Editor’s note: The plot continues to sicken in the ongoing story of “LtCmdr” Bobby Thomson and his “US Navy Veterans Association.” The latest installment in the saga of the “charity” that has now been shut down in several states and is under formal investigation in several others is excerpted below. Be sure to follow the link to the Times, it gets sleazier and sleazier. Bob Higgins
* By Jeff Testerman and John Martin St. Petersburg Times *
TAMPA — The U.S. Navy Veterans Association says it spends millions to send care packages to America’s fighting troops overseas, and as proof, the group has posted to its website thank-you letters from soldiers and sailors like Gina Pronzati.
“Everyone in the unit who received a package from you wants to thank you so much,” reads the letter on navyvets.org from Pronzati, who served with a U.S. Navy K-9 unit in Afghanistan.
But Pronzati says she and her unit never got a care package from the Navy Veterans, and she never wrote the group a thank-you.
Pronzati did write to anysoldier.com and anysailor.com, which connects deployed U.S. troops with Americans who want to send them packages and mail.
Her message ended up on the Navy Veterans website, word for word, except her letter was tweaked to make it appear as if she were thanking the Navy Veterans.
“I knew immediately it was some sort of scam, because it was exactly what I posted on anysailor.com,” said Pronzati. “It’s a pretty horrible thing for someone to do.”
The St. Petersburg Times found seven thank-you letters on the Navy Veterans website that were near duplicates of messages written to anysoldier.com or anysailor.com. The Times reached three of the active-duty letter writers; all three said they had never written anything to the Navy Veterans group.
“It’s so disturbing when you see something like this,” said Marty Horn, a 20-year Army veteran who helped start anysoldier.com.
Read more St. Petersburg Times