- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2005

CASEVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A World War II veteran photographed wearing a Medal of Honor at a Memorial Day event could face federal charges because it was a fake that he bought for $500, authorities said.

William Kovick, 76, surrendered the medal and four other military honors last week.

FBI investigators say Mr. Kovick acknowledged that he bought the medal — the nation’s highest military honor — in 1977 for $500. He said he also mail-ordered a Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Ordering and owning unearned medals is legal, but wearing or selling them is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

“The intent of the federal law … is to maintain the integrity of all the military awards and medals,” said FBI agent Thomas Cottone Jr. The Justice Department will decide whether to bring charges.

Mr. Kovick came under investigation after his photo appeared May 31 on the front page of the Huron Daily Tribune of Bad Axe, showing him wearing the Medal of Honor at an event.

The Medal of Honor is given “for conspicuous gallantry” in combat. There are 125 living recipients.

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