ……..fighting to stay alive after several suicide attempts.”
Aware of his on-going struggles with combat-related PTSD, friends from the Royal Canadian Legion in Newmarket, Ontario, realized the positive health benefits a service dog could provide. They contacted Nicole Taylor, founder of United by Trauma, to enquire about a PTSD Service Dog for him – a program United by Trauma offers to first responders, including military veterans, in partnership with In Canis Speramus. In support of this highly decorated military veteran, the Hamilton Police Association generously donated $5,000.00 towards the costs of training a service dog.
Leonard was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces from 1981-1986. He completed recruit training, was a Naval Ops tradesman for a period of time and then re-mustered to the Military Police. He was posted to CFB Chatham NB where his claim to fame was ticketing the Base Commander’s staff car during an alert! On completion of his Regular Force service he joined the Reserve Force where he failed to achieve any further occupational / operational training or be promoted beyond the rank of Private.
Leonard’s tales of multiple overseas deployments and being Wounded in Action are a complete fabrication, and he has absolutely no entitlement to any of the the medals he sports! It’s SV-Cs opinion that Leonard is likely committing an offence under s419 of the Criminal Code of Canada – “Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates”. An offence that several individuals have been recently tried and convicted in Ontario including Clayton Donoghue, Franck Gervais, Donald Lemmond & Eric Janssens.
His reprehensible actions, particularly the wearing of the Sacrifice Medal are yet another example of why Stolen Valour claims are so outrageous and injurious to those who actually served. Leonard made a choice to stand in the blood of our wounded and fallen, and for that he should pay a significant price!
Ex Corporal Wave Rayner, a cook who self identifies as a Gunnery Sergeant of Marines is apparently causing some churn over his attendance / participation in Remembrance Day services hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion branch on 11 November 2019.
Some of you may remember this fake from a few years back and the ridiculous claims he made…
The Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, parachutist wings, combatant swimmer insignia are all worn without lawful authority.
Claiming that his son was Killed in Action is about as low as a human being can sink, we know too many folks who have suffered this tragedy, and this con man and grifter wears that story like some badge of honour!
He played a sick game with the families of the RCMP’s Mayerthorpe Fallen Four and 3 PPCLI’s fallen from the Tarnak Farm incident by presenting them with “his” Purple Heart medals to recognize their sacrifices!
It’s long past time for the good people of Leduc to put this compulsive liar on ignore!