08/25/2019 by militaryphonies
Ronald Eugene DaRonche, or “Vito” as he is known to be called, comes to us from Elko, Nevada but is originally from Utah. DaRonche is 69 years old as of August 2019.
DaRonche helped Les Brown head up the POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association in Elko, Nevada. Initially, DaRonche served as the Senior Vice Commander during 2010-2013. He then appears to have taken a “Team Leader/Advisor” role up to at least 2017, but the internet archive did not capture 2018 and the current version of the POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association does not list advisors anymore.
DaRonche claims he is a twenty-five year veteran of the Army…
Ron LaRonche has worked with Les Brown in the POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association.
As you may recall, Les Brown wears the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB) on both his vest and his cammies at both Elko area parades as well as when he visits schools and speaks with children.
DaRonche also wears the CIB on his vest…
From a photo posted on the initial POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association website, one can also see a CIB.
These two photos are placed side-by-side for easier comparison (click for larger version)…
DaRonche posts things that point to his service in Vietnam…
… as a Military Intelligence Coordinator with the U.S. Army…
… with the 511th Military Intelligence Company…
… there is even photographs posted on the 511th MI Co website…
We normally would not even look into someone like this, being that on the surface it was obvious that they served in Vietnam. However, there appeared to be some silence with the entire POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association in regard to Les Brown wearing an unearned CIB – so this peeked our interest with combat veterans surrounding Les Brown. In other words, many came on our radar that normally wouldn’t.
In short – Ron LaRonche has Les Brown to thank for bringing sunshine to DaRonche’s situation as well.
As a reminder – wearing the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB) and holding oneself out to be a recipient of one is a violation of the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
H.R.258 – Stolen Valor Act of 2013
113th Congress (2013-2014)
Summary: H.R.258 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
Public Law (06/03/2013)
Passed Senate without amendment (05/22/2013)
Passed House without amendment (05/20/2013)
Introduced in House (01/15/2013)
Stolen Valor Act of 2013 – Amends the federal criminal code to rewrite provisions relating to fraudulent claims about military service to subject to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit, fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a recipient of:
* a Congressional Medal of Honor,SOURCE: https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-bill/258
* a distinguished-service cross,
* a Navy cross,
* an Air Force cross,
* a Silver Star,
* a Purple Heart,
* Combat Infantryman’s Badge,
* Combat Action Badge,
* Combat Medical Badge,
* Combat Action Ribbon,
* Combat Action Medal, or
any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law.
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ACTIONS CONDUCTED BY MILITARY PHONIES
Ronald Eugene DaRonche’s military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
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FOIA RESULTS – SELECTED
NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER (NPRC)
Due to this criminal charge, it seemed like DaRonche was an odd choice to be Vice Commander of Les Brown’s POW*MIA Elko Awareness Organization. Perhaps DaRonche was charged but never convicted of embezzlement, but since fundraising was central to this organization, would DaRonche have been the best choice for Les Brown to make? Besides the Senior Vice Commander, DaRonche has been a “Team Leader/Advisor” for many years.
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DISCUSSION and SUMMARY
DaRonche got out as a Sgt (E-5) but there were no rank claims in question.
DaRonche served in Vietnam but that claim was also not in question.
DaRonche served his country in Vietnam and that is saying a lot. Many people avoided service in Vietnam so to answer the call is worthy of anyone’s respect.
The years listed in DaRonche’s official military records add up to just shy of eleven (11) years. They don’t add up to the twenty-five (25) year Army veteran that DaRonche claimed in the newspaper article.
DaRonche does not have the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB) listed under his awards and he does not have the medals or assignments that would support his claim of being in infantry.
DaRonche does not have awards or medals suggesting that he was mobilized for Operation Desert Shield/Storm that possibly would have earned him the CIB. He was in Military Intelligence as an Ariel (sic) Photographer and later in the National Guard/Reserve in an Engineering unit as a vehicle driver.
These are all extremely noble duties in the military but the point is they were not infantry and therefore would not put DaRonche in line to have been awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB).
Members of the POW*MIA Elko Awareness Association have suggested that they somehow wear these military awards to honor those that have served vs. an accurate depiction of their own service.
“They talk about things we wear on our vests that we didn’t earn. Well, we all wear something on our vests that we didn’t earn.” — Les Brown —SOURCE: https://elkodaily.com/news/local/local-head-of-pow-mia-under-fire/article_195a40c4-ee66-5db5-b5bc-7885b33384ac.html
If Ron DaRonche used these claims to gain anything of value he could be in violation of Stolen Valor laws. State laws may also apply.
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