Posted on Jan 27, 2016
SFC Platoon Sergeant
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Some people just shake their head when they see the news headlines, scroll past it, or lose their mind and share with the world. I would like to think deep down we all really do care about exposing phonies especially when they are wrongfully receiving benefits that the deserving need. There is a chain reaction that could be talked about forever on how the phonies hinder the process for veterans.
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LTC Psychological Operations Officer
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Edited >1 y ago
I'm becoming more and more uncomfortable with this culture of SMs or Vets walking up to people and demanding proof of service. Lately there were two threads about 75 year old vets getting publicly humiliated by other vets. In one case the vet ( or maybe it was a soldier) wouldn't even believe the vets VA card, claiming anyone could print one out.

So that got me thinking how I would respond if someone saw me wearing either military related awards or badges on Veterans Day or say military badge related hats or Tshirts, and came up and started asking me questions. The truth is, in this day of identity theft and scams, I would probably politely tell that guy to f--k off. I sure as hell would never feel like I owe it to any stranger that walks up to me to produce my military ID card and DD214. Really, who the f--k do these people think they are?

This is the United States. I don't have to respond to "your papers please" from anybody, much less some soldier with a hair up his ass.

And as pissed as that would make me, I can't imagine how my dad would have responded when he was 75 if some twenty something "kid" walked up to him and basically demanded that he, a WWII and Korean War vet, prove to this stranger he is authorized to wear his CIB with star. Even at age 75, he would probably try and fight the guy.

So this whole blood sport of confronting and videoing and humiliating people just because they may be wearing a badge wrong has got to stop. It's unprofessional and unAmerican. As I said, I don't have to tell you where I went to basic, what Ranger School Class I was in, or anything else. It's none of your f--king business. You're a damn total stranger to me. Hell, I have no way of knowing if you are even a soldier yourself. So get out of my face and keep your vigilante bullshit away from me or my dad, or others like us. I'd rather a thousand clowns walk down the street in costume than one vet be humiliated by someone who probably hasn't served a fraction of the time the vet did.

There are laws about actually stealing goods or services by impersonating vets. Leave that to the stores. If they give military discounts to people without requiring appropriate ID cards or documentation, that's their mistake. IMO vets should stay in their lane and stop confronting people.
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SGT Dan Gray
SGT Dan Gray
3 mo
LCpl Richard Lally - And thank you for yours.
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Rory Schultz
Rory Schultz
2 mo
Something similar happened to my daughter, her best friend and I while at Comic Con. We are writing a screenplay based on the Sgt. Savage of WW2 comic book but this is a future descendant called Captain Savage and 'Lil Red about a retired military officer and his daughter who are bounty hunters on the outlands of space. (permission from Stan Lee in using the character) This guy got all over us chewing us out, we just said, " look around, are you from the future, because there is no such military in existence yet?!"
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CW2 Mario deCarvalho
CW2 Mario deCarvalho
2 mo
C-O-U-L-D N-O-T A-G-R-E-E M-O-R-E.
Thanks for posting this.
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A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
2 mo
I've Never Faced That Situation, But I THINK, Had I Been Accosted That Way, I'd Whip Out My Military I.D. Card & Tell Them To Go FUGOV,,,,,
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SN Greg Wright
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SFC (Join to see) It's not that I don't care, SFC. It's that I'd rather let 10 fake fuckers wear their fake rewards, than to (wrongly) accost one single vet that was legit.
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LCDR Jerry Maurer
LCDR Jerry Maurer
6 mo
Exactly
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SPC Paul Hayward
SPC Paul Hayward
4 mo
SP5 Ward Posey - anyone that goes about bragging about being a "spook" is not and never was, those who work with and around classified material have it drilled into their heads to never talk about any classified,, when i went over to the airforce, after my time in the army, i worked maintenance in rc-135s electronic warfare systems and though i never worked with the classified material, the shop i worked out of was in the same work center as those that processed that material and i might see some of that classified doing my job so i did have to have the same clearance as the airmen that gathered and processed it, i never talk about what i may have or may not have seen, i have no desire to go to to a federal prison for running my mouth, it's not worth it
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CPO Nate S.
CPO Nate S.
4 mo
SP5 Tom Haines - As an HM-8404 (Fleet Marine Corpsman) I love your question "Are you sure you are real Marines?" Perhaps, this happened because you were in Southern California, and they were "Hollywood Marines" from the set of a Paramount backlot movie set. Who knows?!?!?!?! If you ask a question, then you must also be prepared to answer that question. Seems logical to me.
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A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
A1C Medrick "Rick" DeVaney
2 mo
The Easiest Way To Find Fakes Is To Start Up A Conversation And Use All Of Our Short Cut Words Such as NCOIC, CO, First Shirt, Monkey Drills, Etc.. If They Ask What Those Are,,, YA GOTT'EM.... At The Middle School Where I Was Employed, There Was A Teacher Whom Was In The Navy, But He Stated He Was A NAVY SEAL...And Others Were In Doubt Also.. ...So In The Break Area Someone Started Talking About We Vets When I Turned To Him & Asked A Few Questions... Almost Immediately I Could See The Look On His Face Freeze.. At That Point, All I Said Was "I Hate To Interrupt You At This Time, But I Think You're Full Of Shit....
As Far As I Can Recall He Never Said Anything About Being a SEAL. But I AM Relative Convinced The Did Serve In The Navy... But A SEAL?.
Give Me a Fo-King Break.
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LTC Board Member
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Edited >1 y ago
I care, but I care more about the Constitution than my own feelings. We can't say "we're a free country, but you can't say or wear those things because it offends me." I'm just not a fan making laws that ban citizens from wearing certain symbols when there are groups of people offended by those symbols. It sounds contrary to everything we serve for.

Now if people want to expose phonies, I'm all for it. Let them be judged by the public.

When it comes to fraud, there are plenty of existing fraud laws to cover those cases. Those who commit fraud should be prosecuted under fraud laws.
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SSG Chuck Ezell
SSG Chuck Ezell
4 mo
I agree Sir,
I retired with the US Government with 32 years of service (10 years active Army.) I took a job at a big-box home improvement store that recognizes Veterans. Veteran employees have an option to wear a camouflaged Veteran vest. I applaud them for their accolades...

I have the vest but usually wear the regular vest not out of shame but because of time constraints to get my job done. It's a War Story magnet I call it.
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MAJ Tracey Nash, CISSP, MS
MAJ Tracey Nash, CISSP, MS
4 mo
My dad went to Vietnam 2 times; he said that he felt unsafe wearing his uniform ANYWHERE, upon his return home. Back then (1972), the very last thing you might see is a guy impersonating is a military member. He left a warzone, and he really did want to wear his uniform, but he couldn't. This bothered me for years. I deployed to Iraq 3 times. After my last deployment, I made it a point to visit him in my uniform. This is a man who never shed a tear; he greeted me with tears in his eyes. He thanked me for wearing my uniform. He said that my wearing the uniform brought him back home too.

I do not think that people should impersonate anyone - ever; but I do take comfort in the fact that servicemembers are held such high regard that there are people who want to be held in the same regard - legal or illegally.
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SPC Ludwig Stines
SPC Ludwig Stines
4 mo
MAJ Tracey Nash, CISSP, MS - I understand---1972-1975 82nd Airborne Division- I did not have to go to Viet Nam but I felt it Stateside---I only came home once with my uniform on once, for my Mom. She was a teenager during WW2 in Germany just surviving, after the war she met my dad who was American with the Occupation. She was proud of me for being an American Soldier---Over the years I have spotted Stolen Valor just by talking to some.. and I have had some Vets question me...lol..i pass their test then we BS for awhile. Thanks for your service----
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MSG Thomas Currie
MSG Thomas Currie
2 mo
SGT Kathleen Regan - If you believe that "a genuine PH is engraved on the reverse side when it is awarded" you will be sadly disappointed if you ever receive one -- or any of the other awards that the AR says are supposed to be engraved. Having the medal engraved is a unit responsibility that most units have always completely ignored -- just like they have always ignored the fact that the UNIT (not the individual soldier) is supposed to have the unit patch sewn on a soldier's uniform upon arrival in a new unit.
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