(Sorry, folks, I am on a rant today) On this date in 1972, I left my home in Amarillo, Texas and was placed into the tender mercies of the United States Army. My first “home” with the Army was in Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Infantry (BCT) at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Thus began a twenty-one+ year adventure that would take me across the Atlantic Ocean eight times (not including leave) and to homes in six states. I would not trade my time in uniform for anything. I am as fond of the Army now as I was then, even though I have been retired eighteen plus years. Even now, I can remember every unit I ever served with and every job I held.
It is because of this fondness that I take an extremely dim view of anybody who makes claims to be a veteran who is not or, worse yet, a veteran who makes claims to daring-do that are not true. If you ever have a few minutes to do some simple research, conduct an internet search on “phony veterans.” There are entire websites devoted to exposing these imposters. You would be surprised at the claims. For example:
- Right here in Johnson County, Indiana, a man (who will remain nameless) made claims to being an airborne ranger and a Green Beret. He told stories of being directly involved in action in Cambodia. A little research revealed that he had been an Air Force draftsman in Saigon.
- In the past year, I met at least two people who made claims to be snipers, including one who told me that he was a civilian sniper under contract with a federal agency that he was not allowed to name. I am no lawyer, but I’m pretty sure that is a violation of the Geneva Convention.
- Recently, I ran into a man who had a US Army hat on. I asked when he was in and he used dates that would include the Viet Nam era. He was, of course, a Green Beret. I asked him what his unit was and he had a tough time recalling. He asked when I was in and whether I had gone to Nam. I had not, I said, been to Nam though I was in at the time. He ended the conversation by telling me in no uncertain terms that he had been in Nam and had the wounds to prove it.
- I lost count of the number of “Navy Seals, Rangers, and Green Berets” that I have come across over the years.
Phony veterans disgust me as they do any honest veteran. I have made it a policy to avoid these guys and not bother with them but I am rethinking that position. Any vet can ask a few probing questions and easily expose these bums.
Words fail to explain how I feel about these scumbags and that’s where I will leave it.