By cutting pennies into the size of dimes, the men were able to fool vending machines with the defaced coins, giving them 10 times the purchasing power for their $82 monthly paycheck.
Busted by the Secret Service, Mr. Foster and his gang paid $20 fines and earned a year of probation. He went on to fight in Vietnam. When in 2005 Foster attempted to get a gun permit, however, he learned that the incident had also resulted in a felony conviction on his record.
He applied to President Obama for a pardon 18 months ago and got word in late November that Mr. Obama had granted the reprieve, agreeing that Foster shouldn't have to continue paying for his nickel-and-dime crime.