VFW Commdander Sarah Cavanaugh Stolen Valor

VA Social Worker, Local VFW Commander Resigns After ‘Stolen Valor’ Allegations

A local post VFW commander in Rhode Island and Providence VA social worker may be in hot water following allegations of “stolen valor.”

Sarah Cavanaugh recently served as the Local Post 152 commander for the VFW in Rhode Island until resigning last month after stolen valor allegations surfaced concerning her military service.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date.

Cavanaugh had reportedly long held herself out as a combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient of the US Marines. She allegedly received a medical retirement at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

The problem with her background to serve as a local post VFW commander is that she may not be a veteran, at all.

Cavanaugh reportedly served as commander of VFW Post 152 for more than a year before resigning after some veterans started to question her background.

The U.S. Marine Corps told local Channel 12 News they were unable to locate a record for “Sarah Cavanaugh,” under that name, or for the Social Security Number on the military document she provided.

Cavanaugh disputes the Marines’ findings.

Tom Schueman, president of Patrol Base Abbate, told Channel 12 that Cavanaugh told him she was suffering from injuries form an IED blast and burn pit linked lung cancer.

“She told me about her injury recoveries; how she was medically retired as a staff sergeant, and then how a couple of years ago she said she was coughing and that she started to cough up blood, so she went to the doctor, and that she had had Stage IV lung cancer and that it spread to her bones and her brain and that she had anywhere from one to two years left of life, based on the timeline that the doctor gave her, because it was not curable at that point, only treatable,” Schueman said.

Schueman was incredibly moved by her story and began the process to try to hire her. Apparently, her story began to unravel after Shueman and his organization looked into her credentials.

Cavanaugh told him her twin brother was killed in Iraq and buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

These are two details that would be easy to verify.

When someone from Patrol Base Abbate went to Arlington to verify, the gravesite was for a Marine killed that was not related to Cavanaugh.

“She said: ‘Oh, I was court-martialed before I got out of the Marine Corps because I was being sexually assaulted by my commanding officer on ship and I shot him as he attempted to sexually assault me,’” Schueman said. “And I’m like ‘OK.’ So, she said: ‘I got reduced two ranks.’”

A DD-214 that she reportedly circulated as being hers contained the SSN of a different Marine who happened to be a male corporal.

Channel 12 news reports there is an ongoing federal investigation into the matter.

In an interview with Task & Purpose, Cavanaugh denied many of the allegations and disavowed her association with VFW’s Local 152. However, photographs of her in regalia suggests otherwise.

The Providence VA told Channel 12 it is now reviewing Cavanaugh’s hiring documentation.

Sources: Task & Purpose, Channel 12 WPRI News

Similar Posts


  1. At least she had the guts to serve
    as opposed to draft Dodging Coward
    45. He said his Vietnam was avoiding
    AIDS I’m the 1970’s

    1. I think you missed the point. She never served at all. Not only did she NOT have the guts to serve, but she also LIED about her service.

      Trump Derangement Syndrome seems to be warping your sense of reason and understanding.

    2. Grow up. Get over it. Life goes on. You gonna spend the rest of your life trashing a United States President? Be better.

  2. When the “frauds” who claimed to be in the Military (but were not) are finally and justifiably imprisoned — you will see and hear of less of those phonies.

    Invoke the laws! Make it highly punishable against anyone who fraudulently claims to have military service, as the Stolen Valor Act has already established. Better yet, invoke the “Draft” for those who fraudulently claimed to have been in the military, and then send THEM into the Military!

  3. The Leadership in Washington for the Veterans Affairs is being being offered wrong information because their is a shortage of staff in all Hospitals or Medical Centers in all Departments because a Human Resurce Department is non existence. To Retiretire is the same way email or fax your documents.but the Secretary Of the V.A. does not see what we see as Disabled Combat Veterans who choose to go to a City Hospital and receive the guality care that we earned. No P.T.S.D. Groups or T.B. I. Groups with no written explanation to substantiate the statement with a signature for accountability. No need to have a Whistle-blower Policy when it is all Family. God Bless Acerima.

  4. This statement;
    “The Providence VA told Channel 12 it is now reviewing Cavanaugh’s hiring documentation.”
    seems like closing the barn doors after the horses escaped, and a little late after being caught.

  5. Wow! I always have wondered why someone claims to be a service member when they know that they are not or have even been to boot camp is beyond me. I am easily ashamed and hate if others think of me as a liar as my reputation and character are very important and sacred to me. That’s my honor!

    Chris Porter LS2 USN Ret.

      1. Ben,
        Malcolm Randall Director owes me an apology and all these veterans they have harmed under his leadership with the VA care.

  6. Some elementary checkup before hiring and electing someone should be just a matter of common sense. I also found during 50 years of working with veterans that the more colorful the story is, the less likely to be true. Real heroes don’t brag , their story comes out in bits and pieces almost reluctant to claim “ valor “
    You CAN TRUST real veterans , the modest people who went there and did their jobs and don’t sit around in bars telling tall stories. The credulous people are those who tho veterans were not deployed and gave no idea what constitutes real bravery.

    1. Tom
      May not have deployed because women were not allowed in combat when I served on active duty. Although, as a Cryptologist our tours were 2 to 1. Two overseas tours to one tour back in the states. I spent almost 6 years out of the country. 5 and a half that included the first Gulf War when my mom’s brother was shot down and captured by the Iraqis as a POW. CWO5
      I was Gulf War Era active duty Navy and we provided Crypto support. Scotland to Diego Garcia. Angela

      1. Plus Tom I was selected for the Interservice Tennis Team. Orders cut on several occasions to compete. All Navy Tennis Team / Gold Medalist 1986. This is not boasting. This is presenting coming from a position of strength and resilience.

      2. Before being taken out by the Navy 1994. No not combat….
        Navy negligence and no medical ethics applied.

      3. You must be blind and deaf there were many woman on the front lines and in harms way eve when women were “not allowed” in combat. The government covers everything up. Not to mention most service people are not “combat” period

  7. Well, there will be HELL to pay for this.

    On another note, about 2 weeks ago I went in for my 6 month pcp appointment. I had to see the nurse first. One of the questions asked was, *”Would you consider a colonoscopy?”*
    My answer was, *”I don’t think so!”*
    She asked, *”Why?”*
    My answer was, *”Until VA employees can clean instruments correctly,it would not be in my best interest!”*
    Now, some of you will say that is not a good enough answer. To all of you I say, a report was issued by military dot com the very next week, telling how VA employees at the largest VA hospital in Georgia were being negligent in cleaning all the machines! They were having to contact thousands of veterans over this fubar!
    That’s what’s happening!

Comments are closed.