Stolen Valor

There’s a lot of young men and women coming home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who have been decorated for valor on the battlefield. May God Bless them all.

I stand in awe of the courage and devotion to duty that these young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have shown. People often worry about the future of our nation. I cannot. I sleep well at night, not so much because these rough men stand ready to do violence (which they do), but rather that our society still produces them. These are the people that will come home with a strong sense that if their service is to have any meaning, the nation they served must be maintained in greatness. We have seen this in the hundreds of thousands of veterans who returned from Vietnam, scorned by their peers, shunned by many others. And yet they became better educated, better paid, and more satisfied than their contemporaries.

When the magnitude of their selfless service is realized by our nation, many who did not serve remember these lines of  William Shakespeare:

And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

They will want the respect that they have not earned. They will claim honors that belong to others. They claim the title of “Soldier” to smear the efforts of those who seek to make a better world, rather than make speeches about “injustice”. They will seek benefits and financial gain, paid with the blood of men and women who went in their stead.

These people are beneath contempt. Honor the warrior, honor his service, allow none to poach from the only lasting gift that a nation can bestow on him, the thanks of our grateful nation.

9 thoughts on “Stolen Valor”

  1. Book called, I think, Stolen Valor about folks claiming Vietnam Veteran status. I am not a Vietnam Veteran, I am a Vietnam Era Veteran. Big difference between those two I figure.

    Here’s my phony vet story. I am in a bar in my home town in Pennsylvania, during my temporary civilian period between enlistments. Some guy starts talking to me about when he was in Vietnam and that he’d been a SEAL. That should have been my first clue right there. Most of the people I’d known in the service who were SOMEBODY SPECIAL felt no need to advertise the fact. Then the guy is telling me about how they sprang ambushes down in the Delta. From a tactical perspective this shit sounds about right.

    So I asked him when he’d been in Vietnam. On April 30, 1975 we’d gone on world-wide alert because of the evacuation of Saigon. I was guarding a refueling apron and fuel pumps on the other side of the world in Turkey. Dude told me he’d been in Vietnam in 1976.

    Lots of fuckers out there willing to steal someone else’s honorable service. They are beneath contempt.

  2. Cranky, I was going to link the book, but the webpage is crap. Good book, crappy web.

    I’m typing out my “fake vet” story and should have it up later.

  3. I’m in AIT right not, changing jobs (I was a 14J now will be a 14E). In our transition platoon we have soldiers who graduated basic and AIT, some comming back, some re-classing from another MOS.

    We just had a guy bring in his Class-A’s the day before graduation. His sh-t was not right. A CAB, arcom, a purple heart and 5 combat stripes. Turns out he was only in Iraq for two months, only in the army for TWO YEAR. Turkey tried to turn in a fake DD-214. Amazingly CID was asleep at the switch. They told the CO “you could just give him UCMJ and drive on.” The CPT is pusing for 5-6 years in prision. They will take everything, including his uniform.

    He had the nerve to ask about the Stolen Valor Act. I felt no qualms about breaking his little heart. He is b-o-n-e-d.

  4. Heh… Nuke ’em.

    I can see getting an order for an AAM lost (or in my case, three) but some stuff, you can just smell.

    Ever since they stopped using preprinted 214s and went to local print, they’ve had problems. One problem was when they first put forms online, they had an unsecure link to 214s for a short while. Everybody downloaded it in PDF.

  5. I remember reading about this problem where some twit went to a marine dinner all dressed up but they caught him on the word ‘head’. I don’t understand why people think it’s worth faking. I said very recently in the Castle there’s nothing as dishonourable as faking honour.

    If it’s for money there are better ways to make it or even steal it. If it’s for ego what’s the point fooling yourself? Trying to look like you’re worth something more makes you worthless. Do something worthwhile and be worth more. You don’t have to be General whoever to be honourable.

    Maybe in espionage I could see it’s worth where honour has no real meaning in there I suppose.

    They sell camouflage print items retail. I see even that as silly.

  6. Lots of people, for whatever reason feel the need to elevate themselves in the eyes of others. It is a dumb thing to do, but the fact of the matter is, so few Americans know much about the service, they can get away with it for a while. I linked Jesse MacBeth. He got away with claiming the US was committing atrocities when he was with his anti-war friends because they just didn’t know any better. Once they asked him for an interview, he was in too deep to back out. For the first time in his life, he was important. But as soon as that interview hit the internet, he was toast. There are more honorably discharged veterans in America than there are Australians. And they don’t like being called baby killers.

    I don’t mind that they sell camo. Hell, I bought a bunch before I joined. I just never said I was a soldier until I was.

  7. I’m a veteran of the early ’80s (not sure what era that’s called!). I, too, have run into people either phonying up their real service or pretending they served when they didn’t. They’re disgusting and pitiable.

    Today’s people in uniform are the sharpest, smartest, most selfless, bravest bunch of people on the planet. I want to thank every here who is serving, has served or who will. God bless you.

  8. How’d I miss the whole “Stolen Valor” thing? Nice to see they’re going after these guys who are cheats and liars. Crap, I need hearing aids and won’t see the VA because of all the young folks who do need that care and $$ now.

    Nice blog, brad. US Army vet here. Unk

  9. I was a seal in vietnam. My records were destroyed and I was given a new identity. My fingerprints were altered by top-secret technology. I still have to get de-briefed every 2 years under hypnosis. I am forbidden to speak of what I saw or engaged in. I am to have no further contact with any of my family members.
    I am 5’10 and weigh 310lbs. I wear my uniform at every conceivable opportunity and run my mouth 100 mph.

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