Two men from Montana have been sentenced to prison for violating the terms of their probation. However, neither will be eligible for parole until they fulfill the unique set of conditions set forth by a judge after they falsely claimed to have served in the military.
One of the requirements involves handwriting the names of 6,756 Americans who were killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Troy Allan Nelson, 33, and Ryan Patrick Morris, 28, were charged in separate crimes on Friday by Judge Greg Pinski in Cascade County District court in Great Falls, Montana.
According to court documents, Morris was on probation for felony burglary after he stole items valued at less than $1,500 from his landlord’s garage. Morris was given 10 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation. He also falsely claimed to have served in the military, which made him a target of Judge Pinski.
Nelson, meanwhile, received five years for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, which is a felony. He was enrolled in Veterans Treatment Court before his deception was eventually discovered.
Both Nelson and Morris will be eligible for parole after they meet the conditions set forth by Judge Pinski.
In addition to handwriting the names of the Americans that were killed, they must write the obituaries of the 40 Montanans that were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The two must also send handwritten letters of apology to a number of veterans groups: American Legion, AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Finally, they must complete 441 hours of community service, which equates to one hour of service for each Montanan killed in combat going back to the Korean War.
While not a part of the requirements to become eligible for parole, Judge Pinski also mandated that for every year of the suspended portions of their sentences, they must stand at the Montana Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year wearing a sign that reads: “I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I dishonored all veterans.”
A phone call to Judge Pinski for comment on the ruling was not returned.