A few people shot us emails about this soon after they saw it posted in a local news paper in Texas, as well as several members of the VFW she joined. Meet Tina Marie Kersten, she claims a Silver Star, not sure when she could have earned it. Because judging by the uniform she has on, she was in during the early 1990′s. And during the Gulf War no females were awarded a Silver Star, in fact the first female since WWII to earn a Silver Star was Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester for actions in Iraq in 2005. You can see her story here SGT Leigh Ann Hester
And even though Mrs. Kerstens claims she was an MP, this was not her. And there was only one other female since then to earn it, and that was Spc. Monica Lin Brown who is a medic. Here is her story SPC. Monica Lin Brown
So is there some super secret mission that I am unaware of? She also claims a Purple Heart for being wounded on the evening of Feb. 25, 1991 when an Iraqi Scud missile broke apart while flying over Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and the warhead fell on the temporary barracks there. The blast killed 29 American soldiers and injured 99 others. According to Mrs. Kerstens, She and her commanding officer, Captain Richard Walker, had just parked about 60 feet from the front door of the ill-fated building and exited the vehicle when they heard a whistling sound. The missile crashed into the roof and exploded, demolishing the building and knocking them both to the ground. To Tina’s horror, she saw that Captain Walker had been cut in two by flying shrapnel; he died in her arms. Tina herself had been wounded, but she rushed into the ruined building three times to help wounded survivors escape before she lost consciousness and was medevaced away from the carnage.
She says this is the incident that earned her the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. Well guess what, we know the Silver Star is a lie, and their was no Cpt. Richard Walker killed that day. In fact, no Officers at all were killed in that attack, they were all enlisted Soldiers. Most from the 14th Quarter Master Detachment, which is an Army Reserve unit out of Greensburg. Pennsylvania. Here is the list of Soldiers killed that day in Saudi Arabia:
14th Quartermaster Detachment
- Specialist Steven E. Atherton, age 26,NurMine,Pennsylvania
- Specialist John A. Boliver, Jr., age 27,Monongahela,Pennsylvania
- Sergeant Joseph P. Bongiorni III, age 20,Hickory,Pennsylvania
- Sergeant John T. Boxler, age 44,Johnstown,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Beverly S. Clark, age 23,Armagh,Pennsylvania
- Sergeant Alan B. Craver, age 32,Penn Hills,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Frank S. Keough, age 22,North Huntington,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Anthony E. Madison, age 27,Monessen,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Christine L. Mayes, age 22, Rochester Mills,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Steven J. Siko, age 24, Unity,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Thomas G. Stone, age 20, Falconer,New York
- Sergeant Frank J. Walls, age 20,Hawthorne,Pennsylvania
- Specialist Richard V. Wolverton, 22,Latrobe,Pennsylvania
- Corporal Stanley Bartusiak, age 34, 475th QM Group, USAR
- Corporal Rolando A. Delagneau, 30, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Specialist Steven P. Farnen, age 22, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Specialist Glen D. Jones, age 21,Grand Rapids,Minn., 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Specialist Duane W. Hollen, Jr., age 24, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Specialist Steven G. Mason, 23, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Specialist Michael W. Mills, age 23, Jefferson, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Specialist Adrienne L. Mitchell, age 20,Moreno Valley,Calif., 475th QM Group, USAR
- Specialist Ronald D. Rennison, age 21,Dubuque,Iowa, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
- Private First Class Timothy A. Shaw, age 21,Suitland,Md., 475th QM Group, USAR
- Corporal Brian K. Simpson, age 22, HHC, 475th QM Group, 475th QM Group, USAR
- Specialist James D. Tatum, age 22, 23rd Repl Det, 475th QM Group, USAR
- Private First Class Robert C. Wade, age 31, 23rd Repl Det, 475th QM Group, USAR
- Corporal Jonathan M. Williams, age 23, 23rd Repl Det, 475th QM Group, USAR
- Specialist James E. Worthy, age 22, 477th Trans Co.,USAR
Here is another picture and here she is claiming a totally different Cpt’s name.
Here is one of the articles were she made the claims…4th Of July in Burnet, Texas
So from what we have seen she has claimed a Silver Star, Purple Heart, Airborne, Air Assault, MP and claims something to do with K9′s, according to her business website. Also she is wearing the 1st Cav Patch and the 82nd Combat patch, and she was never attached to either.
Don’t get me wrong, helping Veterans is a good thing…but if you have lied so much and embellished your record in the way you have, it also calls into question the authenticity of your business.
Here is a picture of her being interviewed.
She also claims to have been on no less than 9 deployments according to this article including Panama, Grenada, Desert Shield, Desert Storm and in Afghanistan.A Booming Fourth Of July in Highland Lakes. She is in the 6th picture in this article.
In case the article disappears once we break this story, here is the pic with the caption. It at one time also said Silver Star but they have since removed that.
Here is the caption, we have blacked out the other Veterans names as they have nothing to do with this story
Here is a link to a video and story where she was helping deliver the Vietnam traveling memorial, and claims to have spent NINE years in Iraq! Yes you read that correctly, Nine years!
Here is an excerpt from the story -
Motorcycles deliver traveling Vietnam memorial
Thu, Apr 19, 2012 7:41 PM EDT – KVUE-TV Austin 1:36 | 706 views
AUSTIN – Tina Kersten spent nine years in Iraq with the Army’s military police and often wondered whether anyone at home really cared. On Thursday she had her answer. For the first time, she joined more than 100 motorcycle riders on a trip from North Austin to Camp Mabry. They included a number of veterans who escorted a truck carrying the traveling Vietnam memorial. “It’s better than getting the gold medal,” Kersten said. “I’m shaking right now even talking about it.” The roar of their engines was their “
Here is the complete write-up:
Here is something we found on the web where she is advertising her company, and claiming to be a Veteran of Afghanistan.
Here is a snapshot we got of her with the medals, and the caption is where she stated her many deployments! But according to her Official records, the only time she was OCONUS(Overseas) was while she was stationed in Germany.
You can also see at the top a caption about a service dog, she claims the dog she has is one, which we can not verify or not, people in the area have told us it is not a service dog.
Here is the service dog mentioned above.
And not to mention if you went to Airborne School, they teach you how to properly wear the beret! This beret has never been formed properly, nor is it being worn properly!
We have had many conversations with current members, and members who decided to leave the local VFW because of her. Seems she became a member of the VFW, and told the commander at the time that all her paperwork had been destroyed in a Hurricane, so he took her word and allowed her to join. These members were highly upset, as they also did not buy into her claims. We were told she started a lot of drama within the VFW, causing several Verified members to leave the post.
So we had a local Vet in that area make contact with the new Commander, and he said he was looking into it, but would never respond to any of our emails. So we contacted the State commander with the information. He was already aware of her claims, and we have corresponded with him and the District Commander since. But since someone allowed her in, they have to conduct a proper investigation, within their by-laws to remove her.
We were also told that the District Commander has personally confronted her about her claims and she basically admitted to lying about the awards. And they have informed us that the State Commander has officially challenged the eligibility of Tina Kersten to the National Commander, but this can take anywhere from 60-120 days for processing. They have also launched an official investigation as to how she was allowed to join the VFW.
We ask that you do not contact the VFW in Texas, as they are doing what they can at the moment to deal with this situation. They have launched a full-scale investigation as to how she was allowed to join without providing the proper paperwork.
Here are her Official records, as you can see none of the awards she claimed are listed. She is also not listed as an MP, but a Food Service Specialist. We spent four months investigating this, along with our friend from fakewarriors.org. These are the only records the NPRC has on her, and they searched by several different last names due to marriages. But we also had her DOB as well as other information and this is the ONLY records of her military service! If she has presented something different to the VA, it will be found out in a matter of time. The VA has been duped on more than one occasion by false claims etc.
She served honorably, on Active Duty, not sure why she decided to embellish her record like she has. She was then transferred to the IRR for the remainder of her service, that is what USAR CON GP(ANLTNG) means. Control Group — Annual Training. Ready Reserve soldiers with a training obligation who do not belong to a USAR unit. They must perform AT when so directed. This explains why she also does not have a National Defense Service Ribbon, as she was not activated during the Gulf War. And she most certainly has not served in either of the recent conflicts.
I can only hope she is not receiving benefits from the VA for her claims, as we have seen with our other case, the Feds are no longer playing with this kind of thing. We had one that did that, faked a DD214 to receive benefits. He is now awaiting trial for several federal offenses.
We would like to thank our friends at Fakewarriors.org for helping us with this investigation. I took about four months from initial notification, until we felt we had enough information to post this article.
I sometimes wonder why people feel the need to embellish their service records. If you served in whatever capacity be proud of it, you are the 1%! No need to tell lies to look like you are more, it is to easy now for someone to verify your service and your records. All records are available to the public, nothing in a Military service record is classified. Yes, some missions may be classified, but service records are not.
We would also like to thank the Texas State and District level VFW leaders who have worked with us since first being notified about this. The VFW is an Honorable organization, and there is a reason you must have fought in a foreign war to be a member.
We will update this story as more details become available. The VFW will notify us when their investigation is complete, and action taken as necessary.
One of our fans received this text message from Mrs. Kerstens after trying to ask her why she lied. So Mr. Banks, do you still stand behind her even though she admitted it? The number I deleted off the text is hers.
So one of our fans had a conversation with Mrs Kersten’s, and here is her excuse for the Silver Star medal. Even though in the newspaper article she claimed to have been awarded it for Heroic actions in the SCUD attack. So now Doctors at the VA give you Silver Stars!
James Currington Wrote:
I know you dont know me, but Im from the local area and it has been brought to my attention that you are a Silver Star recipient. I am a recently medically retired vet at Ft Hood, and I ride with a lot of the PGR both from the CenTex group and have done a mission with the Austin group. I would very much like to speak with you, if at all possible, as to the circumstances that you received your SS under? Since my medical retirement from the Army, I have become a bit of a military history nut, and am thinking of trying to put together a book about local heroes. Thank you for your time, and God Bless.
Tina Kersten Wrote:
MY SILVER STAR WAS GIVEN TO ME BY 3 NURSES AND 2 DOCTORS THAT I WAS UNDER THIER CARE FOR 2 MONTHS OF NO SPEAKING BECAUSE OF THE TRAMAS…THE MILITARY DID NOT ISSUE IT TO ME..i AM NOT A HERO..I ONLY DID WHAT ANYONE WOULD DO…”NEVER LEAVE A SOLDIER BEHIND”…..THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST..BUT I HAVE PLENTY APPRECIATION FROM MY PERSONAL SUPPORTERS IN THE AREA THAT KNOW ME…DONT NEED ANYMORE…HAVE A GOOD DAY
So it would seem Mrs. Kerstens has an extensive criminal record, including of course FRAUD and Forged Checks. Seems when she claims to have been overseas she was actually forging checks in Harris County Texas. Not only that but her bond was revoked several times, causing some family members to lose a lot of money. While she was on probation for forged checks, she did it again, and was sentenced to four years in the Texas Dept Of Corrections. Seems she got out before the full term was served we are still looking into all of that. So she commits fraud, forgery and jumps bail during the time of the SCUD Attacks. While she sure is one superhero being in two places at once! Here are the public documents we found on these cases.
Here is a PDF list of the cases and dispositions. (PDF Viewer Required)List Of Charges and Dispositions
And this is from just one county in Texas, as she has moved around quite a bit. Not sure placing her as the treasurer of the VFW was such a good idea. We also have records of her bonds being revoked several times for failure to appear.
After a thorough investigation by the State VFW of Texas, Tina Marie Kersten’s membership has been officially terminated as she was not eligible to be a member according to membership requirements. You can not be a member if you do not meet these requirements.
VFW Requirements – “If you have received a campaign medal for overseas service; have served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days in Korea; or have ever received hostile fire or imminent danger pay, then you’re eligible to join our ranks.”
Thanks to the Texas VFW for all the hard work and diligence they used in this case, we salute you!
News 4 out of San Antonio contacted us and said they were going to confront Tina about her lies. You can view her confrontation in the below video, to see the full story from News 4 go here. Stolen Valor Confronted
Well it seems Mrs. Kersten’s continues her life of lies, even after being confronted by News 4 out of San Antonio. Today we received a link to another news story, featuring her and the web of lies she has told to everyone. We have emailed the author and provided him the link to this story.
According to the article, again she claims to be a Gulf War Veteran, and of course we know she never served in combat. If she had, then our friends at the VFW in Texas would not have booted her out for non-eligibility!
Here are the snapshots we took of the article:
To see the story as posted you can go here, page 8: The Picayune
We have been contacted by the reporter who published the above story, he apologized for being duped by Tina when writing this story. He is working on a new story that will set the record straight concerning the lies she told in the story. We will add the new story here once it is published.
After the reporter was contacted by several Veterans, and the admins of this site, he posted a retraction and apologized for being duped by Tina.
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