View Full Version : False Marine chaplain spun web of deceit...

08-09-07, 08:48 AM
Buddle wore the uniform and rank of a Marine captain and spun heroic tales of serving in Vietnam. He attended the local Marine Corps birthday ball in full uniform. The Marines at the recruiting...

08-09-07, 08:54 AM
The man who impersonated a decorated Marine has so incensed the military community that the director of Tahoma National Cemetery plans to ask the courts to reconsider whether he should do his community service there.

"When this whole thing came to light, it raised a lot of hair on people," said Jim Trimbo, the director of the National Cemetery in Kent.

Reggie Buddle, 59, was sentenced earlier this week to two years of probation and 500 hours of community service at the cemetery after pleading guilty to unlawful wearing of U.S. military medals and decorations.

Buddle, who conducted various services and appeared as an honorary Marine chaplain, wore medals and service decorations for extraordinary valor and combat service in Vietnam, including a Combat Action Ribbon, a Presidential Unit Citation ribbon and the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.

Buddle, of Puyallup, did serve in the Army for two years, but never saw combat. He was not a Marine. Nor is he an ordained minister.

Both for Buddle's safety, and out of respect for the veterans' families who feel offended by his actions, Trimbo said he plans to ask the court to reconsider the location of Buddle's community service.

"This case is unique in its offenses," he said. "It does offend certain people, but he was also assigned here to learn what real heroes are."

One Marine's family specifically asked that Buddle not work near a family grave.

Buddle officiated at the military burial of Debra Laukeman's mother. He also helped persuade Laukeman's son to enlist in the Marines, then later baptized and married him. She contacted the cemetery to let staff there know she felt violated by Buddle's actions, and hoped he wouldn't work near her mother's grave.

Tahoma has a work-release program for non-violent offenders and routinely has inmates doing some of their time providing labor at the cemetery. Many of those individuals later thank the cemetery staff and say the experience changed them.

"I had three kids who violated the flag once," said Trimbo, speaking of an experience he had at a national cemetery he worked at previously. "Two of them came back later and said, 'Now I understand what the flag really means.' "

Community service details can be reconsidered and people can be reassigned if one placement doesn't work out, said Emily Langlie, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Seattle.

If Buddle does end up doing his community service at the cemetery, he would not be tending graves, but would be washing cars, sweeping walks and working in flower beds, said Trimbo, who has not yet met with Buddle, and said plans were on hold until he can talk to the court.

"In the (Veterans Affairs') National Cemetery System we're highly dedicated to the veteran community, and we're not going to expose them to (an offensive situation), nor am I going to expose that gentleman to any potential abuse."

08-09-07, 02:49 PM
Cheese-dick wanna-be.