GREAT FALLS, Mont. - A judge in Montana ordered two men who lied about being in the military to fulfill a unique set of requirements before they could be eligible for parole, including writing the names of more than 6,000 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Troy Allan Nelson, 33, and Ryan Patrick Morris, 28, were sentenced to prison for violating the terms of their probation from previous crimes. They were charged in separate cases Friday in Cascade County District Court in Great Falls, Montana.
Both men lied about being in the military so they could have their cases moved to veterans treatment court.
Morris was on probation for felony burglary for stealing items from his landlord’s garage that were valued at less than $1,500. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for violating those terms.
Nelson received five years for criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
In 2016, he claimed he did seven combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffered from PTSD and underwent a hip replacement after being injured by an IED.
Judge Greg Pinski, who presided over the cases, suspended three years of each man’s sentence.
In order for both men to become eligible for parole, Pinski set up a list of requirements.
The conditions ordered by Pinski included:
-Handwriting the names of 6,756 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-Writing obituaries for 40 service members from Montana who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
-Sending handwritten apology letters to American Legion, AmVets, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Vietnam Veterans of America.
Nelson received an extra order involving the completion of 441 hours of community service, which is one hour of service for each Montanan killed in combat since the Korean War. He has only completed about 10 of those hours.
Pinski also ordered that Nelson and Morris must stand for eight hours at the Montana Veterans Memorial on Memorial Day and Veterans Day on each year of their suspended sentences. The men will have to wear a sign that states: “I am a liar. I am not a veteran. I stole valor. I dishonored all veterans.”
Once they are released from prison, they will also need to fulfill another 441 hours of community service.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.