S&S admits they were duped

| January 31, 2012 | 24 Comments

Stars & Stripes just published a follow up to the story we did yesterday about Larry Marquez who claimed to have served in Cambodia while he was 16.

The word I’m getting from people in his unit is that when his first sergeant called him in, after word came down from the brigade commander after S&S’s inquiry, Marquez went all secret squirrel on the first sergeant and said he couldn’t talk about his time in Cambodia. Of course, the 1SG wasn’t hearing that shit and got Marquez to fess up to his deception.

I’m glad that Stars & Stripes came around after being dickish yesterday. They made the story more about me than Marquez, which feeds my massive ego and makes me feel a little dickish myself. But S&S is off of my shit list now. Thanks to Martin Kuz, the author, for not blowing off my emails when I made the first inquiries.

Category: Media, Phony soldiers

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  1. Scott says:

    “Of course, the 1SG wasn’t hearing that shit and got Marquez to fess up to his deception.”

    Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when that conversation occurred…

  2. Old Tanker says:

    It was nice of them to give you props Jonn.

    Note to journalists, if you screw something up, this is how you fix it…

  3. ROS says:

    That is the best confession I’ve yet heard. “Stars and Striped failed to perform basic fact checking” is about as good as it gets in the “I fucked up” category.

    Well done.

  4. ROS #4: I liked the headline myself. It would nice to to see that headline elsewhere in the MSM.

  5. DaveO says:

    Sad thing being: it is possible that up until this fuckup, Marquez had a decent record – nothing to be ashamed of. Possible, since now the question is: what else did he lie about?

  6. Beretverde says:

    Army Values? SSG Marquez needs to be dropped from the roles… immediately!

  7. NHSparky says:

    Like I said, there are still a lot of memes that Kuz pushed that were either overblown or simply false regarding Vietnam and the veterans who served there. Guy has a bit of catching up on his history to do.

  8. SGT Kane says:

    #6 he was in CA. Thats not a decent record. Oh wait, thats my own bitterness and bias showing through.

    I see the question asked a lot “Why do people embellish their military careers” or “This guy served honorably, why is he laying claim to things he never did/couldn’t possibly have done/etc”. and I’ve given those questions far more thought than they likely deserve.

    I think it comes down to the psychology of those who serve. By their very nature, they want to do something, be it serve their country, their fellow man, etc. They also tend to have a competitive nature (how could you not, you’re are participating in a competition where your very life could be at stake).

    You take those two things, put them together and you get someone who rather than being proud that they served at all, feel like they haven’t done enough and are ashamed of their limited service.

    Now good soldiers, realize what is going on and use those feelings as a motivation to do better, to be more successful, to try harder, and when they fail, drive teh f’ on and derive their sense of satisfaction from that.

    Then you get guys like SSG Marquez (and a SGT in my own company) who start making shit up to feel good about themselves. Or more simply put they do it because they need to feel they’ve done enough, which is something they can’t admit even to themselves.

    There is a third group, those guys like Tracht who are doing it purely for marketing purposes and to get a leg up on the competition (after all who do you want to take your tactical training from, a guy who went to a bunch of schools but never made the SF grade, or a retired operator who’s been there and done that).

    Or (applying Occum’s Razor here), they are simply shitbags to start with.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What will happen to Marquez now? Anything?

  10. Dave Thul says:

    Kudos to John, and to S&S for actually taking responsibility and admitting they screwed up.

    I’d like to have been a fly on the wall in the editor’s office as he spoke with the reporter who wrote it.

  11. Lucky says:

    SGT Kane, not everyone in the CA community are shitbags like this errant POS excuse for a SSG. I am sorry for whatever the CA unit you were near did to you, but in the grand scheme of things, it can’t have been too bad, you are still breathing after all. Saying that all CA are scum is like me saying that just because some Soldiers from 4/9 couldn’t be trusted to not lose the commo fill info in Kandari Market, and 4/2 INF Soldiers can’t help but negligently discharge their breaching shotguns inside their Strykers and wound battle buddies, that ALL grunts in my Army are fucktards… See? How fair is that shit? Cudos to Jonn and Stars and Stripes! Keep up the good work, and know that not everyone in the CA community are no talent assclowns!

  12. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    I can understand a newspaper wanting to take time to check facts before printing a story or even after being called on the carpet auburn facts in a story. Yet that proves the point. The insistence that journalists need to have journalism degrees is bullshit. Day after day on this site alone we are presented with mounting evidence that journalists are neither professional nor able to check facts. They just write stories. True or not.

    Hell John, within, a few moments confirmed this as false. So while it’s nice that S&S retracted the story they don’t get a kudos. That is their job. Now they should have done the oer part and checked first.

    There is NEVER enough money or time to do it right the FIRST time but there is ALWAYS enough to do it the SECOND.

  13. Lucky says:

    @ #10 Anon, being that he is in a USACAPOC unit, and all it would have been swept under the rug and he would have just gotten a shitty NCOER. BUT, because this shit got put in front of S&S, he is probably gonna get an Article 32, then Article 15. But, being CA, that all depends on the Company Commander and Battalion Commander having brass ones. I will check with my battle buddy from that unit, and find out the chain of command for him and that will tell what happens next.

  14. OWB says:

    Well done, Jonn!

    Still, I don’t trust the media. At least THIS time, they admitted it when they were caught. But it had to be proven to them. I read the ego stroking as less mea culpa, more “if we pump this guy up, maybe he’ll stay off our case.”

  15. SGT Kane says:

    Lucky, I’ve had universally bad experiences with CA. Not just ones and twos. Everything from theft, destruction of property (mine), to CAB hunting and damn near providing enough fertilizer and diesel fuel to insurgents to level FOB Warhorse (we managed to stop that one). I recognize that because of my negative experiences with them, that it does color my opinion of them (hence the comment about my own bitterness showing through). My perception is that CA is a small community with a higher ratio of shitbags to good soldiers than you see in the rest of the Army.

    But at least they aren’t PAO, so they’ve got that going for them…

  16. Lucky says:

    Wow, well from my near decade in the CA community, let me apologize then on behalf of the actually decent and tactically proficient NCO’s and Soldiers in USACAPOC. I have had the pleasure of being assigned to some truly high speed CA units, in that shit baggery was not tolerated, and that we had few discipline issues. That is, with the exception of the Iraq tour, that was seriously fucked up. But, on the whole the East Coast CA units don’t have too many issues like this.

  17. This “fish” nuts (I’m not swearing anymore, so I’m using the word “fish” for fuck, shit and any othe swear words) went into the Army the same year I did. I can do that simple math and know he was too young to have gone to Nam. As a civilain copper over the years, I’ve run into dozens who claimed they had gone to Nam….but I had their DOB in my pocket notebook..and always challenged them on their BullFish story.
    At a PD near where I work, in the 80′s they had a nut job who claimed he was a Ranger in Nam…but he was 5 years younger than I was! I had to exlplain to the cops that it would have been impossible for him to have been to Nam! (that fish nuts ended up getting taken out by a 5.56 police round.)

  18. malclave says:

    @1
    “Oh, to have been a fly on the wall when that conversation occurred…”

    Ceiling would be safer… on the wall you might get in the way of the counseling.

  19. Joseph Brown says:

    Just read an obituary in my paper this morning about a guy who served during the Korean Conflict. Good on him, except he was only 15 when the conflict ended in ’53.

  20. Sidekicks says:

    CA? Shitbags? Someone has never heard of the 1-160th.

  21. USMCRet12 says:

    What do CA folks do anyway?

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