Veterans group restructuring after president is accused of milit - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Veterans group restructuring after president is accused of military fraud

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -

The Wausau-based veterans group Souls of Honor is disbanding, following fraud accusations of its former president Ronald Worthey. 

According to watchdog group Guardians of the Green Beret, Worthey lied about serving in Vietnam, having a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts.

Military records show he served stateside and didn't receive those awards. 

The now standing president of Souls of Honor said he is working on forming a new group with a similar mission. He wants to reassure veterans in the community that although the Souls of Honor won't exist in the same capacity it once did, the group will still be there to support Wisconsin veterans. 

Local vets are outraged by Worthey's alleged lies.

"Many feelings, angry, hurt," said Rich Lucas of Wausau. "If they're going to go out and be there for veterans, they need to be trustworthy to be there for veterans."

Lucas had a close friend take his own life after suffering from PTSD. They both had close ties to Worthey, which he said makes the accusations that much more upsetting. 

"This man's lied about PTSD," Lucas said. "That's something not to lie about."

In previous interviews with News 9, Worthey referenced specific experiences in Vietnam, and used them as a platform for raising awareness about PTSD. 

According to the Guardians of the Green Beret, Worthey admitted to lying over the phone, and said he would write an apology letter. 

Worthey could not be reached for comment Monday. 

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