Earlier this month, Fox News had the above interview with a 72-year-old man named John Garofalo who claimed to have been a decorated Vietnam War veteran, serving seven years on the first ever Navy SEAL team and awarded two Purple Heart medals. The reason Garofalo was being profiled on the cable news network was because of a massive, four foot high glass presidential seal he had carved for Donald Trump — having previously gifted similar carvings to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Garofalo’s story went viral, and the accompanying Facebook video to the broadcast piece ended up accumulating over 1.5 million views before it was removed — because as it turns out, Garofalo lied about his military experience. Although he did serve four years in the United States Navy, it was in aircraft handling, a position that involves “overseeing various ground-based functions involving aircraft.”
The Navy Times broke the story wide open, and when they contacted Garofalo he admitted to his wrongdoing, telling the publication in a telephone interview, “It got bigger and bigger. What I did I‘m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs.”
Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam. He was never a U.S. Navy SEAL. Even though he showed us medals, Garofalo was not awarded two Purple Hearts or any of the other nearly two dozen commendations he claimed to have received, except for the National Defense Service Medal.
Based in this new information, it’s unclear whether or not Trump — also the recipient of a Purple Heart medal (as a gift from an admirer) — will accept Garofalo’s presidential seal.