The story is too interesting to research

| June 30, 2010

The folks at POW Net sent us this heartbreaking (not!) story of a poor GI who gave his all in Somalia then rejoined the Army to beat on Saddam’s Army for a while. His name is Earl Coffey and he’s been drummed out of the service for stealing a half-million bucks worth of Saddam’s hidden treasure. The Army Times tells his story like this;

He joined the active Army, then completed sniper, airborne assault and Army ranger training at Fort Benning, Ga.

He served as a Ranger sniper in Somalia in 1993, engaging in several fierce firefights and was shot in the leg during a battle that was later depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down.”

“It’s like what General Westmorland once said, that combat is a delightful thought to a young man who has never seen it,” he said.

Nevertheless, after a short time away from being a full-time soldier, Coffey rejoined active duty after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, determined to serve his country. It didn’t take long before he found himself right back in combat, this time in the Middle East.

Yeah, all of that “Ranger, sniper, airborne stuff – you can see it right here on his DD214, right?

Coffey DD214

What? You don’t see it? It’s right there next to his highest award – an Army Achievement Medal. Oh, wait…maybe not. And then there was the well-worn trail of tears in Iraq;

“We were destroying everything, everything we came in contact with, whether it was a building, a bunker, a trench, a human being, it didn’t matter,” he said during a 2004 military court hearing. “At times it was terrifying, and at times you just felt completely emotionless.”

Once, with Coffey’s unit taking sniper fire, he fired two rounds at a figure on a rooftop, only to discover he had shot an unarmed boy.

Another time, at a roadblock, Coffey watched as fellow soldiers — jittery about suicide attacks — fired warning shots to stop an approaching Nissan pickup. When it kept coming they fired a larger round, the resulting explosion lifting the truck in the air.

Inside, two children and a man died, and Coffey saw the surviving woman watch her family consumed by flames.

They left out the part about how the whole US Army in Iraq was playing soccer with a baby’s head. What? Didn’t everybody?

Since the Army Times did such a bang-up job of verifying his service in Somalia, I’m sure they got his storytelling in Iraq right. Right?

So here’s the picture The Army Times runs of Coffey – do you see all of that Ranger and Airborne training on the uniform?

You don’t? Well apparently the Army Times did.

The article continues with the blubbering about going to prison for stealing Saddam’s loot, but at this point I wonder if anything about Coffey is true. The Army Times picked up the story from the Kentucky Courier-Journal, but you’d think they’d do a bit of fact-checking before they put on their own pages.

Category: Media, Phony soldiers

Comments (28)

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  1. OldTrooper says:

    At least he’s not dumb enough to wear the badges he didn’t earn on his uniform. Other than that, I have nothing more to say about this guy.

  2. Adirondack Patriot says:

    I think the tattoo on his right arm says “Sniper,” which cinches it. If your tattoo says you’re a sniper, you’re a sniper. Or a SEAL or Spartan Warrior or an Imperial Stormtrooper.

    Case closed.

  3. Casey J Porter says:

    He’d be right at home at IVAW.

  4. NHSparky says:

    Jebus…Rambo ain’t got nothin on this guy. AND going AWOL at least four times? I’m surprised this guy was allowed to clean shitters on active duty, let alone supposedly lead a fire team.

    But to all those who would defend him and the lies he told, hey, it’s free speech, right? Nobody would ever take what he said about his fellow servicemen’s alleged conduct at face value, now would they?

  5. Scott says:

    Strange, his uniform seems to be sporting the KLM(Saudi) ribbon, but there is no mention of his service in Desert Storm, when he would have been no older than 17 at the time, and barely 17 at that. Looks like he’s got the KLM(Kuwait) on there too, but I can’t be sure.

    Nice libo stack, Coffey. Nice fact-checking KC-J and Army Times. No wonder journalism is a dying industry. Idiot reporters believing every bullshit story that is spoonfed to them.

    And is that a “sniper” tattoo on his arm?

  6. Scott says:

    “Another time, at a roadblock, Coffey watched as fellow soldiers — jittery about suicide attacks — fired warning shots to stop an approaching Nissan pickup.”

    I’d like to stick that reporter in an OP in Anbar circa 2005 and see how “jittery” he gets when someone drives a vehicle straight through the barrier plan without regard for signs, flares, obstacles, etc in an area known for suicide VBIEDS. How dare these soldiers follow the ROEs?! I’d also like to know why Coffey was “watching” as this legitimate threat materialized.

  7. Scott says:

    “Casey J Porter Says:
    June 30th, 2010 at 11:46 am
    He’d be right at home at IVAW.”

    I dunno, Casey. I mean, he’s actually been to Iraq, so he’d probably be outnumbered.

  8. TSO says:

    This reminds me of the story that Claymore was telling me about the time when he was on the run with this big cube called the “All Spark.” But, I should let him tell it…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t you be studying?

  10. BooRadley says:

    The Army Times posted it today and the Courier Journal website has valor comments on it from 6/28. That in and of itself should have given the AT pause. That’s ridiculous!
    Jeez. He’s white (and from the hills) or we’d be hearing about how his poor URBAN upbringing forced him to be unable to resist the temptation.
    I expect individuals to eff up. we’re fallen, and I respect Jonn for exposing them. But the fact that AT ran this story with NO factchecking is far more troubling to me.

  11. BooRadley says:

    sorry- I somehow edited out the word “stolen” from the first sentence. “stolen valor comments”

  12. And these phony soldiers are so often “RANGERS”……. Wouldn’t it be fair to escort them down here to the Florida Panhandle, to Camp Rudder, and into the Gator Lounge so that they can tell the RI’s why they should be able to claim RANGER status? I mean, all in the name of entertainment for the troops. Just outside the Gator Lounge is a sandbox about 50 ft X 50 ft. that would be a good place to show him and his some RANGER exercises. Of course all this would be done after the Officers have gone home for the night and the OD is taking his nap.

  13. Claymore says:

    We’re not supposed to discuss the All Spark, dude…Megatron is monitoring all electronic coms and most of the reruns on Nick At Night…besides, I told you that Megan Fox doesn’t want to talk to you again. BTW, she said that you can keep the ones you took out of her locker at the gym, the elastic was worn out anyway.

  14. Susan says:

    TSO – I am with Anon up there – how is the bar prep going? The offer to coach still stands. I have a great page and half that I found yesterday on all you need to know about commercial paper if you are interested. You know where to find me.

  15. SSG Medzyk says:

    You guys…he threw the uniform with all his awards and tabs into the Gulf! This uniform is all the stuff he won at Basic….BEFORE he became a 60 pilot and crashed in Mog with Shughart in the left seat and Gordon on the 105mm on the tailgate before the big shootout with Qaddafis female warrior tribe outside the Pretoria embassy.

    Why can’t you guys just believe him?

  16. Scott says:

    POW Network links to the FLA DOC with his mugshot and info. Birthdate of 1/8/74, making him a whopping 17 years and 7 weeks old at the conclusion of Desert Storm. Fucking poser. See, how hard would that have been, reporters? Pathetic.

  17. Anonymous says:

    PX Ranger, patch on my shoulder,
    Get ’em subdued for $4.95, not on your life would I even try!

    (Sing it, baby!)

  18. TSO says:

    Susan- Listening to the Commercial Paper part now. Did Agency and Partnerships this morning and found both rather easy. The lecturer on CP is as exciting as watching droll dribble down my cheek (which it is currently doing.)

    Good lord is it boring. Guy says it is only on 1 in 4 bar exams.

    Dear lord, let me partake of the 75%.

  19. TSO says:

    *drool, not droll.

  20. Scott says:

    It’s a slow day at work, so I’m digging deep into the search results for more info on this shitbag.

    The Herald-Tribune published a similar sob story two years ago. Of course, despite acknowledging his criminal history, pattern of drug abuse, and general irresponsibility, they never thought twice about publishing quotes like this:

    “He says he once had a contact with Blackwater Worldwide who could get him back into Iraq. And Coffey could finally get rich doing what he had trained his whole life to do.

    “They weren’t talking about security; they were talking about missions,” Coffey says. “A $650,000 contract for two years.

    “But I don’t want to pull a trigger with a man in my sights. I can’t do that anymore. I’m done.”

    Right. Blackwater was heavily recruiting among the “kicked out of the Army for stealing” demographic.

  21. NHSparky says:

    And never got above SP4? Tells me a lot right there. At least that’s what his uniform shows, if in fact that’s his, or the one he threw into the Gulf, which are probably sitting near Kerry’s medals that he threw over the White House fence, or didn’t.

    Jesus, I’m all confused now. Can the fact I made it to a higher rank than him mean I can go to Blackwater/Xe and get paid $650K for two years work?

  22. UnicornDick says:

    Just to add to some of the comments on his Desert Storm service – the Saudi version of the Lib of Kuwait Medal was only awarded for a short period that ended in 28 Feb 91… so he would have been 17 years and 1 month at his oldest when he could have been eligible. So I guess he just went straight from the recruiter to the Gulf… it could happen right?

  23. Thomas B. says:

    All reporters are stupid. It’s doesn’t matter where they got their degree.

  24. YatYas says:

    Damn, is everyone that served in the Army a Ranger or Special Forces or just the phonies? SSG Medzyk and NHSparky, maybe he was just showing the reporter that he had a uniform coat like the one he is holding until he tossed it. What a POS.

  25. YatYas says:

    Thomas B: That would also go for many of the reporters with Military Times and Stars & Stripes for awhile now. Both are best used in the porta-shitter when out of TP.

  26. Claymore says:

    I remember it like it was yesterday, man. Our unit had run completely out of baby heads (aka soccer balls), so we rolled out in our Bradley tank, which is a tank by the way, and drove down to the Walmart and staked out a position adjacent to the Barbie aisle where there was a sale on accessories and Ken dolls. We had donned our ghillie suits, which are what elite snipers use, and set up the Barrett on top of the camo Coleman coolers in sporting goods, hoping for some good hunting. It turned my stomach doing this, but that’s what the Army had trained us for; millions of dollars in equipment, drills, classes, hookers, Nyquil, Nazi tattoos and Confederate flags so we could collect heads of brown people to kick around in our spare time. It wasn’t like this when Clinton was in charge. This was all Karl Rove’s fault. End DADT. Fight the power.

    SSG Jessie “Coffee Man” McEarl
    31st Head Collection Infantry Division (mech)
    Fooled’jah, Iraq

  27. Scott says:

    Coffey got nailed, and the Courier got an earful from real Rangers. Fortunately they had the good sense to author a follow-up exposing him for the piece of shit he demonstrated he was in the Army, but the mea culpas were not forthcoming. I sent the reporter a nice email to remind him that if he attended J-school as I once did, he probably learned and should abide by that old journalistic adage about fact-checking: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

    Anyhow, enjoy. Corrections of this length are all too rare.

  28. Smitty says:

    is it revive long dead threads with a bot day?