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Sacramento Marine Vet Says He Was Beaten Over Mistaken Case Of Stolen Valor

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Marine Corps vet who served his country in combat says he was attacked by someone who believed he was lying about his military service.

It happened over the weekend at The Long Shot, an Arden-area bar. Michael Delfin says the man was looking for a fight, saying Delfin had never served.

"I noticed a guy had a fade and he asked me if I was in the service and he said, 'Yeah, I'm in the Air Force,' and I said, 'Oh I was in the Corps,'" he said.

Leaning on crutches to keep weight off of his broken right leg, Delfin says his attacker had an active Air Force ID.

"So, I asked him to read my ID, and he was like nahh stolen valor, stolen valor; this guy's a fake," he said.

Since he's no longer active duty, Michael's ID is different. But he was accused of lying about serving—stolen valor.

"He's ignorant. He needs to learn how to read an ID, plain and simple," he said. "When a vet tells you he's a vet and he's obviously wearing a fallen brothers bracelet‡doesn't even recognize that."

The Sacramento veteran says he wanted no part of it and tried to leave The Long Shot, but he was blindsided in the parking lot.

"And before I knew it I couldn't get off the ground. My leg gave out; it was kind of a blur," Delfin said.

He says he was jumped by the first man and one of his friends. Delfin's tibia is broken, and his jaw might be too.

As for the claim of stolen valor, his service was very real.

"I did over 12 years in the Marine Corps; I was a tracker and I was in combat in 2004 in Fallujah," he said.

He says he was in combat in one of the bloodiest battles since Vietnam. A photo shows him in Fallujah with bullet holes in a wall behind him.

To be accused by someone in the military of making up his service is the ultimate disrespect to Delfin.

"Because everybody that's in the service does their job, but when you go to combat it's a different thing, so to claim on me I'm stolen valor, that's a slap in every veteran's face," he said. "He needs to get caught. He needs to get made an example of, plain and simple."

Sacramento Police took a report from Delfin on Wednesday, and he's also heard from an Air Force investigator.

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