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Monday, November 10, 2014

Stolen Valor

With Veterans Day being tomorrow, I want to wish all my brother and sister veterans the best and bestow grateful thanks for their service. 

Whether the veteran did a couple of years in the military, or made a career out of it, they deserve the thanks from our nation for standing up, heeding the call and serving honorably, in whatever capacity or field they choose.

Something that irks me to no end is the individuals out there that are called “Posers”, who claim to be a military veteran or member and have never served a single real day in uniform.  They go to great lengths to purchase uniforms, medals and accoutrements, then devise lengthy tales of their “bravery” to impress others.  At times some have even gained access to bases and used privileges that they are not entitled.

Often they claim to have been a SEAL, or worked classified operations when there is not a shred of truth to any of it.  They wear all kinds of medals and ribbons to “prove” their “heroism”.  It is not just limited to the United States, posers have been exposed in Great Britain and Canada.  In one famous case, a Canadian even posed as a U.S. Marine! 

When I was a Coast Guard special agent, I personally worked two cases of two men claiming to be Coast Guardsmen.  It was really easy to expose them and we confiscated their uniform items.  One had never had any connection to the Coast Guard and the other had been a junior enlisted man who was thrown out of the Coast Guard for disciplinary reasons.  He bought some officer uniforms and was going around inspecting people’s boats at marinas.  Even though uniforms and medals are supposed to be controlled items, they can be purchased on line through sites such as eBay, or Army surplus stores.

Sadly, there are no federal laws on the books that they can be prosecuted for impersonating a military member, it was viewed by the Supreme Court several years ago that these individuals were exercising their First Amendment rights.

There are websites out there to expose these posers.  Nothing legally can be done, but with the Internet, they can be shown as the fraud they are.

http://www.thesandgram.com/2013/03/25/a-band-of-brothers-in-search-of-posers/

It is a slap in the face to all the many people who have honorably served our country.  Stolen Valor.  Shameful, in so many ways.

Anyway, to all who have really served, Happy Veterans Day!

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Thanks for visiting and feel free to comment.

19 comments:

  1. Wow now lying is a first amendment right. I wonder if these justices really have ever read the Federalist Papers. A timely post Paul.

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  2. With you on that one. Our only option apparently is to expose them.

    Hey, hope you and Marti have a good holiday, grab one of those veteran day freebees.

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    1. And here we go. Poser caught and actually arrested:
      http://www.myfoxdfw.com/clip/10835030/seal-impersonation-arrest

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  3. Never heard of this issue before. Shame on them.

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  4. You know I stand with you on this...thanks for your real service.

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  5. Thanks for your service and Happy Veterans Day!!!

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  6. I didn't realize there were so many imposters out there. Hopefully, I don't know anyone who is.

    Loved your post and thank you for your service, Paul!

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  7. Amazing what some people will do ... I guess my brain just doesn't work like that to pretend something I am not. Thanks for your service, Paul.

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  8. Thank you for your service and even some of my family members that served as well.

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  9. Happy Veteran's Day, Paul, and thank you for your service.

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  10. Thank you for your service Paul and your family for allowing you to serve.
    Dam the Posers.
    Be Safe

    It's about time.

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  11. Great blog, Paul. I agree with you 100%.

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  12. How awful for imposters to try to steal the glory that you real people have earned the hard way. Thank you for your service!

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  13. Thanks for your service, and all your family members too.

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  14. Hard for me to imagine people would lie about serving. Thanks to you and your family for your service.

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