How did I miss these two stories?  Both were reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune back in the spring and both are fairly depressing.  The Union-Tribune and the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, by the way, are both the local “papers of record” for regularly covering the goings-on within the Navy SEAL community, given that they are both located in the geographical vicinity of the two major East and West Coast commands of the Navy SEAL Teams.

The two papers do not necessarily get into the weeds of SEAL culture, personalities, and operations, reporting rather on things like changes of command, SEAL legal issues, and “official” goings-on within the community.  This author regularly scours both papers for stories on the SEAL Teams, which I then share with you all, the readers of SOFREP (with my added spin, of course.)

Anyway, here we have two stories revolving around the SEAL Teams, one primarily because it describes a case of egregious stolen valor, and the other, because it describes a former SEAL’s unfortunate run-in with the U.S. Border Patrol.  Let us begin with the former.

According to the Union-Tribune, U.S. prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office for the northern district of Ohio charged 68-year-old Kenneth E. Jozwiak of Wisconsin with theft and producing fake government paperwork in order to secure U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs pension benefits.

Jozwiak submitted a discharge certificate (the all-important DD-214 that proves U.S. military service) in 2014 that falsely claimed that he served as a Navy SEAL from 1965 to 1968, and during that time, was awarded the Bronze Star and four Purple Hearts for combat injuries.  All of the claims were completely false, according to prosecutors.

Jozwiak pleaded guilty to the crimes and was sentenced to more than four years in prison.  According to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Toepfer, who spoke with the Union-Tribune, “To say he [Jozwiak] had a lengthy criminal record is an understatement.”  The man was apparently a known grifter who actually only served for one year in the military, from 1967 to 1968.

Jozwiak had a criminal record dating back to 1975, and had been arrested over 120 times in multiple states, according to Toepfer.  The attorney went on to say that Jozwiak has had “literally dozens and dozens” of theft-related convictions.