ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - A man in Port St. Lucie who pretended to be a veteran entered a no contest plea in court Friday.
For years, Edward Liroff told stories about his service saying he was shot twice in combat and that he pulled two soldiers out of a burning helicopter.
The ruse unraveled when tried to get a code enforcement job with the city and police say a document he used turned out to be falsified.
In court, a judge credited him with some of the time he has spent behind bars but he still must serve nine more months in jail.
Liroff apologized and said, "this wasn't his brightest moment."
"My actions, which I thought were for a good reason. To help my family overall," he said. "I've dishonored myself, my sons, my daughters, my family, my country, and veterans everywhere. For that, I am truly sorry," said Liroff who could barely get through a prepared statement.
Once he pays back all the money he received from veterans benefits, his one-year probation will be dropped.
Jerry Klein, an Army Vietnam veteran, who is also a Silver Star recipient, is among those outraged by the case of stolen valor from St. Lucie County.
"There is no excuse whatsoever. If you weren't in service, don't fake being in service," he said.
He has a warning for those who are doing this.
"The veteran's community knows," said Klein. "There is no excuse. None whatsoever. If you weren't in service, don't fake being in service."