Memorial Day Vet Faked War Stories, Paper Says


Share post:

A report in today’s issue of the Star Ledger says that Angelo Otchy, who received a medal in Verona’s Memorial Day ceremonies this year, fabricated stories about his service in Iraq.

While Otchy did serve half a tour of duty in Iraq, the paper says he was not a survivor of a Humvee bombing, as he had claimed in a Memorial Day interview with the Star Ledger. The bombing, on June 14, 2007, claimed the lives of three U.S. soldiers, including SPC Farid Elazzouzi of Paterson.

The paper also cast doubt on a story that Otchy told reporters after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He claimed that he was part of a search-and-rescue operation there. Two Verona residents, William J. Erwin and Stephen L. Roach, lost their lives on 9/11; Howard Kestenbaum, a member of Verona’s Congregation Beth Ahm, also lost his life that day.

- Advertisement - LynneMortimeri

According to the Star Ledger, Verona allows veterans to nominate themselves for the town’s Distinguished Service Medal, but they must present honorable-discharge papers to show they served in the military. Verona Town Manager Joseph Martin, a Vietnam veteran, termed the disclosure about Otchy “very sad”, but told the Star Ledger that Verona would not rescind the award.

- Advertisement -
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Football Fights On, Amid Injuries

VHS football is famed for its ability to fight until the end, which is exactly what happened Friday...

Finding The Right Backpack For Back Health

If you’re anything like me, late August/early September is my favorite time of the year. We can feel...

Real Estate: 4 New Listings, 5 Open Houses, 3 Price Changes

There's a definite chill in the air today, but not in Verona real estate. This weekend featured four...

Oktoberfest, Kinderfest Return

Our Lady of the Lake School will once again be holding its big Oktoberfest and Kinderfest events this year. Kinderfest will...