Home News Florida man arrested for stolen valor, posed as decorated Marine vet

Florida man arrested for stolen valor, posed as decorated Marine vet

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Cary Falor Blake Haerlin, 56, of Port St. Lucie was arrested on Nov. 25 and charged with unlawful use of uniforms medals or insignia, third degree grand theft and uttering a forged instrument.

From 2009 to the present, Haerlin has portrayed himself as a decorated member of the U.S. Marines and has served the local Jack Ivy Detachment Marine Corps League as a state-wide judge advocate with the responsibility to interpret local detachment bylaws and national, department or detachment regulations.

Nationally organized, the Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of all Marines and Navy Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen. The League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Membership is limited to honorably discharged Marines.

Haerlin fraudulently created a DD-214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty form that stated incorrect information related to his years of service, discharge status, occupational specialty, military education and service awards. Through his fraudulent portrayal, he obtained and wore medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons that included the Navy/Marine Corps Oversees Service Award, the National Defense Medal, a Good Conduct Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Presidential Unit Citation, a Combat Action Ribbon, a Navy/ Marine Corps Achievement Award, a Rifle Expert Badge and a Pistol Expert Badge.

Haerlin did serve in the U.S. Marines but never in combat deployment or overseas, but was discharged in 1986 under “conditions other than honorable” status with the rank of Private First Class.

Left: Haerlin’s forged DD-214. Right: Haerlin’s actual DD-214

Through his service in the Marine Corps League, Haerlin received compensation of more than $2,500 for various travel expenses associated with events where he represented the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Valor is earned,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. “The men and women who served our country are owned the deepest respect. They worked hard and risked everything to protect us. It is now our job to protect them and their honor.”

Haerlin was booked in to the St. Lucie County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

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