T. Rafael Lee; stealing all of the valor

| December 6, 2014

T. Rafael Lee

cakmakli sends us a link to the Pittsburgh Gazette which tells the tale of T. Rafael Lee, who has apparently stolen all of the valor. He has been honored, falsely as a Tuskegee Airman, even though he was too young to serve by the end of World War II.

But that’s not all –

T. Rafael Lee wore the Air Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and some other decorations, including the Navy SEAL trident commonly called the “Budweiser.”

“That’s the one that got my attention,” said Mr. Sorace, 60, of Brookline. “I thought, ‘Wait a second. How … could he have been all these things?’ ”

Mr. Sorace then watched as Mr. Lee took the stage, where Brig. Gen. William Waff of the 99th Regional Readiness Command in Coraopolis honored him as a World War II fighter pilot with the famous all-black Tuskegee airmen.

Afterward, Mr. Lee approached and started talking about the military.

“I said, ‘I got shot twice in Vietnam, I don’t want to hear your stories,’ ” said Mr. Sorace. “I just walked away.”

He claims that he was an adviser in Vietnam and even took part in the invasion of Noriega’s Panama.

Records from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis show that Mr. Lee is indeed a veteran. He was a private in the Army from 1948 to 1956 and served in Korea. At the time of his discharge, he was assigned to the Signal Corps.

Despite all of the evidence against him, Lee still clings to his bullshit;

“I’m not trying to boast anything,” he said last week, sitting on the porch of his trash-strewn house and poring over his medals. “If they don’t want to recognize me, fine. I did a job that I’m proud of.”

I’ve got the phone number of the historian of the Tuskegee Airmen Association on speed dial, it would take me two seconds to check on someone whom I doubted. But I guess that’s too difficult for the commander of the 99th Regional Readiness Command. I guess he didn’t think that wearing the Trident and the CIB together on an Army uniform seemed out of place either. So, what’s with Pennsylvania?

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (46)

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  1. Doc Savage says:

    And no one bothered to check his bullshit story before he was “honored”?

  2. Nicki says:

    How did the BG who gave him the award not notice the bullshit bling, including the Budweiser FFS??

    • Hondo says:

      I suspect he did, Nicki. The look on BG Waff’s face seems to me to be one of “I’m gonna tear my staff a new a**hole for putting a ceremony honoring this jerk on my schedule”. I suspect he only went thru with it to avoid making a scene.

      • H1 says:

        Concur.
        That’s a senior leader sideways look, “meeting my office now”.
        And it ain’t a raspberry beret from a second hand store.
        Tuck that strap in.

        • Nicki says:

          I guess this is why I could never be a flag officer. I would have throat punched that asshole right at the ceremony – in front of everyone. I have zero tact. None.

  3. Redacted1775 says:

    God dammit.

  4. Hondo says:

    Gee. According to this list, maintained by the Tuskegee University (where the Tuskegee Airman trained), the only guy with the last name of “Lee” to be a Tuskegee Airman pilot was named “Frank”.

    http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/legacy_of_fame/tuskegee_airmen/tuskegee_airmen_pilot_listing.aspx

    Further: if his only service was Army beginning in 1948, so much for any claim of being ground crew before they disbanded. The USAF split off and became a separate service in 1947.

  5. NR Pax says:

    Damn. Some folks go all out to get a spot in the tournament.

  6. SJ says:

    “sitting on the porch of his trash-strewn house and poring over his medals”

    And he spent money to buy a set of Blues?

  7. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    You see, it works like this: It no longer matters if certain people are total bullshit because even though they are, like anti-Ivory soap, 99.9% impure, it is what they represent that matters. We have seen this repeated in a number of different arenas of late, most recently in MO and VA. In VA, a gang rape by a band of phantom conservative students didn’t occur but, according to the school’s president, it doesn’t matter. The school will pursue whatever the hell it will pursue to raise awareness or something. In MO, it was a thug who attacked a police officer. The truth didn’t matter. It was all about no justice, no peace, or something. T. Rafael Lee fits nicely. It’s bigger than him. It’s what he represents to the idiots who honored him that matters. The truth be damned.

  8. Hondo says:

    Let’s see, 82 in June of this year. That means he was born in either (2014 – 82) = 1932 or 1931. That would make him either 13 or 14 in Sep 1945.

    Yep, I’m calling BS on any World War II service – Tuskegee Airmen or not. Just ain’t buying that claim.

    See my comment below.

  9. Dr. Strangeglove says:

    There really needs to be a stolen valor app!

    Just snap a photo of the person in uniform, enter a few quick fields and off it goes to some room full of servers that have access to all military records and an advanced AI analysis core.

    Your phone screen then flashes green, yellow or red (with horns and sirens in case of this person.)

    Smile for the camera, dirtbag.

  10. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    What a sniveling lying-assed snotweasel of a SHITBIRD!! Someone on that BG’s Staff needs a turbocharged ass-reaming at the very least, this shit’s going to be an embarrassment to him for quite a while!!

  11. CLAW131 says:

    Don’t want to put a damper on this,but the linked story is from six years ago,June 2008. So actually not recent “news”.

  12. Green Thumb says:

    Just an old, gnarly maggot.

    And the General should be relieved for cause.

    • Hondo says:

      GT: I’d give the GO here a bit of a pass. But not his staff.

      In a past assignment or two, I worked directly with and/or for a GO or SES. People have this impression that GOs/FOs/SESs have it easy. The reality is far different.

      GOs/FOs/SESs daily schedules – particularly those in key positions, such as Commanders – are incredibly busy. They have little control over most of it (it’s driven by higher HQ and/or external entities). Their schedule literally is set down to the minute with little if any slack, and is usually back-to-back-to-back meetings/briefings/traveling to and from same. They often don’t have the time to read anything but a 1 or 2 page document on the way to meeting at which they’ll be making an important decision. And this starts at 0700 or so in the morning and lasts until close of business – and sometimes late into the night.

      A GOs/FOs/SESs staff has to keep him prepared for that, and screen out obvious BS. By the time it gets to the “old man”, it better be ready – because the “old man” will only have a few minutes available for the task.

      Here, IMO the staff fornicated Fido bigtime. They should have asked to see some proof of the guy’s claims (or, better, verified the claims independently) – and when they didn’t pass muster, politely informed the guy requesting his presence that “the general has an unresolvable scheduling conflict and cannot attend.” Then they should have told the organizers of the event why privately.

      • Green Thumb says:

        Good point.

        But if the turd was rocking SEAL insignia on an Army uniform, a bell should have gone off.

        Not to say that it cannot happen, per se, but their should have been some suspicion.

        • Hondo says:

          I’m sure there was the second that BG Waff saw the Trident, GT. The look on his face above seems to me to be an “I’m gonna ream my staff for this idiocy” look.

      • Ranger11bv says:

        SO TRUE!!!!

  13. Instinct says:

    That guy, fuck him.

  14. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    All he’s missing is fake CPO rank *rustle, rustle!*.

    • MustangCryppie says:

      To my dim mind, this is the first guy to give “CPO rank *rustle, rustle!*” a run for his money.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Don’t give him ideas, Proud.

      Prime candidate for next year’s tourney, right? Except he may be a dead issue by then.

  15. Sparks says:

    “Mr. Sorace then watched as Mr. Lee took the stage, where Brig. Gen. William Waff of the 99th Regional Readiness Command in Coraopolis honored him as a World War II fighter pilot with the famous all-black Tuskegee airmen.”

    BG Waff should have had that “staff meeting” BEFORE this f’ed up ceremony to know who the hell it was he would be glad handing. I agree with Green Thumb above, he should be relieved for cause and outright stupidity. Can one really make it to BG these days and still be that naive about all things, make that, even simple things, military? If you can, you shouldn’t be.

  16. Thunderstixx says:

    I would bet that next year’s SV Tournament is going to be full by the time we get there…
    There seems to be a lot of this shit going around these days, kind of like the clap or the crabs back in the day…

    • Mustang1LT says:

      I think it may be time to revisit the idea that others have had to start off with a quarterly tournament. The winners can duke it out for the big win, kind of like the “Jeopardy Tournament of Champions”. There’s just so many of these guys (and gals) it seems like Henry Ford has an assembly line churning them out day and night.

      • Hack Stone says:

        So which poser would be the Ken Jennings of posers? They way Paul K. Wickre keeps reappearing, he would be the one for me, but other then his initial (failing) effort to pose a Vietnam vet, he is just your run of the mill asshole.

    • Instinct says:

      I’m thinking each stolen valor post should have a point system ranking. We assign point to each one and that way it’s easier when the tournament comes along to place the field.

      Just a little survey on each one ranking the turd from like 1-20 on a shitbag scale.

      • Instinct says:

        Should have added. Take the total number of voted points divided by the total number of voters to come up with their shitbag ranking.

  17. jonp says:

    So no shit there I was, hunkered down behind a berm with rounds zipping overhead. I thought I was a gonner until i felt a hand on my shoulder.
    “Fall back, I’ve got this” an 8 yr Signal Corp Private Seal Fighter Pilot said.
    Saved my life and I never got that stone cold killers name.

  18. deloppoled says:

    Wait a second! I think that I may have seen this old man on TV at one of those Ferguson riots… err, no I was wrong, that definitely wasn’t him but I am sure he will claim it was.

  19. Mr Wolf says:

    For a minute there, I was thinking the fellow in the ACU’s (who is the general) was the phony.

    That guy needs a better staff, that’s for sure. That’s the weakest beret I’ve ever seen on a GO…

  20. O-4E says:

    I hear tell he was also the first African American into space and invented microwave popcorn also

  21. PFDRBrendan says:

    Wow. This dude really did steal ALL of the valor lol. What a douchebag.

    It’s almost as if he picked things at random aside from the Tuskegee airman portion. I find that to be the most revolting part, mainly because those guys had to work so hard just to become pilots in the first place. By faking that, just because his skin color matched theirs, he is even more heinous as a person.

  22. Blaster says:

    I don’t mean to start a race argument here, but historically African Americans were held back from a lot of occupations until after de-segregation. I realize that the Tuskegee Airmen were an all black outfit, but the rest of his resume’ is very unbelievable when contrasted with history. Tuskegee Airman, Infantryman, SEAL, etc. way too much.