Jerry G. Riley; taking stolen valor to the grave

| April 7, 2014

Jerry G. Riley

Scotty sends us his work on Jerry G. Riley who served honorably for about ten years and left the Army as a staff sergeant and then went to work for veterans on several VSOs. Honorable service before and after his discharge in 1967. He served in Vietnam, too. In his obituary above, whoever wrote it made the mistake of saying that he was a POW, of course, he wasn’t, but I’ll chalk that up to family error. But this obituary, from the VFW, while not mentioning that he was a POW, says he was Special Forces;

Jerry G. Riley VFW Obit

He was indeed a Vietnam veteran and spent 6 months there, but unless an artillery repairman was considered Special Forces, he wasn’t.

Jerry Riley  FOIA

I’m beginning to think that all of you Vietnam vets who aren’t Special Forces and weren’t POWs were slacking. You just weren’t trying hard enough.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (22)

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  1. Hondo says:

    Another guy with perfectly honorable wartime service who felt he just had to lie about being SF to make himself look heroic.

    Sad. Just freaking sad.

  2. MAJMike says:

    I’m just fine with my dull and boring career.

  3. Dana says:

    “I’m beginning to think that all of you Vietnam vets who aren’t Special Forces and weren’t POWs were slacking. You just weren’t trying hard enough.” ….or MACVSOG or 5th group or Force RECON or a Phoenix Marine or Phoenix Special Forces. It’s amazing to me. If every one that claimed to be a SEAL was for real there would be enough to man an entire carrier battle group.

    • Hondo says:

      Someone (Don Shipley???) put it best, Dana: “Only 800 SEALs served in Vietnam – and I’ve met all 10,000 of them.”

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      ‘Slacking’? Moi? Oh, that’s just… 🙁

    • Sparks says:

      Dana that’s funny to me. In my tour I never met a SEAL. Only saw a group of SF troops once. They sorta had their own thing going and stayed together and apart. I did see Rangers but had little contact with Marines, so no, I didn’t see any Force Recon Marines or Snipers.

      I don’t know, maybe I was just too busy TAKING CARE TO KEEP MY SHIT TOGETHER AT ALL TIMES!!! To be wondering where everyone else was.

      So if, somebodies gotta do it as Jonn recommended. I’ll volunteer okay.

      So now I will be Sparks (American Indian of the Cumsalot Tribe), SF, Airborne Ranger loaned to Marine Force Recon because they needed my Sniper skills north of the DMZ. Turned down the SEAL Trident when offered because I was busy that day. (It was the day we got Ham & Motherfuckers in our C-Rats and I loved those!) I did 8 count ’em 8 tours, three in Laos and 2 in Cambodia. I met the real Colonel Kurtz in Cambodia but “I did not take scalps…it wasn’t my kill”. Upon rotation home in 1978, (yea the secret, expended Vietnam Campaigns the Pentagon still doesn’t want the US to know about) I went to the War College, the only member of the E-4 Mafia ever to attend and graduated with honors. Then the stint in the Pentagon as chief enlisted, E-4 adviser to the Joint Chiefs. They wanted to know life in the Army from the perspective of a member of the Mafia.

      Okay, okay, even my OWN bullshit is smelling up my keyboard to high heaven. I’ll stop now before I throw up in my mouth.

    • Beretverde says:

      Don’t forget Son Tay Raider.

    • Nigel Brooks says:

      I ate lunch a few times at the Green Beanies Detachment B-56’s club at Ho Ngoc Tao. Is that a close enough association?

      I was also a 2 year draftee – kinda like being a POW.

  4. rb325th says:

    I have trouble with these Obituary stories… reluctant to jump on board unless it can be shown that this was not someones error, not something that the deceased himself had been promoting himself as all along.

    • Hondo says:

      The obit I can disregard, rb325th. But the two press stories (VFW press release, Fox News)? I’d give pretty long odds that both were sourced from among his VFW colleagues.

      What’s listed there about his service (SF in Vietnam) is different from his obit (presumably written by his family). I kinda doubt his VFW colleagues would just MSU to tell a reporter. I’m guessing that’s simply what Riley had told them about his service in Vietnam.

      • rb325th says:

        I don’t know. I am just expressing that I have trouble with these stories, where there is no direct evidence that the deceased himself is the source of the stories.

  5. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    According to the VFW write-up, he was a member of “a Special Forces.” There is also an extra space in between “a” and “Special.” Makes me wonder if someone didn’t have some sort of hesitation or some sort of last-second change at the VFW. As for the obit, I ask of the person who wrote it, were you not proud of your loved one’s service? And for whose benefit did you embellish the record? Let me suggest an answer: your own benefit.

  6. Thunderstixx says:

    I have been meeting Vietnam Veterans for years at the VA and in other places and have determined that there were no clerks, truck drivers, electronic technicians, cooks, nurses, medics or anything other than Specops operators in Vietnam !!!
    They all were in Laos or Cambodia and Thailand and one guy even told me that he was downtown Hanoi during Operation Linebacker calling in air strikes so the B-52’s didn’t get shot down…
    I believe that it was General Schwarzkopf that said that about all 10,000 of them.
    I know that I have all of that many too !!!

  7. Beretverde says:

    Another phony phuck…busted via obituary.

  8. Common Sense says:

    These guys are such a contrast to my dad. He served in the ASA in Japan (where I and my sister were born) from 1960 – 64. He didn’t even tell us that much until about a year ago, when my son was back from BMT and tech school and my daughter was about to leave for the same. We tease him that he was a spy 🙂

    He never wanted to be identified as a vet or collect any benefits. Talk about a quiet professional!

    I can’t think of a single family member who exaggerated their service, or even talked about it much, unless asked directly.

  9. Young Bud Fox says:

    One of the private bankers I work with out of our Palm Beach office went into the Army after law school in the late ’60s. I asked him what he did. He said that he was a cook at Ft. Polk, did his time, and got out. I thanked him for not giving me a load of BS.