Aggregated by AuxBeacon from News of the Force
[Editor’s Note: This “heroic” event turned out to be a staged fraud. CAP Gen Pineda was later terminated for USAF examination fraud unrelated to this incident. CAP Col Levitch and CAP Col Parker received no punishment, except the loss of their Silver Medal of Valor. They may have been ambushed and intimidated by Pineda, so the outcome appears reasonable to most.]
The original story read:
CAP HEROES – “so that others may live” – Silver Medal of Valor Recipients: Maj Gen Tony Pineda, National Commander, Col Dan Levitch, FL Wing Commander and Col Eileen Parker, FL Wing Vice Commander, received the Silver Medal of Valor. This award is the highest honor that is presented within the Civil Air Patrol. Each received this special award because they risked their life in order to save others when they came upon an automobile accident while returning from National Headquarters. Gen Pineda assumed the duty of directing traffic and oversight of the accident. Because of the imminent danger to the trapped occupants and leaking fuel, Col Levitch climbed through a window to assess the injuries of the four passengers, extricated them from their seat belts and passed them through a small window. Col Parker laid the victims down away from the vehicle, aided and consoled them.
What we learned from different sources to include Lt Col Jack Bagley was that:
Tony Pineda gave himself the Silver Medal of Valor, for a traffic accident that an investigation determined never actually happened. He pushed it through the Awards Committee along with those for Levitch and Parker. Look at the photo and see how uncomfortable with all this nonsense Levitch appears. Eileen Parker doesn’t look happy either.
On August 4th 2017, Skip Munger provided AuxBeacon with his statement on the abuses of Civil Air Patrol National Commander Tony Pineda.
In 1999, just before the FBI and OSI conducted their raids, I had been the Florida wing administrator for 3 years until Pineda fired me. He then immediately had his cronies pack up the wing’s headquarters at MacDill AFB in Tampa and move everything to South Florida, where he lived. So the raid of the Florida Wing didn’t go very well, and FBI and OSI agents showed up at my house and asked me, “Do you know where the wing headquarters is?”
Later on in the investigation, one OSI agent told me, “You know, someday this Pineda guy is going to be the CAP’s national commander, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.” To this day, I think because at the time Pineda was a special agent of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) he was probably tipped off about the FBI and the OSI efforts and that’s why he hid everything from them, but I could never prove that.
The feds said I was “a protected federal witness” and asked me if I would accept a protection detail. They said, “This Pineda guy could have one of his cop buddies pull you over, shoot you and leave a ‘throw down’ next to your body and claim that you fired on them.”
I told them I thought I could take care of myself and didn’t need it. By the time Pineda became the national commander, “News of the Force” was already in operation. When we first broke the story that he had cheated on his ACSC tests, the CAP issued a news release denying the truth of the story and quoting Pineda as saying the story was “absolutely untrue.” But with the help of someone who has another website [Ray Hayden’s CAP-Insights], we were able to prove it and when we published the story it was picked up by news organizations around the world including in such places as Australia, New Zealand, Russia and even Poland and Romania. The story even appeared in “The Air Force Times.” We also sent a copy of the story to the FDLE, which, I was told by them, told Pineda to retire or be fired, and he chose to retire. As an aside, every time I spelled Pineda on my computer, my spell checker kept telling me that should read “Pinhead.”