Veterans organization

Georgia veterans’ organization commander pretended to be in the military, feds say

A woman who ran a veterans services organization in Georgia has been accused of misrepresenting herself, state authorities said.

Gabrielle Beutler, 31, was the post commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5897 in Lavonia, Georgia, when local police reported the “suspected criminal misconduct” for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), according to a Wednesday, Aug. 17, press release.

The GBI said it discovered Beutler pretended to be a veteran, using fake IDs to buy Purple Heart license plates and forging military discharge documents, which landed him the job at the VFW.

The woman was arrested at her job and charged with forgery, distributing false identification and making false declarations of veteran status, according to investigators.

Contact information for Beutler’s attorneys was not immediately available. But Georgia’s VFW department told McClatchy News it was investigating the allegations.

“These egregious allegations are in no way representative of other members of VFW Post 5897 or the Georgia Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “The men and women of our organization take pride in our service and remain committed to fulfilling the mission of serving veterans, military families, and our communities in the great state of Georgia.”

The GBI said the investigation is ongoing and it asks anyone with additional information to contact its Athens, Georgia office at 706-552-2309.

Lavonia is about 90 miles northeast of Atlanta.

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