Woman Faked Being a War Hero to Collect Thousands in Donations, Prosecutors Say

By Inside Edition Staff

First Published: 2:31 PM PDT, May 27, 2022

Several veterans spoke to Inside Edition, saying they first met Sarah Jane Cavanaugh at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, where she once served as post commander.

On Memorial Day, the nation honors those who have served in our country’s military, often with special honors for those wounded or awarded medals for bravery — which is why it’s disgusting to imagine someone pretending to be a veteran for financial gain.

But that’s exactly what 31-year-old Rhode Island resident Sarah Jane Cavanaugh is suspected of doing.

As Cavanaugh told it, she served in the U.S. Marines as a corporal and even earned a Purple Heart for her actions in Afghanistan and a Bronze Star with a “V” for valor. From handing out awards, to acting as master of ceremonies, she certainly seemed like a true war hero.

But there’s one problem — the Marines tell Inside Edition there’s no record she ever even served in the Marines, let alone earned all those medals. And prosecutors say in a criminal complaint that she never served in any branch of the military.

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