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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Military Times Opens Up "Hall of Stolen Valor"

Catching the wave of a spate of posers who claim military honors, ranks or benefits to which they are not entitled,the Military Times folks have initiated an online "Hall of Stolen Valor" featuring verified accounts of such fakes. For example,
a "AF pilot" who turns out to have served as an E-5:
Then, in the last few years, “Colonel Thom,” as Tullis introduced himself, began entertaining the socialites with decidedly darker stories — ones of his role in the Iran-Contra affair, his work with the CIA and his orders to fly bombing runs over Afghanistan with the aim of killing Osama bin Laden.

Tullis is, indeed, an Air Force veteran, but he never rose above the rank of staff sergeant and never received a valor medal or ribbon, according to records obtained by the POW Network, a private group that tracks possible military impostors, and verified by the Air Force Personnel Center.
Or a retired CG warrant who claimed to have served, while  in the Navy before joining the CG, as a highly decorated SEAL. This guy even managed to get PTSD money from the VA because of the horrors of war he never saw (which ought to be further warning against the liberalization of PTSD awards by the VA, but probably won't be).

Interesting reading.

For a historical view of such exaggerationists, read Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley.


  1. Well, better that some impostors get money they're not entitled to than that real heros not get the help they need because someone thinks they might be an impostor.

  2. I guess checking their service records to see where and if they served is just too hard?

    Clogging the VA and other services with phonies and spending money on fakes reduces the benefits available to those who really served and who really need the help. That's the cost of this sort of fraud.

    This is not a case of "minimal harm, no foul."

  3. Ha, it's just funny to me. I went to a party once and met a guy who claimed to be a Marine. Of course he had a boot haircut so maybe he just got out of Boot Camp. I asked him where he had served since at the time I was in the Army Reserves and knew a little about places overseas and he told me it was classified. I think our culture creates these people because we glorify the military and war and we make people think that they can pretend just like so many actors do in all their favorite movies. Being a veteran myself it doesnt offend me it just makes me sad to think these people are so discontent with their own lives they have to create a new one. Personally I blame reality TV.