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McDonald man who faked military deployment order gets probation

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Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, 3:15 p.m.

A McDonald man who faked a deployment order to keep his position at the Veterans Administration open while he started a job as a township manager will spend three years on probation, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Richard A. Ward, 42, pleaded guilty in June to stealing $14,164.41 in benefits from the VA and making a false document so he could work for Robinson in Washington County. U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti also ordered Ward to pay that amount in restitution.

Ward was a chaplain's assistant with the 171st Air Refueling Wing in Findlay.

Using a legitimate deployment special order he received in 2006, he forged and submitted a deployment order to the VA along with other paperwork, prosecutors say. Both the VA and Robinson fired him after the deception came to light.

Ward had 25 years of military service with the Army Reserve, Army National Guard and finally the Air National Guard. The Air National Guard gave him a general discharge for the ruse, which means he loses his military retirement benefits.

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