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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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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SMSgt Bob Wilson
SMSgt Bob Wilson
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SSG (Join to see) - So, he's crazy or a "want-to-be". Leave him along. Do something constructive like study for promotion.
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SPC Edvard Svanoe
SPC Edvard Svanoe
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SSG (Join to see) - The problem with wanna-be's is that they make "ALL Soldiers" look like fools. Civilians tend to lump us all together... just like politicians... they're all "scum bags" is a feel good generalization but highly inaccurate, not even accurate for one party or the other. But THAT is why "Glory Hounds" that probably NEVER did anything "Glorious" or even Risky make ALL OF US look bad. Tell them how PHONY THEY LOOK, and that it's way past time they GREW UP, Then walk away. Real Hero's will understand they can leave a few ribbons off, hopefully the Glory Hound will take a hint...
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SSG Disabled Veteran
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If you limit it to actual combat many veterans organizations would empty out. Even actually in a combat zone would have a massive impact.
I was in Vietnam, returning to my Artillery Unit from a visit and o Long Binh Hospital when I realized the war was lost. Traffic between Ton Son Nhut and Phu Loi was bumper to bumper the entire distance in both directions. Highway 13 was on the river and the other side of river was Vietnam Cong. Nevertheless we sometimes sat in traffic for ten or fifteen minutes. Army Truck after Army Truck after Army Truck. It went on and on. I did see a quad fifty and a twin forty along the road but there was no need for the VC to attack, we weren’t going anywhere.

Second third and fourth echelon units, many of which serviced the support unit that cared for the generals pool. This was before TET but there were so many troops they were in each other’s way. That is just the ones in country, to say nothing of a Navy ship off the coast.
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Aaron Stoll
Aaron Stoll
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Good answer. Very, very good answer. Very impressed with this logic. There is far too much nonsense with people trying to make sensational videos to get likes and subscribers. This nonsense should not include real issues in the military, like stolen valor, because it creates a Salem Witch Trial effect where it is beneficial to the "gotcha" person with the camera to "catch someone misbehaving somehow". Our brave men and women in the armed forces do not need to deal with that nonsense any more than the police or scientists do. This "I caught you misbehaving and I am going to use it to get rich and famous" culture needs to die in all aspects. I believe this is exactly what is called cancel culture and should NEVER be used against someone that may be volunteering their time, life, and body to help protect freedom in America, even if someone suspects they are not being honest. To be sure, something has reached an incredibly toxic level if people are now trying to justify randomly targeting people that might really be military with a huge amount of negativity on the excuse that they *might* be faking something.

Thank you to all the service members here that responded with common sense and decorum about this. There is no reason at all to feed into toxic cancel culture.
Everyone that is active service or is a vet in here has my utmost respect, and I thank you on behalf of my family for your service. Thank you again for fighting against this toxic cancel culture and I hope you all have a brilliant day.
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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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Aaron Stoll
Aaron Stoll
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Good answer. Very good answer.
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SSG Deron Santiny
SSG Deron Santiny
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SGT Bobby Mitchum - Your assessment is wrong. By your description, you are saying that someone who has never deployed isn't eligible for their benefits like everyone else? I know people who spent 20+ years in the Military (AD and Reserve Component) who spent more time away from home than some people on AD. Becoming a Veteran doesn't entail serving overseas, if thats the case, do we take away the "Veteran Status" for all of the SM who served between the time of Vietnam and Desert Shield/Storm and the time between then and 9-11? As Combat Veterans we are fortunate to say we have seen the Spoils of War but just because someone hasn't, doesn't lessen their service any, everyone has a job whether it be in war or not. Just saying.
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SGT William Jackson
SGT William Jackson
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I agree SSG, I know in Nam it took 10 non combat vets to make sure us combat vets got what we needed, as long as one does their job they are as good a vet as a combat vet. But I do not like it when a non combat vet makes up stories about their service, I find I can usually tell almost from the start if it is not true, just be proud of your service and that you did your job, that makes you a vet.
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SSG Rick Miller
SSG Rick Miller
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SSG Tom Montgomery Good call, Tom.
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LTC Board Member
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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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LCpl Walter Larson
LCpl Walter Larson
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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
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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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SPC Michael Terrell
SPC Michael Terrell
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CPL (Join to see) - Oprah Gayle loves?
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1LT William Clardy
1LT William Clardy
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I'll have to defer to your greater experience, Sgt Georgia Smith, although I would question how certain you are that your experience demonstrates an actual average and isn't skewed by your own aura of, um... authority! Yeah, authority, that's what I was thinking...
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