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 5 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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AN Leonard Miller
AN Leonard Miller
29 d
well when you consider a lot of the people begging for money holding sign's and such saying homeless Vet and wouldn't take a job if you threw in their lap one of my experiences was with one of these people was i would not give him money but i offered to buy him food he acted as if i just insulted him so im not sure if this would fall under stolen Valor but it irritates the heck out of me
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GySgt Richard Morrison
GySgt Richard Morrison
29 d
I totally agree with LtCol Michael M. But if I'm having a really bad day and this just happens to happen while I'm at Walmart, where all the weirdos seem to hang out, then they are getting a vertical butt stroke, especially if I'm near the axe handles!
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SGT Alan Dike
SGT Alan Dike
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I dont carry any proof of my service on me.. but what do I care some nutjob thinks? I have my records straight with the VA.. Then again I dont exactly wear any uniform components out and about either..
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Cpl Randy Owen
Cpl Randy Owen
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When I got out (84) they didn't give out ID's, and I didn't qualify for the VA. Except for the DD214 (which I wouldn't carry around in my wallet, it would get destroyed) I had no proof. I joined national guard in 85 and have an old ID from them, and then they changed the rules and I do qualify for VA now, but I can't imagine not being believed. Things change in every branch, and I was not so gung ho I remembered all the details. I have watched some of those stolen valor video clips on you tube and it does seem they are trying to get something for nothing, or discounted. I don't care if I get a discount or not, but I do appreciate the effort of the business to show their appreciation for our service.
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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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Cpl Brad MarkW
Cpl Brad MarkW
2 mo
Spot on dude! Spot. On.
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SPC Michael Terrell
SPC Michael Terrell
1 mo
SPC Paul Hayward - I wear a 'Army Veteran' cap, to meet other Veterans, not to get anything from it. To the know it alls, I had a very rare MOS that was phased out, starting in the mid '70s. It's fun watching them try to tell me there were no 26 series MOS. I was 26T20, which is a Broadcast Engineer. It was phased out and replaced with Civil Servants. My Driver's license was both Veteran, and the gold star for Real ID. If that isn't enough, there is a clipboard in my van, full of paperwork from the VA. You can be sure of one thing. I would tell off any SOB who would try to accuse me of Stolen Valor. I tried to get a license plate with AFRTS on it, but that was taken.
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SPC Michael Terrell
SPC Michael Terrell
1 mo
SrA Tony Schamberger - I had someone online question my service. He claimed to be an Air Force Veteran. I told him that I had worked at Carin Airfield, (Ft. Rucker) maintaining the Weathervision system for the flight school, and that there was an Air Force barracks there, for the Air Traffic Controllers who would be working with Army pilots in Vietnam. He informed me that the Army and Air Force never shared a base. I reminded him that they had started as the Army Air Corp. He never replied.
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LCpl Walter Larson
LCpl Walter Larson
28 d
I would not confront a person but when you talk to someone wearing an indication of military service it doesn't take much to tell if they actually served.
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LTC Board Member
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Edited 5 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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1SG Charles King
1SG Charles King
28 d
Sir, there is a difference between stolen valor and just wearing symbols to show respect or (God forbid) fashion. I agree, that there are laws that address the fraud but we shouldn't get the two mixed up. If I see someone wearing a jacket that has rank on it, cool. No problem. But that guy or gal with a Class A uniform with ribbons that don't go together, improperly worn, or just way too many, yeah. That's fraud. It's easy to spot valor stealers, IMO.
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Sgt Javier Rosa
Sgt Javier Rosa
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Outstanding sir! I agree with you. I too don't like confrontations, but at times when I see bullshit I call bullshit, but in a nice way. I make sure not to hurt their feelings.
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LCpl Walter Larson
LCpl Walter Larson
16 d
Politicians who lie about service in Vietnam should be beaten savagely. So should the people who vote for them again and again. Semper Fi
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SGT Thomas Fisher
SGT Thomas Fisher
12 d
CSM John Mead - It was sort of strange that you pointed out that others are entitled to their opinion when all I did was simply state mine and not tell others how they should feel. That was sort of exactly what I was doing.
The soup sandwich isn't diminishing anything I did or didn't do while serving. If that person gets laid by someone who doesn't know a soup sandwich from the real thing, so be it. Again, IMO it's really no different than a non-vet actor playing a role and not getting it right.
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