- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2017

Fox News has retracted a recent report profiling John Garofalo, a 72-year-old military veteran, after the alleged “war hero” admitted lying about his Navy service record.

Mr. Garofalo, a glass artist residing in New York state, was featured in a Fox News report broadcast October 8 regarding his plans to gift a glass seal to President Trump.

“The Vietnam War veteran served seven years as a member of the nation’s first Navy SEAL team,” Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas said during the segment. “He was awarded 22 commendations, including two Purple Hearts.”

“You are a hero,” Mr. Llenas told him during the segment.

“God bless John Garofalo,” added Fox News anchor Eric Shawn. “We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.”

Fox News walked back the report more than a week later Friday after Mr. Garofalo told the Navy Times that he lied about his military service, including the nearly two-dozens medals he claimed to have earned and supposed stints in Vietnam.

“What I did I’m ashamed of, and I didn’t mean to cause so much disgrace to the SEALs,” Mr. Garofalo told the Navy Times.

Don Shipley, a retired SEAL, told the Navy Times that he contacted Fox News on Oct. 9 asking them to retract the report because he believed the claims were bogus, and at least one Twitter user tweeted at Fox News on Oct. 10 requesting a correction, Navy Times first reported, but the report remained on the network’s Facebook page until this Thursday, Oct. 19, accumulating roughly 1.5 million views in the interim.

“Unfortunately, all of Garofalo’s claims turned out to be untrue. The fact is that he did not serve in Vietnam,” Fox News said in a correction issued Friday. “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.”

“It is true that Garofalo is a glass artist and a veteran. He served in Spain and he gifted two presidential seals to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,” the correction said. “We apologize to our viewers, especially veterans and servicemen and women.”

Mr. Garofalo served in the Navy from 1963 to 1967 as an aviation boatswain’s mate, or aircraft handler, according to service records cited by Navy Times.

Mr. Garofalo admitted lying about being both a Vietnam vet and Navy SEAL for years, Navy Times reported.

Fox News intends to broadcast an on-air correction Sunday, The Washington Post reported Friday.

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