Navy veteran John Garofalo appeared on a Fox News segment this month, showing off a massive presidential seal he carved for President Trump while receiving praise for his service in Vietnam as a SEAL.
The piece was broadcast nationally and featured cascading shots of all Garofalo’s medals. Online, it went viral, racking up 1.5 million Facebook views on Fox’s Facebook page.
“The Vietnam War veteran served seven years as a member of the nation’s first Navy SEAL team,” Fox News reporter Bryan Llenas said. “He was awarded 22 commendations, including two Purple Hearts.”
Llenas later called the 72-year-old New York State resident a “tough, tough man.”
“He was listed twice during his service in Vietnam as missing in action,” Llenas noted at the segment’s close.
“God bless John Garofalo,” an anchor said. “We certainly hope maybe the president is listening.”
But when Navy Times contacted Garofalo Thursday, Garofalo admitted he had lied and never served in Vietnam, never received a Purple Heart and was never a SEAL.