About That Proverbial “Bag of Ass” . . .

| June 13, 2013

Most regular TAH readers probably remember this guy – based on his rather hosed-up uniform, our proverbial “bag of ass”:


NPRC found his records.   Here’s the unredacted photo.


His name is Kenneth Ray Braden.  Here’s the FOIA reply concerning his official military records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in Saint Louis, MO.

Turns out the guy did actually serve.  He was in the TN ARNG; he was a tank crewman and MP.

Braden did in fact deploy to Iraq.  He did see action and receive a CAB.  Braden was combat wounded and received the Purple Heart.  He did receive a personal decoration (an ARCOM), presumably as an EOT award for his tour in Iraq – along with the NDSM, the GWOTEM, the GWOTSM, the AFRM w/”M”-device, and the ASR.

Braden’s records also state he has the “Army Overseas Training Ribbon”. That’s obviously an error – there is no such award – but I think that’s a typo for something else.  That entry could be referring to the “Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon”, or ARCOTR – a Reserve-Component-specific, ribbon-only award.  Per AR 600-8-22, para 5-3, that would require Braden to have done an AT (or a period of ADT) outside the US (operational deployments do not qualify).  That’s possible, but IMO unlikely.  However, that entry could also refer refer to the OSR; if so, that’s legit.  Braden should rate an OSR for his tour in Iraq per current Army policy.  My guess is that the entry in question is supposed to refer to the OSR.

OK, that’s the good news.  He in fact served.  Now, the bad news.

Per NPRC, Braden has no Silver Star and no BSM w/OLC.   He has no ICM.  He has no MFO Medal.  And he has no CIB.  He appears to be wearing all of those in the photos above. (Author’s note: as pointed out in the comments, the top inboard ribbon may well be the NDSM. I’ll give Braden the benefit of the doubt on that one, assume it is in fact the NDSM, and that my aging eyes had drifted out of calibration when I identified it originally as the MFO Medal.)

In short, he’s indeed MSU (Making S#!t Up).

To me, this is the type of stolen valor case that’s just frustrating as hell.  Braden served in combat, and apparently served in combat honorably and well.  He received an ARCOM for a tour in the “sandbox” as a very junior soldier (less than 2 years total duty at end of tour). He saw action, was wounded, and received the Purple Heart.

In short: his service while on active duty was honorable, competent, and worthy of praise. What he actually did is pretty damn impressive. He had no good reason to lie about it.

But, like someone else we know (hello, Dallas!), that just wasn’t good enough for him.  Braden just had to take a trip down Route MSU and turn himself into some kind of “Great American Hero” – a hero his records say he really wasn’t.

That’s sad.  Just freaking sad.

Can’t say I’m shocked, though.  Turns out there are some other pictures out in Internet-land that appear to provide second-source confirmation of the guy’s identity.

Unfortunately, they’re mugshots.  And there are more than one of them.

That’s even sadder.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (63)

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  1. terri bush says:

    im in love with that man and i don’t agree with the crimes he committed but he is serving time for them at this moment. he got lost on his path in life due to the PTSD. d healing from his gun shot wounds. yet that is no excuse cor his poor judgement but those factors had a helping hand in his weakness. he is better now and clear headed. i fully believe him when he tells me i make him want to be a better man. he has proved that to me over the last 4 months

  2. PintoNag says:

    @51 Terri: I’m going to say something that’s going to hurt, but I want you to at least file it for future reference. When someone tells you that YOU are “responsible for making them ___________”, they are feeding you a line. They are using a form of emotional control. If they “fail” at whatever they’ve said you’re making them do/be, then in their mind, YOU are responsible for their failure to achieve whatever they put on your shoulders. I’ve had this done to me, and I guarantee you this: it will drive you right into the ground, emotionally and mentally. It turns into a guilt trip that you may never get out from under.

    That man is responsible for his behavior, and any improvement he makes in his life has to come from HIM, and nowhere else. YOU are not responsible for his moral fiber. Don’t let him hang that albatross around your neck.

  3. OWB says:

    What PN said.

  4. terri bush says:

    Thank you i appreciate that, its very true what you said. either way im glad he is better and back on the right path.

  5. Hondo says:

    terri bush: best of luck – to you both. Hopefully he’ll “straigten up and fly right” from here on out. Many don’t, but a few do.

    Please keep us posted.

  6. CavStryker says:

    Ii think this cat got wounded in the brainstem..

  7. carla says:

    Hmm.. well I’ve been holding back on commenting but I think I’ll spill. He deserves everything that happens to him. I dated him for a long time and to my face he was perfect. Behind closed doors he was a monster. He stole from me and my family. He used me for everything I had. He’s a pretty smooth talker and that’s how he gets the ladies. But beware.. He’s a dog.. A thief.. A liar.. and a felon. It’s sad that something like this came from our military. I hope he rots under the jail

  8. Green Thumb says:

    I forgot about this turd.

    CAB = CIB: Not

    Yellow Cord: All kinds of cool!

    I will stop while I am ahead.

  9. AverageNCO says:

    Braden + Teri + Carla = Springer

  10. s15295 says:

    I also dated this sorry excuse for a man. He stole from me and my family as well. I say leave him in jail and move on to better things.

  11. H33371 says:

    I am best friends with one of his ex girlfriends, he stole from her, her family and friends. he told her that he was being redeployed to get her to marry him and set up a joined bank account. He mentally abused her and got her hooked on numerous drugs, and it’s taken her years to get over it and trust her judgement. Be careful Terri Bush, she thought he was wonderful and it nearly destroyed her life.