A military charity reclaimed a service dog it donated to a veteran after he lied about trying to save a fellow soldier’s life in Afghanistan. The Kansas City military charity had to threaten legal action before taking back the service dog, a Boykin Spaniel, from former Army specialist Brandon Garrison.
Garrison had been hailed as a hero in his state of Kansas until an investigation revealed he had lied for years to Sgt. Christopher Wilson’s mother about being at her son’s side when he died on the battlefield.
“In light of everything we’ve discovered this dog never should have been given to [Garrison],” the founder of the military veterans charity, Food Industry Serving Heroes, said.
While Garrison has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other health problems he says are related to burn-pit exposure, Chapa said that after learning of his lies, they wanted a more deserving veteran to receive the service dog.
A Marine in California is now in line to become Ralfie’s new owner. He will fly to Kansas City to work with Ralfie before talking him home, Chapa said.
The details of Sgt. Christopher Wilson’s death in Afghanistan haunted his mother. And when a fellow soldier, Spc. Brandon Garrison, reached out to her and began to share details of how her son died, she had no reason to distrust him.
Unfortunately, the deceased mother's soldier learned later that she should not have trusted Garrison.
According to Stars and Stripes, Garrison shared his account of, "the futile attempt to save Wilson, the blood, the coldness of imminent death." It was his story - the memories he provided - that she clung to for years.
“I just needed to know. It is a knife wound so deep you just have to know every aspect or you can’t breathe,” Wilson’s mother, Ilka Halliday said.
Eight years after he told his story to Wilson's mother, soldiers who were with Wilson when he died came forward. It turns out, Garrison was not by Wilson’s side when he died, and had instead spent his Afghanistan deployment inside the wire as a vehicle parts clerk.
Learning the story was a lie was devastating to Wilson's mother and his family.
And now, according to Stars and Stripes investigation referenced above, the local community is discovering that Garrison is not the military hero they thought he was.
To some who served with him in Afghanistan, he was a lackluster soldier who lied about his Army war record and embellished his combat injuries.
His supervisor in Korengal Valley called him a "compulsive liar."
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