From: The Saratogian, Saratoga Springs, NY

July 4, 1998




Thomas A. Cottone Jr. has investigated fugitives, terrorist bombings, hijackings and bank robberies. But the FBI agent said a case he has worked on for the past three years—investigating those who illegally wear, manufacture, buy or sell the Medal of Honor—has been one of his most rewarding.


"We’re really trying to ensure the honor and dignity of all the military awards," Cottone said. "This is something we owe the veterans." For his work, which Cottone calls a pleasure, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society chose Cottone as recipient of its Distinguished Citizens Award. Cottone will accept the award at a ceremony this weekend in Saratoga Springs.


Perhaps the biggest insult to veterans are the impostors, those people who claim to be Medal of Honor recipients but are not. Just last month, Cottone was notified that a man had falsely identified himself as a Medal of Honor recipient in his obituary. "The family believed he was," Cottone said. The man had claimed he was a lieutenant commander and was going to be given a full military funeral, Cottone said. And his headstone was going to read "Medal of Honor recipient."


"I just had the displeasure this morning of having to inform the family," cottone said during a conversation in May.


The Medal of Honor case began for Cottone in April 1995 when he was notified that a man was selling Medals of Honor at a trade show close to his New Jersey office. Cottone arrested Robert S. Nemser, a then 57-year-old memorabilia collector, after Nemser sold two fake medals to Cottone.


Through his work, Cottone has gotten to know many recipients, including Colonel Mitchell Paige, who Cottone credits with beginning the campaign to stop impostors. "It’s through his efforts that the penalties were increased," Cottone said.


Way to go Mr. Cottone. People who do things like this should be ashamed of themeselves. What a disgrace! It's hard to believe that folks would do things like this, but it happens all the time.

Marion J Chard
Proud Daughter of Walter (Monday) Poniedzialek
540th Engineer Combat Regiment, 2833rd Bn, H&S Co, 4th Platoon
There's "No Bridge Too Far"

Another interesting subject that I enjoy. There is a book about those who claim to be combat veterans. I can't remember the name of it. Good reading---well, I've only read it in the store. That is why I can't remember the name of it. B)

I'm a Viet Nam era veteran. But I hesitate to say that I'm a Veteran, because I wasn't in combat or anywhere near it.




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