General Discharge - NBC 7 San Diego

General Discharge



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    Timothy Jay Hall/Ramona Sentinel
    David Weber of Ramona, dressed in the uniform of a Marine major general, talks with Marine Lt. Col. Todd Oneto during the Ramona VFW's Marine Corps Birthday ceremony on Nov. 7.

    Trouble awaits for an alleged Marine major general impostor.

    Ramona resident David Weber admitted last week to the Ramona Sentinel newspaper, which broke the story, that he was not, in fact, a decorated officer. As recently as Nov. 7, Weber had appeared in a dress uniform at the Ramona VFW, which was holding a ceremony celebrating the Marine Corps birthday. During the event, Weber was honored by being offered the first piece of cake.

    The paper reported that the FBI had been notified about the situation and that, since the 2005 Stolen Valor Act was passed, officials had been vigorous in prosecuting similar cases.

    On Friday, the Marine Corps' Office of the Inspector General contacted the paper and said Weber was ordered to stop wearing the major general's uniform.

    "Mr. Weber was contacted this morning, and Mr. Weber agreed to cease and desist wearing the Marine major general officer uniform since he was never a general officer," wrote Capt. Michael T. Dowling of the Separation and Retirement Branch at the Marine Corps headquarters, in Quantico, Va.

    For his part, Weber offered apologies, saying he loved the Marine Corps very much and that he regretted his actions, the paper reported.

    "I have often said that God gave us one mouth and two ears so that we would listen more than we talk," Weber told the paper. "I did not follow that advice."

    Weber told the Sentinel that he was in the Marines from 1958-67. He said he was a staff sergeant at the time of his discharge.

    Last week, a Palm Springs man who was never in the military was charged with wearing the Navy’s highest honor.

    Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles said Steven Burton, 39, was photographed wearing the Navy Cross along with the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and other medals.

    The U.S. attorney’s office said Wednesday that a Navy commander attending her high school reunion noticed Burton wearing a Marine uniform with the medals and contacted the FBI.

    Authorities said Burton claimed in Internet postings that he had served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was expected to face a charge of unauthorized wearing of military medals and could face up to a year in federal prison if convicted.