Burnet VFW survives membership crisis
December 18, 2012, 9:00 pm by Adam Troxtell
A woman who officials say fabricated a story about her service in a combat zone almost led to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in Burnet being dissolved.
Officers stepped down and members quit the post over a disagreement about a former member, Tina Marie Kersten, who was expunged from the VFW earlier this month.
That led the state VFW to step in and put the post under suspension for having unfilled leadership positions.
"They had some personnel issues with not filling officer positions,” said Assistant Adjutant for the State VFW, Dan West, who was appointed as a trustee to oversee the Burnet post during its suspension. "There was no one coming forward to take up those roles, but [then] they were filled in a post meeting.”
Kersten, who also uses the last name Lightfoot, was accepted
as a member to the Burnet VFW sometime in April under Burnet resident George
Banks’ term as commander. She claimed she had served in Operation Desert Storm
and received a silver star, the third highest military decoration for valor,
and purple heart, which is given to military members wounded or killed in
combat. A story quoting Kersten about her service was published in the Highland
Lakes Weekly, a small free publication, in
which she claimed to have earned the medals when she pulled wounded survivors
of a Scud missile attack from a ruined building in 1991. She has since admitted
the story about the Scud missile attack and the awards she received is
fabricated and apologized on her Facebook page and to the publication the story
was printed in.
For the rest of this story, see Wednesday's Burnet Bulletin.
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