We were asked to have a look at this individual who wears a substantial group of medals detailing his service in South East Asia as a combat infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division.
In the group, there are two medals which are readily researchable. The first, the Silver Star, the United States’ 3rd highest award for heroism in combat and, the Prisoner of War Medal.
Our team could find no open source record of these two medals ever being awarded to Beres so, we contacted our US counterparts for their advice and assistance. They initiated a FOIA request for his military records on our behalf.
The documents received from the National Personnel Records Center are quite interesting as there’s absolutely no mention of the Silver Star nor the POW Medal…
We’ll draw your attention to the Decorations and Awards block.
The accounting for US Army Vietnam Prisoners of War (returnees / escapees) is 100% accurate, Beres isn’t listed!
In a recent newspaper article, he is pictured wearing a most interesting group of medals including the Sacrifice Medal, the General Campaign Star (South West Asia), the Persian Gulf & Kuwait Medal, the Special Service Medal & the Canadian Forces Decoration.
(1)The Sacrifice Medal, awarded to CF personnel Wounded in Action or posthumously for those Killed in Action. This medal was created in 2008 andis retroactive to 2001. Mr French says he served in the CF until 1999 therefore, he cannot be a legitimate recipient of that medal.
(2) The Persian Gulf and Kuwait Medal awarded for service during Gulf War 1 (1990-91). The 3rd Battalion RCR, then based in Germany, was deployed to Bahrain / Qatar as a defence / security force for the headquarters and the airfield. However, French is a complete unknown to that group of Royals. He is also unknown to the members of the 1sr Battalion RCR tasked with the defense and security of 1 Canadian Field Hospital.
(3)The General Campaign Star (South West Asia) was created in 2004 and first awarded later that year, it is not a retroactive award, and again French claims his military service had concluded prior to this mission.
(4)The Special Service Medal (SSM) recognizes a multitude of missions and is ALWAYS awarded with a clasp detailing the operation – PEACE/PAIX, ALERT and NATO are the most common. Of note, there is no clasp on the SSM he’s wearing.
(5) Lastly, the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) is a long service and good conduct medal, it requires 12 years of honourable service. By his own admission, he has only 10 years of military service.
Typically, posers, fakes and embellishers are exposed due to their difficulty understanding recorded history and simple arithmetic.
French is just the latest in a long line of individuals who have used a bogus military narrative in an attempt to gain something without any lawful entitlement
We remember the blood, sweat and tears that it took to earn a piece of metal attached to coloured ribbon, a strip of cloth or an embroidered badge, and that is why we get somewhat emotional about them.Stolen Valour Canada does not take our mission lightly. We are absolutely dedicated to finding posers where ever they may be and making sure that they are stopped from sullying the memory of Canada’s service men and women. For an individual to wear the Sacrifice Medal, without the making the requisite sacrifice is an absolute insult to our wounded and fallen.
These reprehensible acts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
SVC has been tracking Kenneth Laroche and his medallic claims for a couple years. Unfortunately, it took us some time to marry up multiple photographic images with a name.
Once we had his particulars, they were passed on to our US partners with the goal of initiating a Freedom of Information Access request. However, access to the US National Personnel Records Center has been severely restricted due COVID 19 and we have been unable to obtain official proof of his Vietnam War claims and that information may not be secured until well into 2021.
SVC researchers have compiled enough evidence that raises questions regarding Mr Laroche’s claims, but, questions do not mean we have reached any solid conclusions.
Laroche’s military records, once received, may address all of our questions and perhaps, even result in us thanking him for his service. Until such time, there are questions that need to be asked and answered.
What do we know?
The open source records indicate that Mr Kenneth Laroche isn’t named as a recipient of the Silver Star, Navy and Marine Corps Medal nor the Prisoner of War medal. Those findings bring his entire military narrative into question…
Had his service and multiple awards been legitimate, he’d no doubt be a legend in the US Marine Corps and buildings would be named after him. However, there’s not even a one hole shithouse in the Camp Pendleton training area recognizing his claimed service.
Is Kenneth Laroche of Copper Cliff Ontario a liar of epic proportions?
Imagine, a Marine who claims that “his job there was saving lives, not taking lives”? Is he alluding to being a US Navy Corpsman / Devil Doc? Surely, he knows that medical care provided to the USMC is delivered by US Navy personnel?
Why isn’t he listed as a Navy and Marine Corps Medal awardee?
According to accessible records, he’s not listed a recipient the Navy and Marine Corps Medal which also awarded to former US President John F Kennedy and SVC’s friend Senior Chief (Ret’d) Don Shipley US Navy SEAL. If there was a mistake made, this needs to be resolved and his name added to the list of NAMC Medal recipients.
As above, if there was an administrative error spanning several decades, if so, Mr. Laroche needs to get this sorted out, be officially listed as a US POW and secure access to POW specific veterans benefits.
That being said, anyone can access the US military’s Vietnam POW returnee list to confirm whether an individual was a prisoner or not. Should an individual claiming to be a POW and/or wearing the POW Medal not be on the list, there’s a issue as the POW returnee accounting is 100% accurate.
Way back in 2017, SVC was asked to look at the claims being made by Milan Helmut KRES of Edmonton Alberta. He claimed to have been an airborne soldier and special forces operator who had deployed on operations world wide and lost men in battle.
His claims resulted in considerable discussion in veterans forums and we took every effort to contact him in order to sort out the situation…
Kres deleted the images of the medals, insignia and certificates and went silent.
Perhaps, he heard foot steps after SVC initiated the “Shameless Sunday” showcase of unrepentant posers, fakes and embellishers who had yet to responsibility for their actions.
After 3 years of silence Mr Kres contacted us last week and stated that he wanted to make amends and asked what steps he had to take in order to do so.
As the window to pursue criminal charges against him had long since closed, Kres was advised that a public apology for his reprehensible actions would be a starting point.
He was further advised that surrendering the bogus medals, badges, insignia and certificates for appropriate disposal action would confirm his commitment to never use them as props in a game of military make believe.
A SVC representative met with Kres on 4 August 2020 and took control of assorted bogus items. These items will be properly disposed of / placed on display in military facilities as appropriate or applicable.
In the image taken at the Silver Fox Entertainment Centre in Summerside PEI on 11 November 2019, he’s rockin’ a most interesting collection of ribbons and insignia.
The ribbons represent the Canadian Somalia Medal, Special Service Medal, Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, UN Interim Force in Lebanon, UN Protection Force, UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda, NATO (FY), the Canada 125th Anniversary, the Canadian Forces Decoration, a privately purchased Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal & The St John Ambulance Service Medal.
Of the 3 medal ribbons on the bottom row, there’s the Netherlands UN Peacekeeping Medal, the centre one is unknown and the last is a privately purchased UN commemorative trinket.
Our Dutch friends tell us that he is wearing the Draaginsigne Gewonden, legitimately awarded, on his left chest pocket, the badge is analogous to Canada’s Sacrifice Medal.
What we do know.
He was a Boatswain in the Navy Reserve 1991-97 then transferred to the Regular Force as an Infantryman serving in 2nd Bn RCR in Gagetown 1997-2001. He completed a tour in Bosnia 1999 and was awarded the CPSM and NATO (FY) Medal. Van der pol voluntarily left the CF in 2001.
Before joining the CF, Van der Pol had prior service in the Netherlands Army and he was deployed as a mechanized infantryman with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.
Of the medal ribbons that he’s wearing, there is no evidence that Dutchman has any lawful entitlement to the wear the (1) Canadian Somalia Medal, (2) the Canadian Special Service Medal (NATO), (3) UN Protection Force Medal, (4) UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda Medal, (5) Canada 125th Medal, (6) the Canadian Forces Decoration and, (7) the St John Ambulance Service Medal.
Of course, there’s an awesome vest involved…
In an email exchange with Van der pol, he talks of role in a play in which he played a soldier suffering from PTSD who became a biker…
He claims the uniform and jacked up ribbons and insignia were just stage props that he wore on the same day as he was camping with a 2% van club in Europe and he changed on the way to the venue.
Cool story bro, the ribbons on the uniform and your cut are identical unfortunately, the images are separated by 6 years!
You also told us that you were wearing the US Combat Infantry Badge to honour your father, a Netherlander who was wounded in action in Korea. And, the jump wings were awarded / purchased at a civvy parachute school and your CO authorized you to wear them.
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!