Former Marine From Arlington Gets 21 Months in Prison for Stolen Valor After Claiming Bogus Iraq War Injury

A federal judge on Friday called Brandon Blackstone's actions in faking a war injury to profit financially "shameful, shameful conduct" before sentencing him to 21 months in prison.Blackstone, 35, a former U.S. Marine from Arlington, also will have to pay the Veterans Affairs department $322,654 in restitution for monthly disability payments he received from November 2006 to December 2015, according to the ruling from U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn.The Blackstone scheme is the latest in an increasing number of Stolen Valor cases. Experts say it's rare, however, for veterans who actually served in combat to lie about their wartime experiences for financial or other gain.And the case achieved some notoriety due to Blackstone's multiple media appearances in which he gave details on camera of being blown up in Iraq by a land mine that were strikingly similar to that of fellow Marine, Casey Owens. In fact, Blackstone left Iraq for a non-combat medical issue and never returned.Related: Former Marine from North Texas admits lying about combat injury in Iraq to get free house, VA benefitsOwens, a Houston native, was critically injured and lost his legs when his Humvee hit an anti-tank mine in 2004 in western Iraq, on the Syrian border. He killed himself in 2014 after a decade of suffering from numerous surgeries, brain injury and severe pain.Owens' sister, Lezleigh Kleibrink, burst into tears after the hearing and said she hoped Blackstone would get more time in prison for stealing her brother's tragic story and using it to profit."He caused so much hurt for our family," she said. "I was hoping for closure and I got none."  Continue reading...

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