John James Lavoie shat upon 21 years of service

| June 11, 2015

John James Lavoi

From Taco Bell and Mary comes a link from the Florida Times-Union which reports on John James “JJ” Lavoie a retired Marine Non-Commissioned Officer with more than twenty years of honorable service who didn’t think that was quite enough to be proud of, so he tacked on some more stuff. A series of Vietnam Service awards, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, Purple Hearts. The problem is that he never set foot in Vietnam according to the Times-Union.

The records lay out a career that spanned 1972 to 1993. Lavoie’s time was spent mostly with maintenance battalions.

His highest awards were three Navy commendation medals.

Contacted for comment by The Times-Union, Lavoie hung up his phone.

He was busted by a fellow Marine who noticed that Lavoie had a “V” valor device on his Silver Star;

“This past time we went back to Bishop Kenny, I was waiting for him and he showed up dressed the same way in his dress blues,” [Bob] Adelhelm said. “I confronted him. I went up to him and said, ‘You know you don’t wear a “V” device on a Silver Star.’ ”

Lavoie told him that was the way it was awarded to him, Adelhelm said.

“I beg to differ with you,” he told Lavoie. “I had 23 years in the Marine Corps, I know a little bit about awards.

“A Silver Star is an award for valor. You don’t have to put a ‘V’ device on it.”

As Lavoie walked away, Adelhelm saw him pulling the “V” off the award.

Honestly, I’m getting real tired of this business. These assholes seem to be getting worse…and dumber.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (54)

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  1. sj says:

    Honest mistake. He meant to put the “V” on his NDSM. Could happen to anyone.

  2. MrBill says:

    V device on a Silver Star? Valor squared! Kind of like spam, spam, sausage, and spam. 😉

  3. clamsgotlegs says:

    “Though Gora said district and state leadership will “definitely advise” Post 88 on what to do, the ultimate responsibility lies with the post and its members.”

    Am I the only one who has a problem with this? Is there a policy at the national level to deal with this?

    If they don’t bounce his a$$ out of that post, then that post needs to be shut down IMO.

    • Hondo says:

      No, clams, you’re not the only one who has a problem with that. But that does seem to be the policy with most VSOs – local posts make that call, not national.

      Most make no attempt to verify a member’s status or eligibility unless someone questions it. And to compound the problem, they appear to accept any document provided by an applicant as Gospel.

      I’ve written before here about how this needs to be fixed, and how VSOs can easily fix it.

      I’m not holding my breath.

      • Seabee Guy says:

        I work as a Security Officer at a mental hospital. We have a patient that never served a day in the military who has a Certificate of Honorable Service from the American Legion. Somehow he was able to convince them that he was a veteran. It’s a slap in the face for those of us that served honorably.

      • SSG E says:

        Clams: “Is there a policy at the national level to deal with this?”
        Hondo: “But that does seem to be the policy with most VSOs – local posts make that call, not national.”

        In this case, he still qualifies for Legion membership based on his service dates, so the national organization has nothing it can do – he’d have to be expelled for shitbaggery. And per the Legion’s bylaws, responsibility for expelling members is delegated to the post level:

        ARTICLE IV
        Section 1. Each Post of THE AMERICAN LEGION shall be the judge of its own membership, subject to the restrictions of the Constitution and By-Laws…

        …and there is a process that must be followed:

        Section 2. Members may be suspended or expelled from the Legion only upon a proper showing of cause. Charges shall be based upon disloyalty, neglect of duty, dishonesty and conduct unbecoming a member of THE AMERICAN LEGION. All charges must be made under oath in writing by the accusers, and no member in good standing shall lose his membership until given a fair trial by the Post or Department in such manner and form as the Department By-Laws and Department Executive Committee shall prescribe.

        • Hondo says:

          Agreed. The point I was making above – not terribly well – is that VSOs leave most (if not virtually all) disciplinary matters to local chapters/posts. Many if not most also allow local calls regarding determination of eligibility based on documents provided by the applicant.

          My argument is that VSOs should set national-level standards for validation of membership eligibility, and start withdrawing recognition of posts/chapters who fail to comply. Those national-level standards should further absolutely disallow acceptance of documents regarding military service received directly from applicants.

          • SSG E says:

            I agree with you on that subject entirely. My only thought was that it might be better sourced at the National level – having one office that develops a relationship with the NPRC, and has the expertise to understand what’s received, might give a more consistent output than 13,400 separate units doing the same.

            But however it’s done, it really ought to be done…

          • SSG E says:

            One other thought – for those claiming service after 10/1/1985, checking this website would be better than nothing, wouldn’t you think?


            You could at least see if someone was actually on Active Duty when claimed. And for Guard/Reservists, it still shows your IET time, again as long as it occurred in the last 30 years. And that site’s free…

            • Airdale USN says:

              I went to that site, not found. I have 20 years in the Navy. No joy, but they can always ask me for my DD-214 and DD-215.

              • SSG E says:

                Did you set the ass of dates back to when you were in the service? If you leave it as the default, it will only look at your status as of today.

                • SSG E says:

                  Sorry, that was supposed to be the “As Of Date”, not the “ass of date”…

                  • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

                    So you’re saying if you enter “ass off date” you’ll be “ass-out” of luck?

            • Just an Old Dog says:

              I went there as well. It only shows your LAST enlistment data. Any date I entered before 22 Dec 1998 came back Negative.
              Acording to them I served a total of 22 months.

            • Concierge 5790 says:

              I went to that website. I only got two of my DD214s to hit. The other three indicate that I was not on active duty during those dates. Kind of scary. I would not use that site as a definitive source that someone did not serve.

    • thebesig says:

      Originally posted by clamsgotlegs:

      If they don’t bounce his a$$ out of that post,

      We could address that right now. :mrgreen:

      John James Lavoie, member of American Legion Post 88, continues to be a member of that American Legion post after being exposed as a valor thief. Google hit. :mrgreen:

  4. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    Got to love this line from the current Legion Post Commander:

    “All I can do as commander is try to take care of my members and address the facts that are in front of me,” Gibson said. “Until Saturday, all I had was someone’s suspicions.” ‘

    Gibson didn’t want to rock the boat when he was confronted, and probably wouldn’t have. Fortunately the District stepped up

    “Nobody in the American Legion is happy with what we’ve seen,” Gora said. “I don’t think that post commander probably realized the seriousness of it.”

    I’m sure he does now…

    As for “JJ”… you are so screwed idjit!

    • clamsgotlegs says:

      I think the district needs to do an audit of the post’s membership rolls. I bet they don’t even have any DD214s on file.

      I bet if the district requested the DD214s with FOIAs, they would find more of the same ilk.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

        I bet that JJ, being the former post commander, was real diligent in screening applicants. Attention to detail does not seem to be one of his redeeming qualities…

        “Missing a 214 – no prob, we’ll let you join. Just tell the rest of the fellas that it was lost in “the fire” or that your stuff was in your mom’s basement that got flooded out last week”

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          That or the cheap rent-by-week, hour, or month motel room got flooded.

        • Marine_7002 says:

          Master Chief: add the following to that quote –

          “Just remember to pay your dues on time, eh?”

    • sj says:

      The soon-to-be-ex lawyer is running for National Commander , he says. He’ll straighten all this out. He can’t stand phonies … oh, wait.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        Yeah, he’s running for National Commander of the AL, that’ll fly like his plane did when he let it run out of fuel. Hey the NTSB said so, didn’t they? What’s next, is he gonna sue them too?

        Ain’t this the NTSB’s report here?

        DAMN, he DID have the plane registered in his daughter’s name, wotta lowlife!!

  5. GDContractor says:

    The article has more details and is worth a read; however, I don’t know how many news articles I have read lately that refer to “winning” medals… this one does not disappoint in that regard. This dude, Lavoie, was former post commander of the local American Legion post. The present post commander, when presented with suspicions, refused to investigate. Shocker.

  6. Just an Old Dog says:

    It’s actually good to see people are stepping up and exposing these bastards.

  7. Intel POG says:

    I couldn’t agree more Clams. I’ve been trying in vain at my post to get us to start requesting that new members sign a FOIA request upon providing their DD214. I know that would nip the problem in the bud. The legits would say “hell yes, feel free to check my records” and the phony’s will more than likely refuse or quietly disappear.
    we have a couple of bar braggers at my post and I feel the fear is once that starts, our membership would dwindle. No excuse, but I think that fear is there.

  8. Dave Hardin says:

    A “V” device is not authorized for the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal…….but I rated one on mine. A retired Master Sergeant of Marines……..Periere mores, jus, decus, pietas, fides, et qui redire nescit cum perit, pudor.

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    About 25 years ago, I went to an AL meeting at the invitation of some other vets. They didn’t really want Vietnam vets, but they grudgingly admitted they were losing members to attrition and brought it up to vote on it. They decided against Vietnam vets then. A short while later, they were hitting on us to join up. Their cash flow, as it happened, was low.

    Sorry, if they didn’t want me the first time, I didn’t want them the 2nd time. Those groups were all about ca$$h and not much else then, and I see no difference now.

    I had no use for them then, and I feel more so that way now, since they let this kind of stuff go on.

  10. B Woodman says:

    What is that on the front of his C-cap? A strawberry? Shouldn’t that “monkey bite” be on his neck?

    Good years of honorable service, shat upon. Turd!

  11. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    He hath fucked himself good, the Internet is forever. Enjoyeth thy newfound fame, o shit-for-brained VD wart on a buck-toothed retarded Swamp Donkey’s lower lip, I bite my thumb at you and FART in your general direction!

  12. Green Thumb says:


  13. Hondo says:

    Cases like this are the ones that torque my jaw the most.

    Here, we have a military retiree with 21 years of honorable service in the USMC. And because that service wasn’t “heroic” enough, he has to flush his reputation and any honor he might have once had. Instead, he had to try and convince everyone he was the hero he wished to be – but never was.

    That’s damned sad. Just freaking sad.

    SoUnD lIkE aNyOnE eLSe We KnOw?

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      DaMnIfIkNoW!! 😀

    • Skippy says:

      Hondo. I can think of a few that stand out… LMAO ! ! ! ! But this seems quite common for some to embellish there service for no good reason… 🙁

    • Hack Stone says:

      Yeah, but some of that time was spent at Maintenance Battalions. Serving Maintenance Battalions is not considered honorable. Full disclosure, I spent two years at 2nd Maintenance Bn, and three years and change at 1st Maintenance Bn.

  14. Club Manager says:

    Why didn’t Adelhelm just kick a mud hole in his butt then stomp it dry?

  15. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Clown + Clown Suit = Clown in Clown Suit!

    I got nothin’ else!

  16. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    3 Navy Comms? That’s a pretty damn good career for any sailor or Marine.

    A NCM is usually an E-7 or higher award, and not just end of tour. You actually have to do something pretty substantial to rate one.

    • Hack Stone says:

      Stand in formation long enough at 1st Maintenance Battalion, and you can have one, too.

      • Hack Stone says:

        Slight correction. 1st Maintenance Bn handed out Navy Achievement Medals rather liberally, not Navy Commendations. I know of a rather talented Sergeant that “earned” five NAMs in two years. What she did behind closed doors with the XO to earn those awards remains classified.

  17. AW1Ed says:

    Ooooh, Parachute Wings! They do love them some Parachute Wings. I have Aircrew Wings, and got them the old fashioned way- I EARNED them. While this chaffs my ass, I can only imagine what a Purple Heart vet feels when he or she see trash like this sporting one.
    I’m sure this douche rocket had a few other idiosyncrasies along for the ride, just like all the others. Any bets?

  18. FatCircles0311 says:

    What a Master Shitbag.

  19. jonp says:

    He wasn’t pulling the V off. He noticed that it was upside down. Star Fleet awarded him the Silver Star and that is how they differentiate it from our Silver Star.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Ensign #2, don your red tunic and report to the transporter deck for shore duty with the Away Team. It is my privilege to award you the inverted “V” for Valor, prehumously *cough*. It is a mark of excellence and an inspiration to us all. God Speed, Ensign!