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· Last Stand on Earth
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know this topic will probably stir some crap up but, you know, I get caught up watching these confrontation video exposing stolen valor every once in a while. That, I was doing that tonight so it’s prompted me to start this discussion.

I am going to preface this with I never served. My father is a wartime vet. He got in 2 years before the end of Vietnam. He spent his first couple years as an EMT, after which he moved on to a desk job as a programmer. Back then it was still pretty new. There was a lot of in between stuff we won’t get into. He put in 10 years and retired as a disabled vet, which worsened after he got out and is 100% disabled now.

I spent the first 10 years of my life on a military base and grew up a few blocks from the air strip. In fact, one of the planes from my fathers unit is in the Dayton museum, landed itself in a cornfield after the pilot ejected when he got into a flat spin. As a kid, I wore my fathers combat boots up until the time I outgrew them. When you grow up like that you have respect for the uniform.

My brother-in-law (sisters husband) is a retired master sargeant in the Air National Guard. He did 3 tours in the Gulf War. I got to see first hand what that does to the family these guys leave behind, never knowing if he’s coming home. My wife’s father also served the National Guard and was also called into federal service which he doesn’t talk about and I don’t pry.

I have a friend that served in the Marines and did two tours in Iraq. Still to this day sits up screaming in the middle of the night. Another friend who spent two decades as a military contractor, who, to this day, has to take medication so he can function around people and not freak out.

I’m saying all of this because it blows my mind we have grown ass men pretending to have been soldiers, in public, spreading those lies. Men who have no idea the sacrifices that come with wearing a uniform, both for the soldiers and the families. I cannot image having the nerve it would take to walk out in public with a completely fake getup and pretend to be someone I’m not. Some are pretty damned obvious. I’m just a gun nut but I would think this type of crap would be most prevalent in the gun community.

How prevalent is stolen valor in your area? I’m out here in the sticks, everyone knows everyone. It’s hard to pull off in a small community. I spend a lot of time in gun shops as I buy a lot of guns and I can tell you that those that did serve, usually don’t talk about it unless it’s one on one. The ones that come into the shops that talk about everything tactical, 99% have never served. Share you thoughts and encounters with stolen valor.
 

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There is an interesting site, militaryphony.com that checks out suspected stolen valor cases. I ran across it when checking out a local martial arts instructor I was thinking about working out with. This guy lists all kinds of experience as a combat Marine on his bio, including Force Recon, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart. His name popped up on the the Military Phony site. He was already on their radar. They had done FOIA requests for his service records and no records of his ever having served in any branch could be found. It also came to light that he had been arrested for impersonating a police officer.

I figure if he is BS'ing about that, he is a probably doing the same for his martial arts credentials. I was really grateful for that site, saving me the time of having to deal with him. Why do people do it? I have heard it said that this country tends to adulate military service, especially in movies and TV, and people with low self esteem want to emulate that to build themselves up.

People do need to be careful about "exposing" stolen valor, though. I have read of instances where stolen valor crusaders have falsely accused legitimate veterans, which is really not cool.

I occasionally take advantage of discounts offered by restaurants on Veteran's Day. I really don't do it to save money. For me it is more about patronizing places who appreciate veterans. Usually places are nice and don't ask for verification, but just in case, I used a photocopier resize function to create a miniaturized copy of my DD214, which I fold up and carry in my wallet along with my old service ID.
 

· Live Free
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I remember returning from 18 months in south east Asia back in 72 when people were accusing us of being baby killers and other nonsense as we got off a plane stateside after a tour of duty...not so much in the way of stolen valor in those days. Nowadays you got a lot of nuts who play too many video games and watch too much TV that want you to think they are some sort of macho military vet with untold years of experience when, in reality they are just playing stupid games. For most true vets their false bravado is fairly obvious most of the time.
I tend to ignore/avoid most of the tacticool fools; they are often the stupid/dangerous ones on the range.
Sort of funny, as I was reading this I realized that I had never had a discounted Veterans Day meal...eh, maybe someday.
 

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I find it's usually easy to tell. The fakes tend to be more boisterous, and almost seems to brag about how much combat theyve been through. Actual veterans are more likely to avoid talking about it entirely, and if it is mentioned, it's more casual, like normal conversation, and the heavier stuff is usually glossed over. Personally, when I go to a store or a restaraunt, I avoid mentioning my veteran status at all (except for the veterans day specials 😁) because I dont want to be treated differently than anyone else.

When I catch a liar, I don't call them out directly, I ask a series of questions that I know they won't be able to answer truthfully until they back themselves into a corner and out themselves, or I just let them continue to make a fool of themselves. Confronting them directly is more drama than it's worth, tbh.

It is important, though, to think about what really counts as stolen valor before making accusatioms. There are too many that will accuse someone of stolen valor just because they are wearing military fatigues or tactical gear, even if they are not claiming to be veterans.
 

· Last Stand on Earth
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I remember returning from 18 months in south east Asia back in 72 when people were accusing us of being baby killers and other nonsense as we got off a plane stateside after a tour of duty...not so much in the way of stolen valor in those days. Nowadays you got a lot of nuts who play too many video games and watch too much TV that want you to think they are some sort of macho military vet with untold years of experience when, in reality they are just playing stupid games. For most true vets their false bravado is fairly obvious most of the time.
I tend to ignore/avoid most of the tacticool fools; they are often the stupid/dangerous ones on the range.
Sort of funny, as I was reading this I realized that I had never had a discounted Veterans Day meal...eh, maybe someday.
Thank you for your service. I’ve been fortunate enough to brush elbows with real unsung hero’s. A family friend was in the Pearl Harbor attack aboard the U.S.S. Selfridge. That’s an emotional conversation for him. Another is a 3 time Purple Heart recipient during Vietnam. He’d get wounded, they’d send him home, he’d go back. He can barely walk from all the shrapnel in his legs. For those who have been in theater, they tend to keep it to themselves.

I find it's usually easy to tell. The fakes tend to be more boisterous, and almost seems to brag about how much combat theyve been through. Actual veterans are more likely to avoid talking about it entirely, and if it is mentioned, it's more casual, like normal conversation, and the heavier stuff is usually glossed over. Personally, when I go to a store or a restaraunt, I avoid mentioning my veteran status at all (except for the veterans day specials 😁) because I dont want to be treated differently than anyone else.

When I catch a liar, I don't call them out directly, I ask a series of questions that I know they won't be able to answer truthfully until they back themselves into a corner and out themselves, or I just let them continue to make a fool of themselves. Confronting them directly is more drama than it's worth, tbh.

It is important, though, to think about what really counts as stolen valor before making accusatioms. There are too many that will accuse someone of stolen valor just because they are wearing military fatigues or tactical gear, even if they are not claiming to be veterans.
Thank you for your service. You are right about what counts as stole valor. I think we are more talking about those wearing metals they didn’t earn or fake combat stories. You know the like.
 

· Keep calm & return fire!
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Gentlemen... Thank you for your service!

I have never served. The military simply wasn't for me. I too have went down the youtube rabbit hole of watching these videos and I agree with 110%. I have no respect for someone who claims to be something they're not. I dont see the point in it. I think theses stolen valor types are a real POS. I have watched Don Shipley many times.
He has also spoken about the dangers of accusing someone of stolen valor when thats not the case.

When I catch a liar, I don't call them out directly, I ask a series of questions that I know they won't be able to answer truthfully until they back themselves into a corner and out themselves, or I just let them continue to make a fool of themselves. Confronting them directly is more drama than it's worth, tbh.
Obviously not on the same level as stolen valor but I have dealt with this a few times with my fraternal organization. I am an active Freemason. I wear a ring with the square and compass and I have had a few experiences with people claiming to be Masons that weren't. Just as you mentioned, a few pointed questions quickly reveals the truth. I dont become confrontational...its not worth it and I dont embarrass anyone either. Rather I am generally left saddened and honestly irritated to a degree that someone finds it necessary to claim to be something they are not.
It's a trait of a weak man in my opinion.
 

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Out of curiously, I did some searching in my local area on the Military Phonies site. One entry really got my attention. There is a guy in my area who actually was a Marine and got out after four years as an E-3. So that's legit. But this ex-Marine claims get got out as an E-5, has jump wings, a scuba badge and a purple heart, as well as 15 other ribbons and that he was in Recon, all of which are not true. But get this, he shows up at the local Marine Corps Ball in dress blues with his claimed rank and awards. I am surprised he had the gall to do that. He could have gotten his ass beat.

So here is an actual Marine who has no respect. That just blows my mind.
 

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I find it's usually easy to tell. The fakes tend to be more boisterous, and almost seems to brag about how much combat theyve been through. Actual veterans are more likely to avoid talking about it entirely, and if it is mentioned, it's more casual, like normal conversation, and the heavier stuff is usually glossed over.
This right here. My dad and brother both retired from the Navy. Neither really saw any real combat but were in a few serious situations. My dad was at the Cuban missile crisis and he was also on some ship during Vietnam that provided air support. My brother spent a lot of time in the middle east and was involved in a couple of things he can't mention and while in Bahrain his hotel had a small terrorist attack(propane bomb) neither really talked about the bad things but always talked about the fun times they had. I have also worked with a lot of vets over the years and work with several combat vets right now. None of them really talked about their experiences again except for some for the fun times. If things come up in conversations it's usually short, sweet and very little talked about. I don't think i have ever run across any stolen valor type guys and hope i don't. Much respect to anyone who has ever served.
 
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I spent twelve years in the Navy on active duty including tours in Viet Nam. I was an instructor at Coronado. I also spent ten years in the Army National Guard. With two or three low key questions, I can usually spot a poser.

My wife worked for the Marketing Director for a large corporation. Everybody knew that he was Army Special Forces and he had spent considerable time in combat in Viet Nam. They whispered that he was a trained killer. After a couple of questions when I met him, I knew he was a poser. I checked his service and he spent two years as a supply officer in Germany.

I never outed him, he treated my wife very well at work. I would say something about Viet Nam and he would say he had been there. I would ask if he remembered something like a statue, club, hotel, or building. He always answered that he didn't remember because he was just passing through.

For the last thirty years, my wife and I have had a private joke when someone is bragging about something. We look at each other and say, "Just passing through."
 

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There was a guy at a Walmart McDonald's making a fuss because they wouldn't give him a military discount. After he walked away from the counter I told them he was a fake. No self respecting Marine would wear the globe on a beret. I almost facepalmed when I saw that globe on a black beret.
 

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I never served. My brother retired with 20 years. My Pop with 23 and a tour in Vietnam. I was only about 8 at the time he came back. He left Vietnam fr a hospital in Japan. Supposedly for a gall bladder. Maintained that until he died. But if IIRC, he was there about 2 months. Longest recovery for gall bladder I ever saw.
And up to the day he died, if he was asleep, touching him unexpected could cost you dearly. I know this first hand, a mistake I only made once.
On Okinawa, my best friend's father was a pilot. We had dinner at their house the night before a mission to Vietnam. They left the Island the next day. Never heard from him again.
We all knew what that meant.
Growing up a military brat during the Vietnam war, I detest posers.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
 

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I'm a real vet that served honorably, as in honorably discharged, and have the dd-214 to prove it. I carry around a VA ID card if I have to prove service. I'm too young for Nam and got out right before the Gulf war. We had people deployed to Honduras and the secret air base in Saudi. I missed Grenada which was the only on the books conflict I was aware of.

In case you didn't know we have active conflicts all over the world some people know about and some people don't know about. Some get killed and not acknowledged and some get killed in training accidents. Anywho...

I'm proud of my service but don't make a big deal of it because I don't put myself on the same level as someone that got shot at, shot or blown up. I resisted getting veteran tags for that reason. I recently got one because they were ad velorem tax free. I put them on my truck I don't drive daily.

These stolen valor clowns disturb me but other than pointing them out or ridiculing them I don't feel the need to push it further. I hope they have a conscience and it catches up with them and they live to regret it.
 

· Last Stand on Earth
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm a real vet that served honorably, as in honorably discharged, and have the dd-214 to prove it. I carry around a VA ID card if I have to prove service. I'm too young for Nam and got out right before the Gulf war. We had people deployed to Honduras and the secret air base in Saudi. I missed Grenada which was the only on the books conflict I was aware of.

In case you didn't know we have active conflicts all over the world some people know about and some people don't know about. Some get killed and not acknowledged and some get killed in training accidents. Anywho...

I'm proud of my service but don't make a big deal of it because I don't put myself on the same level as someone that got shot at, shot or blown up. I resisted getting veteran tags for that reason. I recently got one because they were ad velorem tax free. I put them on my truck I don't drive daily.

These stolen valor clowns disturb me but other than pointing them out or ridiculing them I don't feel the need to push it further. I hope they have a conscience and it catches up with them and they live to regret it.
Thank you for your service. What I find sad is that you would have to prove it. You don’t have to take on live fire to be respected for your service. I know some wartime hero’s but I also know some that went awol either during or shortly after training. There’s a reason it’s called an honorable discharge.
 

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I never served. My avatar is R Lee because my father was a DI. It’s a reference to being his son. If you grow up under a Marine dad, you’ve been to boot camp. When I stepped out of line, no answer was right. There were no gentle talks about how I was wrong and I should have not done what I did. Lol. The reality is that it was a good way to grow up and things were instilled in my values that I carried my whole life.
“WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?” well, I thought......”WHO ASKED YOU TO THINK?” Like I said, there were no right answers.
 

· Live Free
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Out of curiously, I did some searching in my local area on the Military Phonies site. One entry really got my attention. There is a guy in my area who actually was a Marine and got out after four years as an E-3. So that's legit. But this ex-Marine claims get got out as an E-5, has jump wings, a scuba badge and a purple heart, as well as 15 other ribbons and that he was in Recon, all of which are not true. But get this, he shows up at the local Marine Corps Ball in dress blues with his claimed rank and awards. I am surprised he had the gall to do that. He could have gotten his ass beat.

So here is an actual Marine who has no respect. That just blows my mind.
During Desert Storm, up until we actually started bombing Iraqi positions, there was a lot of BS amongst the troops wi
th some guys sorta bragging about what they were going to do when the shooting started. Some weeks before we actually kicked off the combat ops, we were tested by some terrorists who tried to get into some of our sleeping quarters. The BS stopped among most of the troops when we started issuing rifles and pistols (you know it is bad when the Air Force issues weapons), but for a few, they began to really brag about what was gonna happen and so on. A few times I had to laugh at these kids and all their talk, but then the combat began and suddenly the talkers were getting real quiet and those who had been quiet were still quietly doing a mighty good job! Then I had a few request to speak with me privately (I was the senior NCO over a large group, and one of few veterans until this war actually started), and more than a couple who had been blowing smoke out of their rectum were now scared, and one told me, “I didn’t sign up for this!” I had to work pretty hard to keep a straight face and asked him if he read what he signed and if he considered the oath he took. He did not want to hear that...I could tell. And he did not appreciate me telling him that. In the end he did his job, and did it well, working through the fears. My point is this, there were, and likely always will be those who talk a lot of crap...avoid them, because typically those who talk a lot of crap do so because that is what they are full of. Those who quietly do what needs to be done, they are the ones you can depend on; the ones you can trust. It has pretty much always been that way...
In my experience, those who really could be trusted were not those would wear dress uniforms and ribbons except on occasions when demanded, they were the ones who wore BDU’s day in and day out, and quietly and professionally did their duty for God and country.
 
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