Local VFW commander caught at Stolen Valor scam

| February 28, 2011

Robert L. Deppe, the local commander of the Lakeport, CA VFW resigned earlier this month because he couldn’t prove any of his claims about his military service;

Robert L. Deppe, 57, also was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of stealing money from a family member and replacing the $100 bills he took with phony money, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Deppe resigned this month two days after the VFW post asked him to authorize it to request his military records, said Kirk Macdonald, adjutant of VFW Post 2015. He’d been the commander three years.

Yeah, well, it looks like he doesn’t have ANY military service according to our friends at POW Network. But the best part of the story is this part;

Deppe is not on the roster for the U.S. Army, Company H, 75th Infantry, for 1971, as he claims, said William Page, who fought in Vietnam during the time Deppe claims to have been there and who occasionally works with the POW Network. Nor did the National Personnel Records Center have record of his service, said Page, who obtained the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

“We cannot find any record of him being in the military,” said Page, who was an infantryman during the war and now lives in Louisiana.

Page said he began looking into Deppe’s background in 2005 after he recognized his own story in Deppe’s autobiographical account of his year in Vietnam and how he earned his medals.

“I saw this story and I said, dang, this guy is talking just like me,” said Page, who has a combat infantryman’s badge and a Bronze Star, among other “little doodads.”

Page also found excerpts from the story of a man who saved his life in Vietnam and that of a man from his platoon who died.

The William Page in the article is a frequent commenter here at TAH, I won’t out his screen name, just take my word for it. In fact he linked me up with POW Network years ago. You know you’re a studly man when phonies start stealing your exploits, though.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (121)

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  1. AW1 Tim says:

    I would have thought that, by now, nothing of this sort would surprise me anymore. I’d be wrong, I guess.

  2. Scott says:

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Also, of douchebaggery.

  3. How long was he a post member, and how come he wasn’t checked out? What a douCHE! Stealing money, stealing stories, stealing valor,,,,, now someone will come forward and claim all the good he has done…….

  4. DaveO says:

    But was he wearing a 1st Cav patch?

  5. PintoNag says:

    You know, they say Stolen Valor isn’t a crime. But we know for a fact that Stolen Identity is. I wonder if, in a case like this one, Stolen Valor could be prosecuted under the Stolen Identity laws, particularly if some unlawful gain came from it?

  6. DaveO says:

    #5 PN: unless the guy used the other man’s SSN, or other unique identifier for personal gain, the prosecution is likely to be a no-go. Using another man’s story isn’t a crime, or most stand-up comics would be doing hard time in jail.

  7. Wow, he actually was the VFW Post commander? Amazing…When I was asked to join the VFW to start a JR Rifle team, they had to see my DD214 first. Now I have 3 DD214’s.

  8. Old Trooper says:

    When I became Commander of my Legion Post, they asked for a copy of my DD214, before I could accept the position.

  9. DaveO says:

    Why would anyone want to be a post commander these days?

  10. Doug Sterner says:

    I ran into Deppe back in 2005 and this one is PERSONAL. The Silver Star citation he had posted was almost word-for-word the citation for the SS POSTHUMOUSLY presented to my closes friend SP4 Jaime Pacheco. (THose who like HomeOfHeroes.com or appreciate the work my wife and I have done should thank Jaime’s memory…it is what motivates us.) In a narrative story he even had the gall to use Jaime’s name and say he carried the body out. This guy needs to go down in a VERY BIG WAY.

  11. Old Trooper says:

    Well, DaveO, I was a district Vice Commander for a few years and I got tired of being gone at this or that function every weekend, so I decided to concentrate on local stuff.

  12. streetsweeper says:

    I wonder if the man had any idea exactly who was on his tail, LOL! Well Done!

  13. Thor says:

    It’s a requirement that ALL officers in the VFW have a DD214 on file showing they’re qualified to be in the VFW. With this in mind, did he forge or otherwise alter a DD214??

  14. streetsweeper says:

    They obviously didn’t feel the need to check his service record and DD-214 until a month ago? Unfrigging believable.

  15. Chuck Z says:

    What? They can’t find his records? They must’ve been destroyed in that one fire in St. Louis…

  16. 1AirCav69 says:

    Dave O….well you must be psychic….Hotel Company was the 1st Cav Ranger Company. Another 1st Cav Wannabee…..well what did someone say about immitation and flattery…I am no longer flattered by these douches.

    Honor and Courage

  17. Sig says:

    I’ve had people steal my photos, but never any of my stories. Probably because most of them end with things like, “And then we hung back and took pictures while the F-18s, A-10s, and SF blew the shit out of what was left of the village. Then we went back to the base and had Thanksgiving dinner.”

  18. Ray Strischek says:

    Hi, my name is Ray Strischek, a Vietnam Veteran in Athens Ohio. This is a story about one Kevin Martin, an Era Veteran Post Commander of VFW 8804, New Marshfield Ohio.

    If you want supporting documents of everything I am about to tell you, send me and email with and address to mail it to.

    Kevin Martin makes his money in part through a carry/conceal instruction business. He was conducting these classes at an open to the public shooting range at Dow Lake State Park, just east of Athens. But, the state closed the shooting range down for reasons that are unclear. Kevin blames rich OU Students who were shooting at propane tanks as the cause thus ruining it all for locals who would never do such a thing.

    Therefore, Kevin had no shooting range for his business.

    Out of nowhere, Kevin suddenly and mysteriously becomes Commander of VFW Post 8804 which supposedly had been holding its meetings in an abandoned gas station in New Marshfield Ohio.

    VFW Post 8804 had at one time in the post WWII past given some property to the HILL TOP GUN CLUB (owned by one or more members of that VFW Post way back then. The HILL TOP GUN CLUB has been defunct for many years and owes about $2500 in back taxes. It is overgrown with weeds and the building on that site is weather worn with a bad roof.

    Then, an article appeared in the local news paper,
    The Messenger, stating that “VFW Commander” Kevin Martin and volunteers were cleaning up the building at the old HILL TOP GUN CLUB site for the future home of VFW 8804. Over the years, houses had been built up around the old gun club site and immediately after the above article appeared in the Messenger, the paper received numerous phone calls from neighbors who were fearful that Kevin was going to re-open the shooting range in their back yards.

    Shortly thereafter, the building burnt down, ruled an arson. Kevin stated in the Arson Fire article that ran in the Messenger that he believed the arson was the work of neighbors who are anti veteran and promised to put together a citizens committee of concerned citizens to hunt down the guilty parties. In this article Kevin also claimed to have a lease for the gun club property. In that article Kevin also claimed he had no intention of re-opening the shooting range. But: take a look at his HILL TOP GUN CLUB web site:

    http://www.hilltopgunclub.com/ Classes scheduled for 2012.

    In some of the text on that web site you will note how he complains of the Dow Lake shooting range being closed down but that he will soon have another range set up.

    Some of those neighbors who were worried about Kevin opening a shooting range in their back yard were also his relatives, some of whom were members of the VFW POST 8804 Women’s Auxiliary.

    The Women’s Auxiliary questioned Kevin Martins eligibility to be a VFW member. A series of letters then were written.

    One from Kevin to the Women’s Aux ordered them to cease questioning his “combat status and honors in both North Vietnam and South Vietnam, threatened them by name with legal action for their “conspiring”, and told them they were not allowed to participate at the Women’s Aux representatives in any up coming Veterans Memorial services, and that he would hold a disciplinary meeting against them.

    One letter from from VFW Judge Advocate Jeffries to the Women’s Aux stating Kevin’s DD0214 discharge paper showed no VFW eligibility because it had no Vietnam Service or Campaign Medals listed. To be eligible without the service or campaign medals, Kevin would have to provide the VFW with his service record or pay record to show combat assignments or receipt of hazardous duty or combat pay. Kevin has failed to do this even though he has been asked to provide it by the VFW.

    I have seen Kevin’s DD-214, it says honorable discharge but also has an RE-4 code which means “unsuitable for reenlistment” and a BUPERSMAN code 3420180.2c -265- which my search through the internet seems to indicate a pre-existing condition of character disorder.

    I have copies of other letters, from the VFW to Kevin telling him he does not have the authority to tell the Women’s Aux what they can or can not do and can not hold any disciplinary meeting against them, another from the VFW telling the Women’s Aux that they can not file a complaint questioning Kevin’s Eligibility. Such complaints questioning Kevin’s eligibility must come from a member of the post.

    And here is the rub: VFW Post was as nearly defunct as the old HILL TOP GUN CLUB. Exactly how Kevin became the Post Commander is a real mystery. The post has members but they are members in name only, not active members. Any meetings the post have are apparently sparsely attended basically by Kevin and his Vice Commander, a Mr. Brown. In some other letters back and forth between Kevin, the VFW State, and the Womens Aux, it appears Kevin thought he had the authority to hold a meeting and try to remove the current leadership of the Women’s Aux and insert Vice Commander Brown’s wife in their place. It did not fly. However, the VFW State knows the situation but so far have done nothing to clean their own house. The State VFW wants the post membership to take care of the problem. I don’t see on paper only members coming forth to do what has to be done.

    So, the only other alternative is to raise a public stink about Kevin Martin and his stolen valor. He is an ERA Vet, not a Nam Vet.

    It seems pretty obvious to me that Kevin, having lost his shooting range when the state closed down the Dow Lake site, decided to use the VFW angle to do a squat on the old Hill Top Gun club. Though he told the reporter in the Arson Fire that he has no intention of reopening the shooting range at the Hill Top Gun Club site, he then tells the Women’s Aux in one of his letters that the Post gave him 100 percent support in reopening the the hill top gun club shooting range. I think in the same letter he also told the women that the VFW Judge Advocate had attended the same meeting, viewed his DD-214, and declared him eligible to be a VFW member.

    I have an email from the VFW Judge Advocate who denies ever having been at any such meeting.

    Backing up a little. In the Arson Fire story, Kevin claimed he has a lease for the gun club site. The neighbors want an injunction against Kevin re-opening the shooting range. Apparently a deposition meeting was called by Kevin’s lawyer. The neighbors attended. One of them demanded to see the deed (lease). Kevin’s lawyer allegedly said, “Kevin, produce the deed”. Kevin took the lawyer outside into the hall way. The lawyer walked back into the room and immediately adjourned the deposition meeting.

    There is no lease on file with the County Recorder.

    The only “claim” Kevin has on the gun club site property is that he paid $50 down on the past unpaid property taxes and had the mailing contact for tax purposes changed to his name, his girl friend’s address, and VFW Post 8804.
    See N010010008200 at:

    That’s about as short and sweet as I can make it. This is about stolen valor, an Era Vet claiming to be a Nam Vet, and using a VFW to get a shooting range for his for profit carry/conceal business.

    Ray Strischek
    Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 100

  19. Dave Jenkinson says:

    So, the only other alternative is to raise a public stink about Kevin Martin and his stolen valor. He is an ERA Vet, not a Nam Vet.

    Greetings: I agree. Dave

  20. Kevin Martin says:

    Ray Strischek is a dumbass. He cant get a story straight nor can he write a straight story. I am the infamous Kevin Martin and I am setting the correct story straight.
    1. Ray Strischek will be sued once all this shit comes out in the wash. He has publically embaressed me and for that he will pay either the piper or me. The piper wont hurt as much.

    Now to the truth for those of you who “gives a rats ass.”
    1. I am not a Vietnam Era veteran. I am a Vietnam veteran who served aboard the U.S.S. Butte AE-27 in hostile waters both in South and North Vietnam. For sure I did or the Veterans Administration would not be giving me a compensation payment for PTSD. Unless the VA is so friggin stupid they cant even do a proper investigation.

    2. I happen to have two leases on two pieces property to conduct my firearm training businesses. Matter of fact one of Rays former best friend who he ran out on is a current student of mine and he has trained at one of those ranges. So the issue of me taking over a piece of land to set up a gun range is totally wrong and off the wall. I do not need another gun range trust me.
    3. I did not suddendly become a Commander of a VFW post. I was asked by my uncle Laird Llewellyn to come rejoin the post and help it before it went out of business. I told him I would think about it. He came again. I answered the same. 3 days later he was dead. I joined the VFW the next day. I trained under Past Commander Dana Hunter for 3 years before taking over the post in 2008. SO shove that lie up your ass Mr. Stretch-It. I was voted in by 6 members. 5 of those members are still alive and still part of the post.
    4. I have supplied all of my U.S Navy military records. Matter of fact I have supplied 49 pages of my military records to Gilham-Frank VFW Post 8804 and to both Commanders of District 12 and Ohio Department VFW. I was indeed “vetted” by the post members with a District officer in attendence. The post deamed me a worthy and true Combat Veteran having served in hostile waters against the United States of America. Nuff said.
    5. Mr. Brown is not a Vice Commander, he is the post; quarter master. Mr. Ray Stretch-It you are a God Damn liar and cant even get the true story straight.
    6. Mr. Brown never once wanted his wife to be the Ladies Aux. president. It was the former quarter masters wife Mrs. Barron. Gawd damn the way the ongoing lie continues. And no I did not want or attempt to get her elected. Our post has no say so what happens at the ladies auxillary.
    7. Both the District 12 and State Department VFW have spoken to me personally and I agreed again to submit request to National Personal Records Center for the 4th time since 2007 for another DD214 or DD215. Same ole broken record. Same old military record. The District or State VFW commanders are not “covering their or my ass” nor are they hiding anything.
    8.There has never been any neighbors at the Hilltop Gun Club site ever talk to me or Mike Brown about an injunction to stop a gun range. There is no such thing. There never has been an injuction filed or applied by any judge in Athens County Ohio against Kevin Martin or the Hilltop Gun Club.
    9. Kevin Martin and family has owned the name HillTop Gun Club since 1986 and has operated a business of the same name in a full time status since 1996.
    10. Again another reply to another lie by Mr. Stretch-it. I have never met with any lawyer concerning an injunction or deposition in my entire life ever. I will sware to it on a bible and in court. There has never been a meeting with a lawyer requesting me to “submit a deed” to any person ever. Ray Stretch-It is a God Damn liar. He is spreading shit into a community that at one time will turn against him. Then he will have to face me one day in public. I call Ray Stretch-It a coward.
    11. I have never lied about my military service, I have never worn any medals that were not mine. I have never worn a purple heart as I dont deserve one. I do however own a Vietnam Campaign Ribbon and medal that the Navy gave me in 1975 after I came home from the service.
    12. I do have a discharge that says I cannot re enlist into the military. Who gives a damn> Do you? Would you want to re-enlist after months on steady terror and stress from being in a war zone? I asked to be released from the Navy and signed myself out. So who gives a fuck? I mean what are they the good people in the world going to do? Send me back to Vietnam?
    13. David Jenkinson is a moron, a liar, a mental health patient and a total liar. Ray Stretch-It is a liar. I one day will come upon them both. At that time I will bring to bear the courage of a warrior who does not hide behind an opaque shield as both of these cowards and pansies do. You both will recieve the wrath of Kevin one day.
    Kevin Martin
    Gilham-Frank Post 8804 New Marshfield Ohio 45766

  21. Hondo says:

    Kevin Martin:

    I won’t comment on either your or Ray Strischek’s accounts above, as I have no personal knowledge of the matter. But I will observe that trotting out the old “the VA pays me compensation, so I must be telling the truth” story isn’t exactly a convincing argument.

    The VA is indeed stupid enough to pay literally hundreds (if not thousands or tens of thousands) of false claims, and often does a piss-poor job of investigating frauds. Read B. G. Burkett’s book “Stolen Valor” for some examples. Or read the articles on the “Chippendale SEAL” on this site.

    Of course, there’s an easy way you can prove your claims regarding your service while also proving Ray Strischek wrong. Just post your full name and former Navy Service/Serial number here (it’s not protected by the Privacy Act and is releasable as part of a FOIA request). I’m certain someone here will almost certainly do a FOIA request concerning you with the NPRC. And I’m reasonably certain they’ll also post the results here.

  22. Kevin Martin says:

    Kevin replies to Hondo.

    You have a good point. Although you state the VA has FUBURED up hundreds possibly thousands of claims I can assure you as of March 5 2012 I asked for a complete review of my miliary records at the Chilicothe Ohio VA Medical Center. The result? Same as I have been saying since 1973. I served in naval combat in both South and North Vietnam, that the VA has done a complete review and the finding is correct.
    Im not about to publish my Navy service number onto a website that I know nothing about. I have 3 NPRC replies as of 2007 and have asked for another within the last 3 weeks.
    You will all have the chance to call both David Jenkinson and Ray Stretches-it a liar very soon.

  23. Hondo says:

    Kevin Martin: I’m pretty sure that, unlike your SSN and other PII, your old service number is NOT exempt from release under a FOIA request. I’ve seen it on too many FOIA requests concerning Vietnam-era Veterans. I don’t recall seeing one where it had been redacted.

    In any case, it’s not essential for a FOIA request. It just makes the job of the folks at NPRC easier by helping them find your file more quickly.

    In any case, suit yourself on the service number. How would you feel about posting your dates of service and the name you used in the Navy (First/Middle/Last) here instead of your former Navy service number?

  24. Kevin Martin says:

    I do not believe my service number was included with my recent request to the NPRC. Thats an interesting tip you have made. Although the request was sent 24 days ago I do not belive it would be approprate at this time to attempt to contact NPRC and submit the Service Number.
    I served with the U.S.S. Butte AE-27 while it was attached to the 7th Fleet during the early months of 1973. The Butte was in operations with TASK FORCE 77 while we are in North Vietnam.
    We deployed into Haiphong Harbor North Vietnam twice from March 27th to around the 25th or so of April 1973 in direct support of Operation Duck Hook and END SWEEP UNIT. That was when President Nixon decided to bomb North Vietnam back to the negioating table and close off their most important deep water sea port. Our division (E) Enginemen (as I was) operated the small Whale (boats) and Officer gigs while UDT and or SEAL Teams set water mines out and then retrieved them. I was a primary engineman on multiple trips out in Haipong Harbor while a detached SEAL and or UDT pulled the Mark Type underwater mines up from below the surface of the sea. That trip was a stressor for sure.
    My full name is Kevin Edward Martin and that is the only name I have ever used for anything in my entire life.
    If you are knowledable about the United States Navy then you will know that the Navy must doesnt just carry around cases of medals to hand out while in an operational war zone. My discharge says I didnt recieve my Vietnam Service Medal while onboard. I recieved my medals in 1975 after I came home.
    This entire bag of shit that David Jenkinson and Ray Stretch-it threw into the fan blades is all about a very short line on my DD-214 that simply says Medal Not Issued.
    So I say fuck em and the horse they rode in on.

  25. Anonymous says:

    That’s interesting, Kevin Martin. Because my research indicates that the USS Butte didn’t participate in either Operation Duck Hook or Operation End Sweep. And we weren’t bombing North Vietnam in March or April of 1973, either.

    Operation Duck Hook was never executed. It was a proposed intensive bombing campaign against North Vietnam studied by DoD in 1969 at the request of the Nixon Administration, and purportedly included use of tactical nuclear weapons on targets in the Hanoi/Haiphong area. Duck Hook was the White House code name for the operation; Pruning Knife was the DoD title. Nixon decided against executing this operation on or about 6 October 1969. It was never executed.


    Operation End Sweep was indeed executed during the time frame you indicated (the operation was conducted between 6 February 1973 and 5 July 1973), but the USS Butte did not participate. Operation End Sweep was a US mine-sweeping operation to remove US-laid mines in various North Vietnamese harbors, including Haiphong. It was conducted by Task Force 78 – not Task Force 77. Ships participating in Operation End Sweep included 10 ocean minesweepers, 9 amphibious ships, 6 fleet tugs, 3 salvage ships, and 19 destroyer-type vessels operated in Task Force 78. However, the USS Butte was a Kilauea-class ammunition ship. No ammunition ship is listed among the ships that participated in Operation End Sweep. And the USS Butte is also not listed by-name as having participated in Operation End Sweep.


    The bombing campaign you reference here would seem to be either Operation Linebacker (9 May – 23 October 1972) or Operation Linebacker II (11-29 December 1972). Both included both USAF and USN participation, so you may be referring to either. However, both ended during 1972; neither extended into March/April 1973. Further, the US suspended all hostile actions against North Vietnam on 15 January 1973. Finally, US POWs were returned in multiple releases between 12 February 1973 and 1 April 1973. We’d hardly have been bombing North Vietnam while they were in the process of releasing our POWs.

    In short, your comment above is simply not accurate. Per the US Navy, the USS Butte did make make one cruise to the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam War, presumably in support of Task Force 77. However, based on the gross inaccuracies in your last comment above I’m now wondering if you were actually on that ship at the time – or at all.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Addendum to comment 25: Although official Navy summaries don’t show the USS Butte supporting Operation End Sweep, one unofficial source I’ve found says that the USS Butte did make two trips into Haiphong harbor in March and April 1973 to support that effort – the first, for a total of 5 days (30 Mar thru 3 Apr) and the second for a single day (12 Apr). Some others also indicate the Butte went to Haiphong, but don’t completely specify the dates. So it’s possible Kevin Martin’s comment 25 is partially accurate. None of the sources I’ve found that indicate the USS Butte actually entered Haiphong harbor are Navy sources, though.

    Unofficial sources, so I regard them as suspect. But it does mean that part of the story in comment 24 above might – and I stress, might – be accurate. The USS Butte might have spent as much time in Haiphong harbor after the end of hostilities in Vietnam as Mathis Chiroux spent in Afghanistan – 6 days.

  27. Kevin Martin says:

    Kevin Martin writes.

    Ok I might have made an error on exactly when Nixon bombed North Vietnam. All I know for sure is that the Butte sure did unload a massive amount of ordinance to air craft carriers and destroyers in and around and during the March to April time periods.
    Also I have numerous ship mates that I stay in contact with that were on the Butte at the same time I was. We all with a lot of other sailors were on the Butte in the waters in and around Haipong. We never actually went into Haipong and I never implied that. However we were close enough to shore to take photographs. The Butte was involved with two operations neither which was long in time.
    The Butte also entered the Haiphong area during the cease fire in support of operations of the de-mining of some parts of the harbor area. Unless I was tripping along with the Beatles when they played Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and thought I was eating LSD I can prove and attest I served on the Butte AE-27 while in hostile waters of an enemy of the United States.
    According to the Butte Ship Log we were indeed in Vietnam and we did have UDT or SEAL team (teams)on board and those men did enter waters to locate and bring Mark type water mines to the surface. As said before I was 1 of 3 of the operations enlisted engineman on the Butte’s whale boat and officers gig. The gig was used to help ferry men out into the waters. The boat was used to manuaver the UDT team around in the waters and to help hold the surfaced mines with hooked poles while the swimmers worked on same. We were inspected each time we went over board onto the waiting gigs and boats to make sure we had no metal on us or with us at any time as that could attract the Mark Mines. Matter of fact I had a wood tool box with all brass tools. I have never forgot that as I am still to this day a professionial mechanic.
    I do however appericate all of your comments regardless if they are pro or con. This internet discussion can be of help to the anti Kevin’s and as equally for the Pro Kevin’s.
    What will happen sometime before I retire is the National Records Personal Center will respond with a new DD-215 which will officially say I am a Navy Combat Veteran, that I have the right to wear the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon which qualifies me to be a member of a VFW. Then hopefully all the anti Kevin’s will shut the hell up and leave me at peace. Ive battled 4 rounds of cancer, Ive had attacks of the heart, I have the onset of demintia, I have a sever case of PTSD and Ive have lived a life of pure hell attempting to make the ghosts of those times spent in Vietnam go away. I dont care what the anti’s think or say about me as I know where I was and what I did in Vietnam.
    Kevin Martin

  28. charlie six says:

    The USS Butte did receive campaign credit for the Vietnam Ceasefire Campaign:

    6 and 8 to 14 February 1973
    22 February to 3 March 1973
    28 March 1973

  29. Hondo says:

    charlie six:

    The USS Butte did in fact do one WESTPAC tour that supported the Vietnam War, in early 1973. However, that alone would not prove that the USS Butte supported the de-mining operations in Haiphong and other North Vietnamese ports/coastal areas. As I recall, the geographical designation of the nautical portion of SEA that qualified for the Vietnam Service Medal covered a fair portion of the Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea.

    It’s possible that the USS Butte did support Operation End Sweep (the US de-mining operations in North Vietnam after cessation of hostilities). But as noted above, they don’t seem to have been given credit for participation in that operation by the Navy.

    ‘Course, what’s available on the Internet is hardly the complete set of official records, so that may be due to incomplete records being incomplete rather than non-participation.

  30. Hondo says:

    Damn. Last sentence should read “due to on-line records being incomplete”. It’s late. ‘Night, all.

  31. Kevin Martin says:

    An update.

    According to the U.S.S. Butte AE-27 ships log written by N. Arlov, ENS, USNR, Personell Officer by direction of the Commanding Officer that on March 30th 1973 personel of Surface Warfare Ship “Entered Hai Phong Harbor (his spelling not mine) onboard USS BUTTE (AE-27) this date, in full support of Operation Endsweep Units.

    Again Arlov wrote on April 12th 1973, “Entered Hai Phong Harbor onboard USS BUTTE AE-27 this date, in full support of Operation Endsweep Units.

    Arlovs last entry concerning BUTTE’S tour in and off the combat line in the China Sea both in South and North Vietnam in regards to Kevin Martin; June 16th 1973. Authorized to wear Vietnam Service Medal for the period commencing 23 February 1973, while serving in a permanent duty status onboard USS BUTTE (AE-27) operating in waters to Vietnam. Medal not issued.

    Im assuming once I recieve this magical updated and corrected DD-215 (that everyone is clamoring for) that the 215 will show I served in Vietnam and have the right to wear the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with medal.

    Thank you for the updates. I do appericate that someone out there in internet land agrees with me for once.

    Kevin Martin

  32. Hondo says:

    I haven’t seen that source, Kevin Martin. Can you provide a link to an online version of it?

    The DD215 should show your entitlement to the VSM if your official Navy records show you served on the USS Butte at the time the ship qualified for the VSM, or had other service qualifying for award of the VSM.

  33. Kevin Martin says:

    There is no link. I recieved the copies of the Buttes ship logs from Navy archives. You can go down that path if you choose so.

  34. Hondo says:

    Kevin Martin: Turns out I won’t need to. I finally found the official Navy history for the USS Butte online.

    Having read that, I have good news and bad news.

    The good news: the official history confirms that the USS Butte spent 6 days in Haiphong harbor: 30 Mar – 3 Apr 1973 (5 days), and 12 Apr (1 day).

    The bad news: all of that was after the end date for the VSM (28 Mar 1973). So participating those operations doesn’t qualify anyone for the VSM. In order to qualify for the VSM the crew would need service in the defined zone of operations prior to 28 Mar 1973 while performing missions in support of US combat operations in Vietnam.

    The ship’s official history (part 1, commissioning to Jan 1982) is available at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/b11/butte-ii.htm This official history implies, but does not state clearly, that the USS Butte did support operations within the area of eligibility for the VSM during Feb and early March 1973. Or maybe it states that and I’m just not good enough at deciphering “Navy-speak” of the period; if so, maybe some of those reading this with a Navy background could tell us.

    I’ve seen other unofficial sources ( http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/05/0527.htm ) that support the claim that the USS Butte’s crew for the WESTPAC cruise in early 1973 did qualify for the VSM, as charlie six noted above. However, at least a couple of those dates are IMO very problematic. The USS Butte’s official history indicates it departed Subic Bay on 6 Feb and 28 Mar 1973 – dates for which the navsource site above gives the USS Butte Vietnam Campaign credit. Since Subic Bay was somewhere around 600 miles east of the easternmost edge of the area of eligibility for the VSM, it doesn’t seem credible for the USS Butte to have actually entered the VSM AOR by midnight local on either 6 Feb or 28 Mar 1973. The other periods listed (8-14 Feb 1973 and 22 Feb to 3 Nar 1973) are plausible and are close to those listed in the ship’s official history as dates where the USS Butte resupplied other Navy ships supporting operations in Vietnam. The only I question I have now is whether or not that occurred within the defined VSM AOR.

    Bottom line: I’m still looking, but haven’t yet found a definitive official source that verifies that the USS Butte’s crew qualified for the VSM for that WESTPAC cruise. But the Haiphong harbor support alone won’t do it. That was after the end of the period of eligibility for the VSM. So if someone got on the ship for the first time at Subic on 28 Mar 1973, they appear to be SOL.

  35. Kevin Martin says:

    I think you have resorted to Nit Picking the Navy as to exactly when the Butte was in territioal waters within a combat zone. I along with a few other hundred swabbys were indeed in a combat zone supporting missions. We are all authorized to wear a Vietnam Campaign Medal and Ribbon.

    You can now focus your attention onto other phony veterans. And for you information I was 1 of 2 men that exposed one of the biggest phony veterans ever to walk face of the earth. His name is Dr. Maung Gyi of the American Bando Association. We worked hand and hand with the POWNETWORK.ORG operation and exposed the piece of shit for all he is worth.
    I am not a phony veteran. I have spent 55 of my 60 years working with and working for veterans and their families. My father was a combat veteran of WW1. My mother spent her entire life supporting veteran causes. She was District 12 VFW Ohio Ladies Aux. President and held the role of other line offiecs. I dont take lightly to being accused by some cowards as being a phony veteran.
    I have done more for veterans and their families in 1 year than Dave Jenkinson and Ray Stretch-It have combined in their entire lives.
    Fuch the both of themn and the horses they rode in on!
    Im signing off from this site for ever
    Kevin Martin

  36. Bobo says:

    “I think you have resorted to Nit Picking the Navy as to exactly when the Butte was in territioal (sic) waters within a combat zone.” If what Hondo has pulled up is true, then it is valid research and not “nit picking” but valid dates of qualification that USS Butte does not fit into. If that were the case, most of us could be wearing a variety of badges and awards and claim to anyone who questioned them based on records that they were just nit picking. At the onset of the Iraqi invasion, I spent 28 days in Kuwait. The regulations say that I need to spend 30 consecutive days in a combat zone for award of the GWOT Expeditionary Medal. 28 is close enough to 30, so I’ll run out and buy my medal now. I also personally know two people who were told at the last day of SFQC not to come to graduation the next day since they wouldn’t be graduating. I’ll let them know that they can sew on that long tab. I’m sorry that Hondo, and I’d venture to say, most of us here, didn’t take your claims at face value and actually did some research that made your claims questionable. There were also remedies recommended to you to bolster your claims, which you refused. If that is enough to sign off from this site forever, so be it. As far as I’m concerned, that’s more than enough to prove what I suspected already.

  37. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    Mr. Martin,

    The U.S. Navy officially refers to both enlisted and officers as “Sailors”. Meaning one who sails as a profession or in the defense of their country. It should be noted that as per US Navy Regulations, the “S” in “Sailor” is always capitalized. In my 32 years of service, I never once refered to a Sailor as a “swabby or swabbie”. The term “swabby or swabbie” in a seafaring conotation was first used in a Hollywood movie produced in 1944. A “Swabbie” is someone from Swabia. To refer to a U.S. Navy Sailor as a “swabby or swabbie” is technically incorrect. To suggest that a “swabby” is one who swabs decks is patently offensive and does not belong in the vocabulary of a real “Sailor”.

    MMCM(SW) Terence B. Hoey, USN (Ret.)
    1979 – 2011
    SEA Class 94 Honor Graduate

  38. Hondo says:

    “Signing off this site forever.” Hmmmm.

    Sounds like someone’s a bit sensitive about “nit-picking”. I rather am beginning to wonder why.

    Ray Strischek (comment 18): If you’re reading this, please check the hotmail VVA e-mail account for Post 100. Thanks.

  39. Anonymous says:


    I’m not ready to call Mr. Martin a liar. But I don’t regard his claim to Vietnam Veteran status as being proven yet, either.

    IF he was on the USS Butte for the first part of that WESTPAC cruise, it’s entirely possible he rates the VSM – and is thus technically a Vietnam Veteran. (I’ll admit I have a bit of a problem personally with allowing folks who never got closer than about 100 nautical miles or so to the land/airspace area of SEA during the period of eligibility to qualify for the VSM – and Yankee Station was about that far off the South Vietnamese coast. But rules are rules, and my opinion about that is just that: my opinion.) The USS Butte apparently resupplied TF 77 ships during the period of eligibility for the VSM. The question is whether those resupply operations occurred within our outside of the designated area of eligibility for the VSM.

    So far, it’s looking like it probably happened inside the designated area. However, I haven’t yet confirmed that from official Navy sources. (Sorry, Mr. Martin – by the book, anything after 28 March 1973 just doesn’t count. Navy folks get cut a huge break by being eligible for serving approx 100 nautical miles off the coast, but you don’t get a 2nd break on the dates.)

    And what Mr. Martin hasn’t yet done is prove he was actually on that ship during that part of its WESTPAC cruise (early Feb to early March 1973). If he wasn’t on-board – e.g., if he wasn’t assigned to the USS Butte at all, or he was assigned to the USS Butte but was in Subic for medical treatment or other reasons in Feb/early March and missed that part of the deployment – he would not qualify.

  40. Ray Strischek says:

    Hey Kevin, if you are going to sue me, do it or shut up. I already told you in an email that if you want, you and I can lay our DD-214s down side by side in public and let a jury of our peers view them and decide for themselves which DD-214 is that of a Vietnam Veteran and which is the DD-214 of an Era Veteran.

    I already told you in an email that if you have the barrel of money you claim to have for the purpose of suing everyone who disagrees with you, that you should buy a piece of worthless land abutting a hill out in the county and make your own shooting range instead of trying to squat a defunct one that the neighbors don’t want to see re-opened.

    And one more thing Kevin, if you are protected by free speech in claiming to have combat status and honor in North and South Vietnam in 1974, the year after you were discharged from the Navy, then I have the same free speech protection to point out that according to your own DD-214 you were discharged in Dec 1973 with an RE-4 code meaning unsuitable for reenlistment, and only having a National Defense Ribbon.

    Ohio VFW Commander Ward gave you 60 days and paperwork you were supposed to sign and send away for OFFICIAL Navy Records. Have you done that yet? In the mean time, I go with Ohio VFW Judge Adjutant Jeffers’ letter stating your discharge shows no eligibility to be a VFW member.

    Ray Strischek

  41. Ray Strischek says:

    I’d like to reply to Kevin Martin’s statement that he has done more for Veterans than Dave Jenkinson and I combined. It was Dave and I who worked many years to reform the Veterans Service Commission system in Ohio. Ohio has 88 counties and each county has a Veterans Service Commission Office, funded by county property tax dollars, and required to provide a Service Officer and a Financial Assistance program for needy veterans. When Dave and I started, the county offices were in free fall, annually reducing the amounts put out for financial assistance, increasing their own wages, and returning more of their budgets back to the county commissioners unspent on Veterans, to be spent filling pot holes or gas for the sheriff or into the general fund for disbursement to county commissioner pet projects. There were no written rules or regulations. Many of the service officers had no training and no incentive to produce. The amounts available to the county VSCs varied wildly, with Franklin County (Columbus) having several million dollars available, while a small county like Athens had $300,000. Smaller counties had even less. Unspent monies must be returned to the county commissioners so you can see the pressures that existed for VSC board members who are appointed to 5 year terms by the County Court of Common Pleas. The funding (like that for Judges)was mandated by the State and budgets can not be reviewed and revised by the county commissioners, always a bone of contention.

    So anyway, here is an example of what Dave and I did:

    See: http://www.theveteransvoice.com/JimStrickland/Strickland-OhioVets.html

    Ohio Veterans See A Winner!
    “Ohio now has the opportunity, maybe the burden, to follow through…and set the standard for other states.”
    Ray Strischek of the Athens County Veterans Service Commission in Athens County, Ohio writes to me with this good news. This follows up a recent series of articles published on VAWatchdog telling veterans, particularly Ohio veterans, about the quality of the services provided them by various agencies.
    As I researched facts surrounding this important topic, it became apparent that Ohio’s state leaders had decided that their veterans were being short changed and they were now determined to act aggressively and make hard decisions to improve how veterans should and would be treated in Ohio.
    Being at the bottom of the rankings will do that. Ohio was last or near last in a number of veterans benefits categories even though their state and county veterans staff are among the best trained and experienced in the country.
    Ohio now has the opportunity…maybe the burden…to follow through with this recent legislation and set the standard for other states to follow. Only time will tell if they are to be as successful as the new structure of their veterans services administration will allow them to be.
    To have the new authority for successful operations reporting directly to the governors office indicates that Ohio is taking this action very seriously indeed.
    Personally, I have high hopes for progress for veterans in Ohio. I spoke (often off the record) with a great many individuals who were well aware of the importance of positive change. From the office of the governor to the front-line County Veterans Service Officers out in the field, every individual I talked with seemed educated to the issues and highly committed to getting it done right.
    You can read about the issues in Ohio (and the rest of that series) by clicking here: http://vawatchdog.org/08/nf08/nfAPR08/nf040308-1.htm
    Congratulations to all the veterans, legislators and other involved leaders of Ohio who worked long and hard to get this done. We hope you’ll continue the progress…the rest of America’s veterans are watching.
    April 23rd 2008
    Dear Jim,
    In Ohio, Senate Sub Bill 289 has been passed by the Senate. Below, in bold font and underlined, are the changes in current Ohio Veterans Laws that Dave Jenkinson and I were lobbying for.
    Eighteen years ago, Dave and I and many others started a reform movement to bring accountability to county Veterans Service Commissions. We were only partly successful. We managed to get CERTIFICATION and TRAINING required for Veterans Service Commissioners and County Service Officers. We managed to get the Governors Office of Veterans Affairs the power to require ESTABLISHED rules and procedures from the county VSC offices. However, that success was limited in that there was no enforcement power for the Director of GOVA to require PRODUCTIVITY and no ability for the Director of GOVA to do anything to either the VSC board members or the county Service Officers who failed to PRODUCE.
    The passage of Senate Sub Bill 289 holds out the hope for completing the process Dave and I started eighteen years ago. If passed by the Ohio House (which seems probable) and signed by the Governor (again, probable), the new Director of the new Ohio Department of Veteran Services will have the authority to gather the necessary data and evidence to remove NON PRODUCTIVE VSC board members and county Service Officers.
    In addition, the Service Officers of the several veterans organizations will be required (for the first time ever) to make reports to the Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans Services on their PRODUCTIVITY in accordance with rules and requirements to be developed by the Director of ODVS.
    See below:
    Sec. 5901.02 (Veterans Service Commissioners are appointed by the County Court of Common Pleas.)
    The appointing authority shall remove a member who fails to maintain certification or whose certification is revoked by the director of veterans services.
    Sec. 5901.07 (Service Officers are hired by the County Veterans Service Commission.)
    The commission may remove a veterans service officer who fails to maintain accreditation or whose certification is revoked by the director of veterans services.
    Sec. 5902.02 (Duties of the new proposed Director of the Ohio Department of Veteran Services.)
    (C) Adopting rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code pertaining to minimum qualifications for hiring, certifying, and accrediting county veterans service officers and, pertaining to their required duties, and pertaining to revocation of the certification of county veterans service officers;
    (D) Adopting rules pursuant to Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for the education, training, certification, and duties of veterans service commissioners and for the revocation of the certification of a veterans service commissioner;
    (V) Developing and maintaining a relationship with the United States department of veterans affairs, seeking optimal federal benefits and services for Ohio veterans and their dependents, and encouraging veterans service commissions to maximize the federal benefits and services to which veterans and their dependents are entitled;
    (Y) Investigating complaints against county veterans services commissioners and county veterans service officers if the director reasonably believes the investigation to be appropriate and necessary;
    On the down side:
    Dave and I were unable to convince the Senate Finance Committee to delete some proposed language (in bold font and underlined) in (W) below:
    (W) Developing and maintaining relationships with the several veterans organizations, encouraging the organizations in their efforts at assisting veterans and their dependents, and advocating for adequate state subsidization of the organizations;
    In my opinion, the only reason for ‘the several veterans organizations’ push to change the Governors Office of Veterans Affairs to the Ohio Department of Veterans Affairs (which ended up being called the Ohio Department of Veterans Services), was to get that clause into the law. By speaking out about this naked money grab, however, our efforts did cause the following clause to be added:
    (X) Requiring the several veterans organizations that receive funding from the state annually to report to the director of veterans services and prescribing the form and content of the report;
    To that extent, I suppose one can say that some sense of accountability to the State of Ohio is now possible and with it, the possibility that one or more of ‘the several veterans organizations’ could actually lose their funding if they are found in violation of (X) above. More over, we were able to educate a whole new generation of veterans and concerned citizens about the tax subsidies that ‘the several veterans organizations were getting from the state with no strings attached.
    There is now no good reason for Ohio to remain at the bottom of the barrel as it relates to the number of veterans applying for VA Disability and Pension Claims, and no good reason for the dollar amounts of the approvals to be likewise in the bottom of the barrel, and no good reason for any Service Officer not to pursue multiple disability claims. That was the problem that existed on Ohio’s side of the VA Regional Office Desk. That problem existed because PRODUCTIVITY from Veterans Service Commissions and there Veterans Service Officers was not required by the State of Ohio. That problem existed because the State of Ohio required no PRODUCTIVITY from the Service Officers of ‘the several veterans organizations’ working at the VA Regional Office. Now, PRODUCTIVITY is a matter of law, or will be when Sub SB 289 is passed by the Ohio House and signed by the Governor.
    Whether PRODUCTIVITY as a law will be enforced remains to be seen. But the tools are there now. It is now all a matter of the attitude of the new Director of the ODVS, whoever that may be. If the changes do not work, then the question of whether the VSC system of Ohio and its costs to tax payers should continue, and the question of whether tax subsidies to ‘the several veterans organizations’ should continue, become fair game to voters. The bar has been set.
    Veteran organization leaders should consider themselves on notice. The costs of Veterans Service Commissions and the tax subsidies to ‘the several veterans organizations’ constitute a big chunk of change. If it can be proven that Veterans can file for VA Disability or Pension Claims on their own and succeed in getting top dollar amounts on their own, and/or if, a law change to allow attorney’s to represent Veterans would prove more cost effective, then the Ohio System, which has been so generous and accommodating to the leadership of veteran organizations statewide would naturally be in jeopardy.
    I have high hopes the system will sort itself out and work. I believe the State of Ohio has a responsibility to its veterans (and a monetary self interest) to help all its veterans receive every dollar of every benefit they earned as part of their service to America. I don’t believe a veteran should be left adrift to fight the VA on his/her own but I don’t believe a veteran should be required to use the Ohio System if they feel they can handle it alone and get the benefit they deserve.
    All along, Dave Jenkinson and I have tried to work within the system that exists, to get it to work, to get it to work right, and change it if it is not working right. The passage of Sub SB 289 is just another day at the office for Dave and I. We are basically happy with the bill. Lot’s of good stuff that to us mean lots of good stuff for Ohio’s Veterans.

    Ray Strischek
    Athens County Veterans Service Commission
    Athens County Ohio

  42. Dave Jenkinson says:

    Greetings; The first lie, there is a anti-Veteran movement in New Marshfield, Ohio. Good people living in total Fear by a child-man who is nothing really than a bully. When it benefits him, he is a Veteran. When it benefits him, he is a bully.

    I’m starting to believe even the officials of the Ohio VFW are afraid of this bully. I never said there was a cover up by VFW, the VFW gave Martin 60 days to provide proof of service. July 2010 they found out he is a ERA Veteran. Why giving him March-April 2012 to provide same request, well there is the question.

    Nothing I have found shows Martin to be anything except a phony, he has rode this ride for 40 years, time to get off the carousal and let the children ride. However, VFW still has to figure what do with Keirs and Jefferies. Martin says they approved his being Commander.

  43. Dave Jenkinson says:

    Latest word on Kevin E Martin our own America Hero. Three years ago Kevin came up with the idea of Rally in the Valley Cruise-In and of course he had Gilham-Frank VFW POST 8804 presents. Now this year he has added; Athens Lawn and Gardening and because of a $100 dollar electric bill has moved the 3rd Annual Cruise-In from New Marshfield, Ohio to the Athens Community Center 701 East State Street Athens, Ohio 45701.

    Last years Rally in the Valley vendor used the electric at the Seniors Community Center and when asked for payment, out the door went Martin. After leaving this years latest flyers about May 27th, 2012 Rally in the Valley

    The web site of The Plains Lions Club still shows the date and place of New Marshfield,Ohio as being this years site of Cruise-In. Guess in his haste, Martin forgets. Say goodbye Kevin-goodbye. Dave

  44. Hondo says:

    FOIA away.

  45. David McBride says:

    I’m not a veteran, so I have no idea whether I have any right to comment here. But my dad was a veteran, he came home from his service in a wheelchair. Maybe that counts for something. It does to me. I also know my pastor just died. He was a Vietnam vet, a member of Gilham Frank post 8804, and no finer man ever lived. Now fellers, he was a member of the post which Kevin Martin serves as Commander. It’s my understanding that every eligible veteran in Waterloo twp is a member of that post. Maybe some of them are just members on paper, but how many other posts would like to have 100% membership? It seems to me that it would take leadership to achieve that goal. I’ve known Kevin Martin for a long time; known his family for a long time. And yeah, I won’t lie to you, Kevin’s pretty F-ed up at times. The Kevin that came back is a lot different than the Kevin that went across. Seems to me that I can say that about an awful lot of guys. I found this site because one of the men posting here came to me a while back wanting to dig up all the dirt he could on Kevin. At the time, it seemed an awful lot like a witch hunt. Still does. I read a book once, man in the book said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. There’s plenty of rocks in the world, boys. Hope it’s worth it.

  46. Hondo says:

    David McBride: of course you can comment. And since you are not a military veteran, you will doubtless bring a different perspective to the discussion than those of us who are.

    Since you’re not a military vet, I’ll try to give you some background. Among military veterans, there are a few cardinal sins. Disloyalty to nation is one of them. Disloyalty to your brothers/sisters in arms is another. Failure to do your duty is right up there as well, and is arguably being disloyal to your brothers/sisters in arms anyway (they have to pick up your slack).

    And among active military and veterans, lying about having “been there, done that” is pretty high on the list of cardinal sins. Those “little bits of colored ribbon” mean one helluva lot to most of us. IMO, you really need a military background to understand just how much.

    I don’t know if Kevin Martin is telling the truth about being a Vietnam Veteran, or if he simply served during the Vietnam era. But if he’s lying about being a Vietnam Veteran, then he’s done something most veterans find extremely objectionable. And if he doesn’t qualify for the Vietnam Service Medal, he’s by definition not a Vietnam Veteran.

    Soon enough we should know. Official records don’t lie.

  47. Jacobite says:

    Discovering the truth and shining light on lies is always worth it, even when the cost is high. Successful societal continuity relies on trust and trust can not be achieved nor maintained without honesty. Whether it happens over a span of years or over a span of generations, if truth is not respected, pursued, and fostered, polite society will collapse.

    I can understand the reluctance to face facts about someone you may respect or admire, and I understand the desire to look the other way when uncomfortable truths come to light. The bigger man, and better friend, would encourage his comrade to face his transgressions while examining his own motivations in trying to excuse the behavior, not cast dispersions on a worthy effort to discover the truth.

    I read a book once too, it was written in that book “Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness.”


  48. David McBride says:

    I have not seen the facts, my friend. Not here or anywhere else. But I will certainly remember what you said about bearing false witness. I hope everyone else does, as well

  49. Anonymous says:

    Greetings: Kevin Martin DD214 was recorded Jan 2, 1974 at the Recorders Office at the Athens County Courthouse. It shows his signature but no Vietnam service, No Medals for serving in Vietnam. What proof he showed anyone else, well he never showed it to me. July 2010 the VFW Judge Advocate saw Martins DD 214 and said he is not eligible for membership, thus he cannot be Post Commander. February 2012 the Ohio VFW Commander gave Martin 60 days to show proof of service. We are still waiting. Kevin lack of service or proof of service is not what started this look see. Martin desire to gain access to the HillTop Gun Club, not owned by VFW Post 8804 and his PUSH to claim 3.5 acreas and way he went about attacking residents and Life Members of Post 8804 is just what it is. Stay tuned for Sheriff sale coming not soon enough. As to military changing people, like Martin I’m a Era Veteran, I went any and came back three years older-wiser and have never claimed Vietnam service. The difference also includes i served all of my three year Tour, Navy was four years, not two years and two months and I never saw the inside of any BRIG, on ship nor one land.

  50. Dave Jenkinson says:

    Above post is by David M Jenkinson, my friends call me Dave. Kevin E. Martin can call me Mr. Jenkinson.

    I also knew Dave Cogar and thought I had time to talk to him about Martin, turns out we both ran out of time. At no time have I spoke about getting dirt on Martin, I did ask his oldest Son to ask his Father if the DD 214 on file at the Courthouse was not correct, why did he sign it? I’m still waiting for a answer. I provided copy’s of our attempt at learning facts to those I have talked to. Martin could end this but, I guess he still has 20 days……