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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/12/2001 9:29:38 AM EST
http://ocregister.com/nation_world/nyfakerscci3.shtml Orange County Register Hunt heats up for military impostors Incidents of bogus claims are rising as phonies seek respect or fringe benefits. August 12, 2001 By PAM BELLUCK The New York Times In April, in a dignified ceremony meant to honor a war hero, Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., pinned a Purple Heart on Timothy R. Webster, who stood humbly wearing a large eagle insignia, the kind worn only by members of the Navy's elite Sea-Air-Land units, the SEALs. Webster, 26, of Columbus, Neb., had told Nelson's office that he had been wounded in the Persian Gulf War, and had presented a letter on Navy stationery saying he had earned a Purple Heart. But Webster was not counting on the likes of Capt. Larry Bailey. Bailey, a former SEAL commander, got wind of Webster after his picture appeared in a Columbus newspaper. Bailey checked a database he maintains of members of the SEALs, found no Timothy Webster and alerted Nelson's office, which asked the Navy to investigate. Last week the Navy announced its verdict in a letter to the senator: "A thorough review of Mr. Webster's service record revealed that he did not receive SEAL training, he was not wounded in combat, and is not a recipient of the Purple Heart Medal." Webster, who apparently was a radio operator in the gulf war, would not comment on his military service until he received records he has requested from the Navy. Bailey, 62, of Mount Vernon, Va., is part of a widening network of people who have made it their business to sniff out those who lie about their military service. Their numbers have grown in response to what appears to be a surge of fabrication, especially involving the Vietnam War. The most recent notable example is Joseph J. Ellis, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, who said he had been a platoon leader with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, when he had actually spent the war teaching military history at West Point. But there have been hundreds of others. "We see it everywhere," said Tom Corey, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, who said the group discovered this year that several members had falsely claimed in the organization's membership directory that they had been prisoners of war. Most hunters of these phonies are veterans motivated by outrage. Operating mostly through Web sites and with their own money, they scrutinize claims in small-town newspaper articles and in membership rosters of veterans groups
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 9:30:34 AM EST
There's a very active 'hunt 'em down and hang 'em up' kind of thing," said B.G. Burkett, a Dallas stockbroker who helped catalyze the movement to unmask pretenders with his 1998 book, "Stolen Valor." The new crop of debunkers are partly the offspring of the Internet, which makes it easy to check claims against lists of Medal of Honor winners, prisoners of war and other elite veterans. But they are also responding to a growing eagerness of people to associate themselves with the Vietnam War, whether they were there or not. The war's image has undergone an overhaul as time has soothed society's bitterness, as movies and television have depicted Vietnam War veterans as sympathetic victims or admirable warriors, and as politicians and business leaders with solid Vietnam War records have become models of success and dignity. Burkett, who has an admittedly unremarkable Vietnam War record as an ordnance officer, said he had helped expose fictitious military stories of about 1,800 people, including Wes Cool ey, a former Republican congressman from Oregon, who was forced out of office after falsely claiming that he had served with Army Special Forces in Korea. Bailey, who commanded the SEAL training center, said counterfeit soldiers often have little trouble passing for the real thing. "Our society is so mobile and so reluctant to check out anybody's bona fides, that we just accept it," said Bailey, adding that more than 7,000 SEAL pretenders had been uncovered, with about 650 posted on a Wall of Shame at www.cyberseals .org. Embellishers have included Tim Johnson, the Toronto Blue Jays manager who was fired after his stories of search-and-destroy missions in Vietnam collided with the reality that he never saw combat. Darrow Tully, former publisher of The Arizona Republic and a friend of former prisoner of war Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., admitted that he had lied about flying jet fighters in Korea and Vietnam. Hunters of phonies get most incensed by people who publicize fictitious exploits in the media or use them to get elected, promoted or wangle undeserved veterans' benefits. Donald R. Nicholson, a retired police chief of Amelia, Ohio, said the prospect of additional benefits prompted him to falsely claim he had been a prisoner of war, even purchasing fake medals and military papers and persuading the Army to award him the Distinguished Service Cross. William T. Whitely, a University of Oklahoma professor who founded an organization to prepare students for Navy SEAL training, admitted in March that he had been lying for a decade by claiming he had been a SEAL member and the recipient of Silver and Bronze stars. Whitely, caught after a real SEAL veteran reported him, said he had told himself his fictional story was inspiring to students. "I guess you could say I was painted into a corner," Whitely said when he acknowledged his lie. "I never claimed being a SEAL in the beginning. It just kind of happened." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Copyright 2001 The Orange County Register ocregister@link.freedom.com
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 1:27:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2001 1:25:40 PM EST by CPL_Punishment]
These idiots are worse than traitors. One notorious faker is an actor in the movie "Flight of the Intruder" and "Clear and Present Danger." He is listed with other well known imposters at Suasponte.com [url]http://www.suasponte.com/wannabe.html[/url] and a Marine sniper's site at [url]http://www.geocities.com/stamarine/[/url]
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 1:33:07 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 1:37:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/12/2001 1:36:35 PM EST by CPL_Punishment]
here is another site exposing phony veterans (especially fake ones weeping at the Vietnam Memorial): [url]http://www.phonyveterans.com/[/url] it's funny how some of these characters are supposedly "respectable" people of society being professors and such.
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 1:39:11 PM EST
from suasponte.com: "Jared Chandler is not, nor has he ever been in any RECONDO school/training, nor is he in any "special recon element." He lives in California. His military resume is mostly fabrication. Jared Chandler makes his living as a military technical advisor in the movie industry in Los Angeles by misrepresenting himself as a qualified special operations soldier." Is it any suprise that these worthless pieces of shit would find a home in Hollywood?
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 3:05:15 PM EST
Personally, I bet when BHD hits the theaters, we'll all be seeing a new trend in phonies... the "Delta operators". I can't wait. -SARguy
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 6:18:46 PM EST
Be careful with the knee-jerk reactions. Make sure you're correct, and think of the consequences if you're wrong. You might be saying something untrue of someone who has put their life on the line for this country. Yes these frauds should be tarred and feathered, but mistakenly calling a survivor of Korea or Vietnam a fraud would be unconscionable. A life-long friend of mine was in the UDT in Korea. When he ran for Sheriff here in the early 90's, his wife mentioned to a reporter that he was a SEAL. The reporter asked a local veterans group about this guy, and they said he wasn't a SEAL. As I understand it, the name SEAL was retroactively applied to all of the former UDT members. These old timers didn't take the time to explain this detail to the reporter. The front page of the paper mentioned that he had been "uncovered" as a fraud. My poor friend sounded like a typical politician when he tried to explain the technicality. It sounded like he was trying to come-up with a lame excuse for what his wife said. I'll never forgive that reporter. My friend is now so disabled by Parkinson's (another reason we've remained friends) that he has to have someone stay with him 24/7 to make sure that he does drown on his own saliva because he can no longer swallow. What happened to him in Korea must have been terrible, because in the past 50 years, other than vague details, he hasn't said a word to me or his wife about it. It was sad to have seen his service to our country and 35(?) years in state law enforcement end like that.
Link Posted: 8/12/2001 9:00:11 PM EST
Originally Posted By geek4guns: from suasponte.com: "Jared Chandler is not, nor has he ever been in any RECONDO school/training, nor is he in any "special recon element." He lives in California. His military resume is mostly fabrication. Jared Chandler makes his living as a military technical advisor in the movie industry in Los Angeles by misrepresenting himself as a qualified special operations soldier." Is it any suprise that these worthless pieces of shit would find a home in Hollywood?
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Fwiw, I can vouch for his ROTC service, LOL. [heavy]
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