Video shows Shoals man charged twice with stolen valor talking about his fake POW experience

William Travis Tucker's newest arrest comes in Lauderdale County where he is charged with forgery, theft, stolen valor, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 6:45 PM

A Shoals man is out of jail after being charged again with stolen valor after authorities say he lied about being a prisoner of war.

William Travis Tucker's newest arrest comes in Lauderdale County where he is charged with forgery, theft, stolen valor, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Deputies searched his home Thursday.

William Travis Tucker

Tucker got out on a $10,000 bond at about noon Friday. WAAY 31 spoke with the investigator in the Lauderdale County case and uncovered video of Tucker giving a speech about being a prisoner of war.

The video was given to WAAY 31 by a source and shows Tucker in May 2019 at Spring Park in Tuscumbia giving a speech to a group of people about being a prisoner of war. He starts off shaking the hands of fellow veterans and says 'let me tell you a story about a soldier I knew.'

"He was captured in Pakistan on March 10 in 2002, strapped naked to a chair for 72 hours and sexually molested by three men," said Tucker in the video.

Tucker pauses appearing to get choked up.

"I was able to escape with all means necessary," said Tucker in the video.

He then prompts the group to buy raffle tickets to benefit Wounded Warriors. It's unclear if they ever saw a dime from Tucker. It's that same lie that now has Tucker in more hot water, according to law enforcement officials.

"He presented a forged document to the Lauderdale County License Commission office to get a POW tag that he was not even eligible for. By doing this, he defrauded the government of tax money," said Lauderdale County Investigator, Matt Burbank.

Tucker is accused of doing the same thing in Colbert County. WAAY 31 questioned him as he went into court Thursday on those charges. We asked if he still had the tags. He didn't respond and said "no comment" to other questions.

Burbank said the line of questions posed to Tucker scared him because he called Lauderdale County soon after wanting regular tags instead of his POW ones he should have never had, according to investigators.

"Absolutely, I think it put him on the defensive and he started to try and come up with ways to cover his tracks so to speak," said Burbank.

Burbank has Tucker's Army paperwork and a forged letter he says he used to get the tags. It shows he never saw combat, was never held captive and never received a Purple Heart or Silver Star.

"Anyone who has given money to him or given services to him where he may have profited off this fake narrative, please give me a call and let's discuss that, because I'd like to get all of that documented," said Burbank.

Burbank is also an Army veteran and served 23 years in the Army.

He said, "The way he has presented himself has brought so much discredit to those who have given so much. I think about people I've all served with that gave up their lives for this country, and I feel he's brought discredit to that and even that of their families."

Law enforcement in Lauderdale and Colbert Counties are contacting federal officials to see if Tucker could also face federal charges, because it is a federal crime to embellish your military career for monetary gain.

If you have information, you can contact Investigator Burbank at 256-760-5772.

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