Sorry, I missed on ruling out US Army. Not by a long way.
Not a VFW insignia, though the first letter is the same.
The ghost guys are not ghost guys - newspaper reporting?

Quote from our man in Colorado:

He proved to have $133 in his pocket and he admitted that he had taken it. "The man was no longer going to need it, so why not?"

And our UNSUB:

Asked later why he stole the watch, he replied, "What's the use of a watch to a dead man?"

Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII