Just saw a short news item on Faux News about a
Iraq Veteran who asked a "Soldier," how come his uniform was not proper. It turned out that the man was impersonating a Veteran for personal gain
which is illegal under the Stolen Valor Act. The veteran has since filed a complaint about the guy who now faces charges under the act cited above.
We need more Vets to speak out. Makes me a bit more proud to put on my uniform to wear at a function where the uniform would be appropriate.
It is true that when some look at my awards, they think I am showing off and trying to act as a hero. Some people find it hard to believe an individual could have that many medals and not out shine Audie Murphy, WWII hero from Texas.
I encourage all Vets to wear their uniforms when
appropriate. Also di you know that all Veterans
are permitted to salute the flag instead of hand over heart.
I read the article. Made me want to "read to him from the good book".
Unfortunately, the "Stolen Valor Act" has been eviscerated, it would seem that it infringes on the rights of a&&holes to express themselves.
There are a lot of posers out there, and they usually are easy to spot. I encountered one who told very convincing stories. He had started his posing shortly after WWII and had gotten very good at it. Unfortunately for him the interweb came into existence, and his stories were very easy to fact check. The thing that made his stories sound so real were that they were real, it was just that he was not part of them. There was nothing that could be done about his acts...until his current wife found out about his lies. She changed the locks on their house and had law enforcement waiting when he got home. She explained to him that he could never darken her door again or she would tell his story publicly. His followers could not understand why he gave up and walked away from a very valuable collection, I suspect the house was never his.
Karma can be a bitch some times, and sometimes a bitch is a good thing.
I'm confused. To call it Faux News, it would seem you do not believe the stories they report, but you seem to believe this story. Why call it Faux News?
This isn't just limited to you guys south of the border. It is also a crime here in Canada. This halfwit did the same in Ottawa on November 11. Disgusting
I agree with Hal Davis. If it's false news, why should I be upset about it? After all, it didn't happen....
As a P.S., I do exactly the opposite from the two bozos in the news items. According to the VA, the Vietnam era started in February 1961 and ended in May 1975. I was on active duty in the USAF from July 63 to July 67, but when I am asked if I am a Vietnam veteran, I always say, "No, I am a Vietnam-era veteran, but I was never in Vietnam." The guys who were there are the ones who deserve the credit.
What is it that people expect to gain from posing as a vet ? Do they pose as some highly decorated vet, expecting to ride around
in a convertible in parades ? Something else ?
I am with Dick, ... I was too old. The recruiter said to me "It's alright, Grandpa, we got this" !!! (I was 30). So I went in the back
door as a contractor and worked my way off the big base and out into the hot zones, because I wanted to be a part of something.
But I make no bones about it. And I sure don't expect anything from it today. I got my reward by doing it and working with some
of the most honorable men to ever walk the planet. What I learned there, no money can buy. It changed my life. That was all the
reward an honest man can ask for.
I still wear my cover. The Gunny said "Wear this" and I do. Still wear my unit patch on my jacket. Occasionally people ask about
it and I tell them straight up what it was about. No shinola. I never "saved the day", never did anything that remarkable. When I
put in to come home, my team threw a little party for me. Someone asked me to tell those gathered about my most meaningful
mission during my three years. I thought about it for a minute and told the story of a USMC patrol unit rolling in to camp and asking
me if my team could help them out at the combat outposts. They were hovering over the sharp edges of a cut-in-half barrel to drop
a deuce and were trying to find or make toilet seats to fit them. I had material, I had a router. I made them a dozen seats to distro
around the COPs and in that small way, I helped make life a little better for the guys really IN the fight. It was rough living out there.
It was a nothing short of an honor to play a part. I would not trade that experience for the world, but to make it into some "hero"
thing ? That makes no sense to me.
I thank God everyday for Fox news.
Same here, Dick. Was drafted in 1965 for Vietnam. Got shipped to W. Germany instead.
I saw that stolen honor clip on CBS this morning.
Reminds me of Roland Sperry, a semi-famous local who wrote the book, "In the Eye of the Tiger" about his exploits with the Flying Tigers. Somebody finally looked up a roster, and his name wasn't on it.
Same goes for Bob Filet, an acquaintance who had an original looking leather Flying Tigers jacket. He hired my wife to decorate his condo to impress his fiance'. Each believed the other to be loaded with money... We never heard the outcome.
I'm like Dick Lodge in my veteran status. I enlisted in the US Navy in July 1968 and got out in June 1972 (2 weeks ahead of schedule). When it comes up, I always specify that I'm a Vietnam-era veteran, not a Vietnam veteran having never been to Vietnam.
All of the news programs are nothing more than reality tv, when there is not news to report, the generate news, either by inciting riots across the country, or by recruiting mentally ill people to kill large numbers of people for great fame and publicity. What is interesting, I have yet to hear that Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize on any US new programs. The news tells us what they want us to hear.
I always have "mixed feelings" about my military service and whether or not I should be considered a "vet". On one hand, I spent 6 years in the U.S Marine Corps Reserve,....1963 to 1969. In fact, they flew us down to Parris Island S.C. from Chicago for boot camp the day after Pres. Kennedy was shot. Thirteen weeks boot camp, then ITR training at Camp LeJune, N.C., then monthly week-end drills at U.S. Navel Armory Forrest Park, Illinois, and two-week summer camps for the rest of the 6 years. Twenty Nine Palms, Camp Pendleton, etc.
My best friend and I had both received orders to report for our "physicals" in Chicago at almost the same time. That meant you were soon to be drafted. He and his girlfriend pushed up their wedding plans and got married so as to change his selective service classification to avoid being drafted. My girlfriend and I had also planned future marriage, and she wanted me to do the same thing my friend did, but I told her that I didn't think that that was the right reason to get married, so I joined the USMC Reserve and figured that as far as marriage and the future, I'd fulfill my military obligation and just leave the future up to the Good Lord to work it all out. (He did,....and that girlfriend waited, and is now my wife of 51 years!)
So,....am I a vet? I don't know. I know I didn't get married to avoid the draft, nor did I move up to Canada or anything else to avoid the draft. I do know that during my time in the USMCR, my parents and grandfather brought my wife and first-born son home from the hospital in suburban Chicago, because I was at USMCR summer camp for amphibious training at Little Creek Virginia at the time.
I also know that when my little grandaughter asked me to come to her school for a Veterans Day honor, I went, but I certainly didn't feel right, sitting with all those other dads and grandfathers who served in WWII, Korea, and especially Vietnam veterans. I sure didn't feel like a vet,.........harold
I served 6 years active duty running steam plants in the Navy in the 1990's and I actually get a little embarassed when someone thanks me for my service. The ones who really sacrificed are the wartime vets who had to deal with the atrocities of war and either lived or died.
Those of you who were not in the actual fighting, or risking your lives for our country, I still thank you for your service. It takes many people behind the scenes to get the ones in front the help they need to do the job they must do. You helped those people do their job, and I thank you!
I was being a smart A-hole when I put faux in the base. I do watch Fox news when I get out of bed in the morning. Used to Watch CNN but found
fox not so sugary and stories / items better prepared
Some of us are REMF's and served a necessary function. I spent my time during the VN era in Thailand and Hawaii and went on to more fun at Ft Benning as a logistics instructor in the career course.
I am somewhat at a loss for words since those who were in during Vietnam but did not serve in RVN,
admit it and then gone on their way leaving the Glory for those who earned it. Most of us on this web site were close to the Draft area. I found those men who were drafted were excellent soldiers and hard working individuals. Soon most of the WWII guys will be gone and then those of us
from Vietnam era will follow. As I said awhile
back, I served my Country Proudly and retired
with a full cup of contentment.
I am like Harold. I won the lottery and did two years National Service in the Army during the Viet Nam conflict. I was never posted overseas.
I have never considered myself a veteran, that description being reserved for those who served in war.
Allan from down under.
You're a vet Harold. You volunteered during wartime. You would have gone if your unit was called up.
To be historically accurate, our national "interests" have been served by a wide ranging lot of "veterans"
since before this was actually a country. Be they hired "contract" scouts and native interpreters, to suppliers
and logistics coordinators. These guys were out there in the battle zone and while never officially a U.S.
service member, were exposed to the same lethal hazards of war and many were hurt or killed in that service.
"Vets" is little more than a sloganeering term that is purposefully ambiguous to be applied to whomever
it suits to fit their interests.
I have been talked #@! to by genuine service members more than once for having been a contractor, yet
oddly enough, I was in the fight and they were a depot supply Sgt. who never left the states. So, where do
we draw the line ? Personally, I am not looking for some sort of phony glory, so I really don't care. I did
my schtick, my CO's and XO's were happy with my performance, and I was accepted by the people I served.
It was a Duty and Honor thing for me, and it still is. But it is my private sense of this that matters. I don't
give a damm what others think or say.
I'm a Viet nam combat veteran. I was drafted. I didn't see any reason to enlist when I knew what was going to happen anyway. I didn't volunteer for the draft, I didn't enlist, I sat and waited because as a poor kid from Northern Minnesota I knew I wouldn't get a Deferment because of marriage or college or any of the other BS reasons so many people my age were looking for to keep from fulfilling their military responsibility.
My brother is a Viet nam veteran. He came home full of shrapnel and there was no way I could refuse to do my part when I was asked.
My Dad was a World War 2 veteran. He put in two and a half years in New Guinea and the Philipines.
Every one of us were decorated for sacrifices we made while in the field. Between us we have Purple Hearts, Army Commendation metals (I myself was awarded two) Bronze Stars (I also have two of them) Good Conduct ribbons. I only got one of those but then my Dad got one too. Various campaign ribbons and some other miscellaneous ribbons, badges, patches and metals.
The point I'm trying to make is we served proudly and wore our uniforms with pride. To see some puke make a mockery of the United States Army uniform simply to get discounts at some store is atrocious. To not file charges against him is insulting.
However I understand how, in the screwed up pathetically liberal atmosphere that exists in this country, this type of thing could happen. I feel sad every time I hear the name Bowe Bergdahl because of the disgusting things he did by deserting his fellow soldiers, going over to the enemies side, then coming home and being treated like some kind of hero by The Commander In Chief.
Every day, patriotism erodes away in this country just a little bit more while our leaders turn a blind eye to the problem. Our VA isn't able to meet the needs of the veterans while John Kerry is overseas giving free money away to our enemies.
Eric Holder and Al Sharpton are trying hard to incite more riots over the fact our police force is doing the job we hired them to do. And I haven't even started on the indiscretions daily committed by our President. He really is sending our enemies home from Guantanemo Bay to go back and wage a war against us.
I'm proud to be a veteran. I'm glad I fought for the right of people to demonstrate, vote, own guns, speak out against anything they feel is not good and all the other rights afforded us by our Constitution. But I didn't fight for that guys right to disgrace that uniform and insignia and what they stand for.
Well said Mike! Gary T - retired Navy
Are we talking about getting some store discount, or are we talking about something more ? I see no valor or glory in a price
discount. Whoop-de-doo ! But someone parading about with a bunch of trumped up heroics for the purpose of making money
or fraudulent "admiration" ... seems a little silly for a person to do such a thing, but I can see that chapping the hides of those
who walked the walk.
Burger, it was Black Friday. Some businesses were giving discounts to vets. It's assumed and reported ( Fox is sometimes guilty of taking liberties with factual vs fictional reporting) that discounts were his motives. However, it seems fairly likely he was looking for Glory as well. Regardless of his purpose, he's a puke for dishonorably presenting himself as a combat soldier and insulting and belittling the uniform. It took a lot of discretion for the decorated Ranger who was confronting him to control himself and not become any more confrontational.
At the risk of writing a #@! book on the subject, I saw the best and worst of men (and some women) when I "served".
Awesome, go-to, selfless, mission-oriented Marines (and soldiers/airmen) who lived the core values and were true
heroes, in every sense of the word, be they grunts or officers, AND there were a whole lot of suck weasel worms, who
did the bare minimum, played dirty politics, and had a funny way of getting really scarce when things got ugly. Like
all of humanity, it is a mixed bag and I reserve judgment on the subject based on performance over title.
Contractors had a bad name over there, and I saw why and constantly fought an uphill battle against the stereotype
that we were all making a million dollars a year and being total slackers to boot. I am guarded in even mentioning it
when I speak with people because so many contractors were nothing more than slackers, rolling bank and giving the
mission as little as they could get away with.
I believe one of my lucky breaks was in being offered "Deep South" and getting assigned out with the Marines. They
take a different tact in the field and if you are there, you are part of the program, whether a Marine or a contractor. You
will pull your weight or the Gunny WILL put a boot up your ass. As a result, slacking was never an option and those that
did were out of the next thing smoking, and we were all very much immersed in the culture of Duty and Honor. There
was no greater takeaway for me than that.
I can understand why some service members get bent about contractors, and would agree that 75% of them were
slackers, but that is where it gets sticky for me. 25% were go-to, mission-oriented sombitches that made the impossible
happen under harsh conditions. On the other hand, I saw a lot of support military guys who were just "doing time" too.
Combat vets are a separate matter. While there are some more dedicated or "heroic" than others, ANY sap who goes
out there and faces the fire is a special hero in my book.
I met several contractors on my way to Khe Sanh. They were there ahead of us putting the airstrip in. They had went in in choppers and while The engineers were opening QL9 they were working their butts off. Within a matter of a couple hours after we got there they were done and gone. They were far from being slackers. As we were opening that LZ just a few Klicks from us in Laos were 60,000 NVA. Those guys still finished their job knowing they were in extreme danger. They were good men. Within a few hours of their departure the sh_t hit the fan and for the next 4 1/2 months Khe Sanh, LZ Vandergrift (Stud), Dong Ha and Quang Tri as a matter of fact all of Northern I Corps as far down as Hue and Phu Bai really caught it.
I've been wondering if I should comment on this thread because when I served it was during peacetime. As I type I'm still wanting to push the delete key because of my mixed emotions. I served between 1978 to 1984. It was peacetime. I tried to join the Marines at age 17 but was refused because I was only 110 pounds in weight. At age 19 I was able to bring my weight up to 129 and the Armey allowed me in. The closest I ever came to a battle is when my unit was put on alert for Grenada but that got canceled. There has been a few times in the past that I was told that I did nothing while in the service. Even once by a family member. Even today when asked about my time in the service I feel embarrassed about myself and say it was just a 6 year camping trip. When I go to a VA hospital and see WW II, Korea, Nam, and now the Middle East. I find it hard to consider myself a military Vet at all and wonder if I even have the rights be there at all. On my front porch there is an American flag that goes up every morning and comes down every night in honor of our Veterns.My unit patch from Germany is glued to the dash of my truck. I have always greatly honored our Veterans. My father was part of a recon unit in Germany during WW II and my uncle was at Pearl Harbour when the Japanese attacked, My brother in law was in Vietnam, and my younger brother served in the Middle East and my neighbour when I was a young boy was in a Japanese POW camp and at night I could hear him scream from his nightmares. I can not and will not ever put myself in the same category of wartime Veterans as their service time experiences did not even come close to compare to the safety I had during my military tour. Inside I am proud of what I did during that six years. I did things that I never imagined myself ever doing. But the question that I have fought with myself can I truly consider military veteran? Or just a guy that had a job and a uniform for six years. So many others before me where forced to live in a real hell and others gave their lives to be called true Military Veterans. There is no way for me to put in print my own personal battle with in myself on this. I've been fighting with this question for the last 30 years. Im sorry about writing this little note but this is the first time I have ever said anything on this. Im not trying to start a pity party for myself nor do I want one. This is just something I've been battling with myself for a very long time.
Will,I would not beat yourself up to bad as you stepped up to do your share,and what you did or where you were sent was up to Uncle Sam!! 50 years ago it was made very clear that Every Man,Woman,Child owed 6 years to the Country weather called or not! Today?? I often joke [I held Grants Horse!!] but one thing sure we did not run to Canada!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bud.
As this thread points out, there are some who do/did it selflessly and without regard to personal recognition, and
then there are those who didn't do squat and want to parade around like heroes. I don't know about you, but I have
a lot more attraction and respect for the guys not looking to draw attention to themselves than I do the loud mouths,
... and that goes for all walks of life, not just the military service question.
You done good, it was the time, what more could you have done ?
Imagine it the other way around and being conscripted into the Wehrmacht in 1943. A lot of Vietnam vets did their
gig because they "had to" and suffered a decade of abuse at the hands of a ill-understanding American public. They
had no real choice. They were that age at that time and that was what military service looked like at that moment.
What matters is you did it for Duty and Honor and NOT for attention. Humbleness is a respectable character trait.
Cut yerself an extra slice of raisin pie, my friend.
This story could have turned out much differently if MSNBC had reported that some guy impersonating a vet had his feelings hurt by an insensitive person and has found a lawyer to sue the real vet for pain, suffering, and loss of self esteem.
That would be faux news.
God Bless our real service men and women.
Will, thank you for your service. You were there when we needed you there. Are you a veteran? Hell yeah! I'd buy you a beer anywhere and stand next to you when you needed me. Remember it's not always the man in the fight its also the fight in the man. When you were in you went through every emotion the rest of us went through. You learned to live with that gnawing suspicion something could happen. When Grenada started you were put on alert and felt that feeling that a man feels before a battle. And you were there ready when they asked. You should never feel anything but proud that your every veterans brother. Welcome home and thank you.
And for the record the colors are displayed from my front porch too.
Bud, you hit the nail square on the head. But I gotta ask you this. Did he sometimes put the wrong foot in the stirrup and ride backwards into battle?
It has only been lightly touched, but there were those who didn't go, and yet served I wasn't one of them though(I was draft age between wars (Vietnam was winding down when I was of age--my draft number was 357, just the "luck" of the draw). But, go back to WWII; My wife's Dad was not drafted because of medical issues, but he did work as an inspector in an aircraft plant through the war, so he was participating. Once in a while he would tell of testing planes;the pilot would fly out to the desert where two roads crossed, gain altitude and then dive roll, once to the right, once to the left--if the plane straightened out in the same number of circles, it was balanced, and passed. Not certain why he went up, because he wasn't the pilot! I have his Kennedy Chest from those days. Others I knew were railroad engineer/fireman/conductors and they were not ALLOWED to leave their jobs--too vital to the war effort. They would take a lot of ribbing from guys in uniform who didn't understand whey they weren't also in uniform.
It does take a lot of folks "at home" to supply the ones "over there". My Dad did serve, went out on D-day+4, battle of St. Loew (sp?) but ended up working in a supply depot south of Paris, and came home intact. Wish he was still here to explain some of the pictures we found in his "shipped home chest" we found out in the storage chest.
All of you who put on the uniform and did your duty deserve credit, whether or not you were sent into battle itself--you didn't write your orders, but you were willing to put yourself in the line of fire; for that you deserve respect.
David - Great post! You kinda' touched a nerve so to speak! My Dad, my Grandfather and my father-in-law were all railroad men. I won't get "long-winded" here like I usually do, but the draft during WWII never affected them either as the railroads were considered so vital to the war effort. But those guys literally worked to exhaustion during the war, because that was back when the "hog law" (hours of service laws) were 16 hours as opposed to today's 12 hour law. The men worked to exhaustion, and every piece of RR equipment that would roll was put into service, and there were RR records for tonnage handled and such that still stand today!
After reading Will's post I just had to jump in to the fray. I used to feel the same way even though I was a combat vet, I wouldn't think of going to the Veterans administration for any help because I was just a guy that got called in the draft not like the guys that enlisted. But one day when I was at the county veterans office for some of my dads business I saw a note on the wall that said "When you put on that uniform you signed a blank check to your country for the amount up to and including your life." so don't ever feel like you didn't do enough. Jim
I would like to attach the proper U.S. Military Hurt Feelings Report to correspond with Scott's comment, but the
PDF file is too large. Help ?
I kept a stack of these in my office for ready hand out when posted to Camp Ramrod in far western Kandahar