Stealing a deceased person's identity is bad enough, but taking on the identity of a fallen soldier is a whole new level of low. An upstate New York man, Brandon Ashraf, is accused of impersonating Army Staff Sgt. Matthew A. Pucino, who was killed during his third tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009 when he was 34 years old. According to reports, Ashraf used Pucino's identity to pick up women online.
Ashraf created a Facebook profile, as well as profiles on dating sites, using Pucino's information, as well as a photo from the Matthew A. Pucino Memorial Foundation website for a dating profile. He even reportedly set up a date with a woman in Florida.
What is wrong with this man?!
The Facebook page Ashraf created began to draw suspicion, and eventually authorities and Pucino's family were notified. Matthew's sister, Lisa Pucino Haglof, said, "We’re pretty disgusted with the whole thing. We’re really glad that this has come to a head and he has been charged. We didn’t give up." Ashraf has since been charged with criminal impersonation, a misdemeanor, and get this -- after he was found out, he had the audacity to try to contact Pucino's family and talk his way out of things. Pucino Haglof said, "He contacted the foundation and I answered. I started researching some of what he was saying and what victims were saying." She added, "People don’t realize [the hurt]. Every day, we wake up and think of Matthew. People who do things like this don’t realize how much it hurts." Disgusting.
I'm not quite sure what Ashraf was hoping to gain by pretending to be an American hero. Sure, it probably gave him satisfaction online, having women fawn all over him; but what was he going to do when he met that women in Florida and she realized he was nothing he said he was? If Ashraf wanted to be a hero so badly, he should have joined the Army. Hopefully, he'll get his life in order eventually, but in the meantime, I'm glad he was charged. Not only is what he did extremely disrespectful, it's hurting the people who loved the real Matthew Pucino.
What do you think of this? What would you do if you were Pucino's family?
Image via Fox