‘Hero’ faked her military career
April 25, 2011 8:34PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
CASS LAKE, Minn. — Dressed in an Army uniform, Elizabeth McKenzie was honored here last month as a war hero who had survived Afghanistan.
Problem is, she isn’t a hero and had never been to Afghanistan. McKenzie, in fact, has never been in the military.
Accepting the town’s gratitude at a ceremony at her old high school, McKenzie, 20, talked about the close calls she’d had and a war injury that brought her home. She led the march in the high school gym, carrying the American flag.
A college recruiter for Fond du Lac Community College recalled that McKenzie had been a student at the college during the period she claimed to be in Afghanistan. Authorities discovered they had been duped.
McKenzie has been cited for impersonating an officer.
Her hoax was elaborate: Before a departure ceremony last year that was held at the town’s American Legion hall, she posed in an Army battle dress uniform and told supporters she would be serving overseas with the Army’s 302nd Battalion, 16th Regiment Military Police, an apparently fictional unit.
Frank Bowstring, a veterans services officer, said, “I think she just wanted some attention.”
Scripps Howard News Service