Dennis Surrendi; more Canadian Stolen US Valor

| May 19, 2015

Dennis Surrendi

The wife of author Robert Mason (he wrote the award-winning book “Chickenhawk” about his experiences in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot) sent us a message on Facebook about this creep, Dennis Surrendi. According to Ms. Mason, Surrendi lifted nearly all of Mr. Mason’s book and inserted it into his own book “Set Me Free”, so I went looking around the internet for him and I found this article in the Nanton News about the author and his book. Apparently, as with Waverly Reynar, Surrendi was kidnapped and forced into the Vietnam War. I didn’t know that kidnapping Canadians is a thing. Apparently, when the Marines aren’t doing it, the CIA picks up their slack.

Of course, Mr. Surrendi had a skill set that no American would have;

Little did Surrendi know that the CIA was profiling students, and Surrendi — with a varied background that includes playing professional hockey for three years with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, is a neurosurgeon, has a masters of science in fish and wildlife management, a PhD in wildlife ecology and a PhD in human ecology — ranked high in the profiling, with his strengths in physics and chemistry.

“I fit into criteria for what they were seeking,” says Surrendi. “I got set up by the CIA through the University of Wisconsin, got drafted and couldn’t get out of it.”

Even though his name doesn’t appear on the rosters of the Red Wings or the Blackhawks, Surrendi swears that he played for them when he was 16, until he got tired of it and went to college at 19 years old, within a year or two, he was a neurosurgeon and he has several other degrees like two Master of Science degrees and two Ph.D. degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Human Population Dynamics and Ecology, you know, because neurosurgeon pay doesn’t go very far.

Anyway, the CIA kidnapped him and sent him to Vietnam to pilot helicopters against his will, because we can never have enough neurosurgeons flying our gunships.

“The army in the States in the mid ‘60s were developing the first high-technical assault helicopter and were looking for candidates to fly it,” Surrendi says. “They were looking for certain types of candidates.”
He served as a helicopter pilot with the 229 Assault Helicopter Battalion in the 1st Air Calvary for about a year and a half before being reassigned to the 49 Aviation Company, 12 Aviation Battalion, where he served more than six months.

During his last nine months in Vietnam, Surrendi flew a Cobra AH-1 assault helicopter, which required that he obtain top secret clearance.
During his service in Vietnam, Surrendi received two purple hears, the Bronze Star and Silver Star for bravery, and became one of the most decorated non-Americans in the Vietnam War.

“I was dragged into that war,” says Surrendi. “I wanted to express the kind of situation a person can get into. It was terrifying in some cases, to be quite blunt.”

Robert Mason, “Chickenhawk”, was also in the 229th, see how coincidental that is? I can’t find the 49th Aviation Company, but Mason served in the 48th Aviation Company – he called it the 49th in his book and Surrendi fell for it.

Needless to say, Surrendi had to self-publish the book, because that’s how you publish a book that you lifted from a world-renown, award-winning book written by a real author.

We started the process for a FOIA on Surrendi this morning, but Mary couldn’t find a Serial Number on him – meaning that he wasn’t in her database of Vietnam veterans. Even Wave Reynar was in her database.

Surrendi’s admission to his lies.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (106)

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  1. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    *Making popcorn*. Here we go again, I wonder if this bedwetting booger-eating Sparkle Pony of a plagiarizing Swamp Donkey has people conned into sticking up for him? All he’s missing is an additional “Piled higher & Deeper” in Underwater Basket Weaving!

  2. GDContractor says:

    Good on Robert Mason. Chickenhawk is a must read.

    • the Al says:

      Damn it, now I have to go through my books and find my copy of that again. I haven’t read it in years, and now I feel a need to again

      • GDContractor says:

        Me too. He wrote a followup toobook as well. Chickenhawk, back in the world. I need to order it.

    • Green Thumb says:

      This slimeball looks like a fucking chickenhawk.

      • desert says:

        I think surrendi needs to fly again….if everyone that walked by kicked the S.O.B. as hard as they could right square in the ass, maybe he would finally get off the ground…and then back on it LOL…dirty bas-ards!

    • John D says:

      Available for kindle on Amazon.

      Great reading!

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I may be wrong but I think that lying about having played pro hockey is the only capital offense remaining in Canada. Slap shot!

  4. 3E9 says:

    How stupid are people? Without the stolen valor I can see his supposed degrees are bullshit in less than two seconds. What a fucking dipshit.

  5. Doc Savage says:

    Didn’t we have some other idiot profiled on here not long ago that “self published” and was getting his ass handed to him on Amazon reviews??

    Its a Hero? Takes a Hero? Need a Hero?

    Some bullshit like that?

    • Andy11M says:

      I think that was the guy that left the active duty Army as a 1Lt and went to the reserves and got out still a 1Lt? Nothing throws a red flag like a officer that can’t get promoted to Captain. And yes, it was self published.

    • D says:

      All hail the great Kennedy Uzomba, the guy who did things usually reserved for SES types and GO/FOs as a mere 1LT in the USAR. He will always be a legend in his own mind.

      • GDContractor says:

        Don’t forget J Max Taylor who was black ops at some base in VN… until someone pointed out in an Amazon review of his book that the base he named was in Thailand.

      • Green Thumb says:

        That maggot is one of my favorite posers.

  6. Martinjmpr says:

    I dunno, I think it makes sense that the CIA was trying to find experienced hockey players for our war in the tropical jungles of SE Asia, seeing as how that skill set would be so valuable there.

    In “Apocalypse Now”, LTC Kilgore (Robert Duvall) famously said “Charlie Don’t Surf!” but maybe what he really meant to say was “Charlie Don’t Skate!”

    • D says:

      If you want a laugher, you should read the story of Roland Haas. That guy’s lucky he never showed up on here before he died.

  7. spd0302 says:

    Hey Tank Boy are you out there? What’s up with these Canadians lately?

    • TankBoy says:

      I have seen the hot mess from Nanton. Funny thing is, my folks lived in Nanton for about 4-5 years when I was first in the Corps. When I had leave after tank school before hopping the bird to Okinawa, I spent two weeks in Nanton.
      I’m beginning to think there is something in the water in Alberta. Which leads me to question whether my dear old Dad is telling the truth when he says he got recruited to do a bunch of Swedish porno in Dusseldorf with three hot blond ladies when he went to Montana and got spotted by a Swedish porn talent scout. Apparently this all happened in 1959. He has sworn by it for years, but the scales have fallen off my eyes.

  8. Andy11M says:

    strange, the comments section at the linked news story are closed? I wonder why?

  9. nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

    Surrendi needs to surrender his Dumbass Card to someone smart enough to use it.

  10. Hondo says:

    From Canada again, eh? Ok, en Français:

    Surrendi a dit quoi? Quelle merde!

  11. JohnE says:

    As a lifelong hockey player and Chicago Blackhawks fan, I am now offended on another level. has no Dennis Surrendi listed as either a Blackhawk or Dead Thing (Red Wing…). Go figure…

  12. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    So this old puck went to VN in 1965 and was there for two years? Sure he did. It’s just coincidence that another Canadian with the exact same last, first, and middle name was watching geese in Alberta to collect data in pursuit of a master’s degree at the University of Montana then. I don’t even want to touch that Cobra bullshit. No need to. Just the same, if one of his crazy defenders shows up, here’s the soundex number to the thesis (“The mortality, behavior,and homing of transplanted juvenile Canada geese”)he was working on from Vietnam: 3 1762 10015597 5. It appears that someone actually borrowed the thesis one, in 1975.

    • GDContractor says:

      Gotta love a poser with a unique name, eh?

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        Yeah, that search-engine thingy is an amazing tool. The canadian goose gazer probably doesn’t know that it exists. Certainly, the author of that bullshit didn’t. I tell you, every time I think I found the LCD, someone comes along and proves me wrong.

        • Hack Stone says:

          According to one of the morning drive guys on WMAL a few weeks back, they are Canada Geese, not Canadian Geese. Doesn’t matter to me what you call them, they will still shit all over the National Mall.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      “here’s the soundex number to the thesis (“The mortality, behavior,and homing of transplanted juvenile Canada geese”)”

      Hey, if you think the book was bad you should have seen the movie. Awful!

      Although I have to acknowledge that the role of “American Pie’s” Seann William Scott (Stifler) as the sex-crazed juvenile goose was surprisingly nuanced. Still, two thumbs down!

  13. Bobo says:

    It doesn’t look like Set Me Free is available on Amazon, but by looking for it, I’ve found a genre that I never knew existed in adult literature (Sweet Cherries, Fresh Cream: 3 Tales of First Time Feeding: (An Innocent Taboo Box Set, Romantic Short Story Collection, Naughty Nursing Bundle Series)). Free for Kindle, if anyone is interested.

  14. Chindoya says:

    I searched “Dennis Surrendi”in and found him in the 1962 and 1965 years books of Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. According to Canadian voter registration records available through in 1974 he was living in Edmonton, Alberta.

  15. Green Thumb says:

    Awesome article.

    What a shitbag.

    If you are going to do it, go big. This maggot is setting the standard, indeed.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      Maybe Surrendi will end up in the fecal four, or at least make it to the excremental eight!

  16. Bobo says:

    It looks like the article’s author popped smoke sometime between when she wrote it and now. Her e-mail bounces. Maybe it was a coup de grace to her career as she walked out the door.

    • TankBoy says:

      I checked out the contacts for the paper. She’s still listed. Didn’t reply to me either.

  17. 3/17 Air Cav says:

    Finally, after four weeks of phony/embellishing Marines. This is more like it! First Cav Snake pilot, what no Black Stetson? In his photo, he’s wearing a brown one. He MUST be extra badass!

    Stupid old fuck

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      More like he’s so full of shit it stained his hat! :mrgreen:

    • Skippy says:

      Well as a former Cav guy myself …….
      I would say it means he is a pile of SHIT !!!!!!!
      Bhwhahahahahaha !!!!!!

  18. ChipNASA says:

    Robert posted this on his Facebook some time back and I now have linked it to here and explained that Good Old Dennis is now going to be FAMOUS

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      *WHAP!*. Ooh, that’s gonna leave a mark, I can’t wait to hear some updates on this assclown getting what he deserves!

  19. 4897 says:

    “During his last nine months in Vietnam, Surrendi flew a Cobra AH-1 assault helicopter, which required that he obtain top secret clearance.”

    Oh wow. So the agency had him working for them before that without clearance?

    I guess he was just that good.

    Further quote from the article:
    “CIA agents also showed up on the doorstep of his parents’ home in Calgary, and forced them to sign confidentiality agreements as well. Surrendi is sure that if anyone had refused to sign, they would have been killed.”

    Let me guess, he’s gonna pull the secret squirrel card and say he was so secret that’s why they erased all record of not only his military service, but also his PhD’s, neurosurgeon history and even his super duper secret career as a professional hockey player. (It’s Canada – hockey is vital to security.)

    Yeah, I’m definitely going secret squirrel on this one over the “I once sat next to a pilot, I thought that made me a pilot” excuse. Or the “I got hit in the head on black ops, my memory is foggy” excuse.

    Anyone want to take me up on this? I’ll give you 5 to 1 odds!

  20. OIF '06-'07-'08 says:

    Would somebody please explain to me why the CIA would want to kidnap any Canadian citizens when the CIA had 1,000’s of draft dodgers that went north of the boarder to escape service in Vietnam to chose from. Just another dumb-ass retard to stand head shoulders with Waverly Reynar.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      I hear you, but that ass-booger plagiarized a real Hero’s book, he needs to have his ass handed to him on a bamboo stick!

  21. Dennis - not chevy says:

    Another Dennis phony – if one more phony shows up here named Dennis, I swear, I will invent the way back machine and go back in time to sue my sainted mother for giving my that name.

  22. BinhTuy66 says:

    He’s the real deal! I know someone from the PNW, a non-CPO that was the door gunner on Surrendi’s Cobra.

    • Joe Williams says:

      I caught that Binh Tuy 66. FYI, the Marines had 1 squadron of Hueys for each Marine Air Group of Helos. The Hueys were used as gunships. Joe

  23. Geetwillickers says:

    Umm… not only did he copy someone else’s MOH citation, he applied the citation to the wrong freakin’ medal, AND displayed the medal with the wrong name!

    Hory Sheet!

  24. USMCE8Ret says:

    Next well hear that “Dennis Surrendi” isn’t his real name, and that the CIA forced him to change his name when he got back from Vietnam. Meanwhile, the whole bird watching thing in Montana was his cover story while he was slaying bodies in Vietnam.

    C’mon people…. have a little imagination.

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      AND his records disappeared in “the fire” as part of the coverup, eh?

      • USAF RET says:

        We now know the “Real” reason for “The Fire”.

        It was a CIA attempt to destroy this LPoS records. After all these years the “truth” comes out.

    • Anthony C Surrendi says:

      Trust me, its his real name. Wish he would have changed it to distance himself from myself and my Fathers memory. I, along with my mother and sister informed Stolen Valor and Fake Soldiers over a year ago, as well as other people that would listen. After Dennis threatened legal action, we dropped it, as it seemed like we were getting nowhere anyway. He never played for the blackhawks or red wings, and he aint no neurosurgeon. The only truth to any of this story is the Fish and Wildlife part.

      • Pinto Nag says:

        You have our sympathy for the burden this must be for you and the rest of your family. We say here that Stolen Valor is not a victimless crime — and you are a prime example of that. Thank you for posting here.

  25. Geetwillickers says:

    Not that most TAH readers really need to be told this, but the medal he is displaying, and calling the “Medal of the Republic of Vietnam” (whatever the hell that is…) is the Vietnam Service Medal, which (correct me if I am wrong…) is awarded without citation. Why in the hell would someone feel the need to include a citation with a simple service medal?

    (Not disparaging this medal in any way, just pointing out that it is NOT awarded for gallantry or any other actions above and beyond not dodging the draft…)

    • Hondo says:

      Correct. The VSM falls in the category of “campaign and service medals”. Merely being physically present in the designated area of operations for the required period of time is sufficient to qualify for award of same.

      Campaign medals are awarded without citation or orders. Unless things have changed in a major way since Vietnam, it should also have been presented without any type of certificate (other than perhaps a locally-prepared and unofficial one).

      • Geetwillickers says:

        I think I am going to go peruse the MOH archives for a good citation to go with my AFEM… (awarded for playing Spades in Kuwait for 90 days…)

        Then I can copy 90% of Lone Survivor and save all the effort of manufacturing my own war stories for my bestselling novel! (Self-published and for sale in a tourist trap near you!)

  26. Combat Historian says:

    This dude researched and wrote his thesis on the migration habits of the Canadian Geese while in between flying trooplift missions out of An Khe in II Corps? Damn he’s good…///

  27. Bobo says:

    From “Dennis Surrendi is a liar! The contents of this book that pertain to piloting helicopters are directly copied from Robert Mason’s book Chickenhawk. Mr.Surrendi never served in ANY capacity in Vietnam with American OR Canadian forces, and as a Canadian student attending an American University he was not subject to being drafted by anybody up to and including the CIA per his claims.
    There are ongoing lawsuits from not only Robert and Patience Mason but as well as the publishing house who published Mr.Mason’s book Chickenhawk and the doctored certificate he shows a photo of, claiming it was awarded to him by the US government for his contributions and efforts in Vietnam belongs to Col. Bruce “Snake” Crandall!
    Stolen Valour Canada has been conducting an investigation on this morally repugnant, shameless liar for over a years time, and have been in contact with every individual and unit he claimed to have served with and not one single person could verify his claims, if anything there are a pile of aging Vietnam Helicopter pilots who are madder than Hell and would LOVE to have a discussion with this fake!”

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      He’s falsely claimed to have been a Pro Hockey Player as well, I think it’s fair to let them get a piece or three of him too, eh? 😉

      • MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

        All before the age of 22 …

        Yeah, and flaming purple monkeys wearing kilts will fly out of MY ass and straight in to your living room tonight at 2137.

        That is all!

        • TankBoy says:

          Wil;l they be from the tilted kilt, and bring me beer? If so, then it’s all good!

        • CLAW131 says:

          I hope those monkeys are fast because I will have just settled into my Lay-Z-Boy to watch Force 10 from Navarone that starts at 2135.

          As Tankboy said it’s all good if they bring beer and popcorn.

        • jedipsycho (Certified Space Shuttle Door Gunner) says:

          Wait, you mean that *didn’t* happen?

    • Green Thumb says:

      When he joins All-Points Logistics, maybe he could fly Phildo around in a taxpayer-funded rental helicopter?

  28. CLAW131 says:

    Once again it’s the math that exposes these LSOS’s for what they are.

    He says he flew Cobras for the last nine months of a two year tour. If he was in country for Ia Drang in Nov 65, that puts his start time in the Cobras at roughly Feb 67.

    The first Cobras didn’t come in country until Sep/Oct 67. The first Cobra pilot KIA didn’t happen until 31 Jan 68 during TET and his bird only had a total of 61 flight hours on when that happened.

    I wish Bob Mason and the publishing company all the luck in the world in the pending lawsuits.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      We don’t have to go that far. The SOB was literally goose gazing and counting goslings in Alberta when he claims he was in Vietnam. He was collecting the data for his master’s thesis at the University of Montana. How any ‘reporter’ could possibly write his fiction for him is beyond my comprehension. That chick is an accessory to SV, in my book.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        Maybe geese weren’t the only thing he was gawking at, he looks like a meat gazer as well!

        • Dave Hardin says:

          Didn’t we just have a poser with a thing for geese? How many are required before we have and official gaggle?

          • CLAW131 says:

            Yes, Dave. It was that weirdass HMC James Gattoni.

            He ran over a goose “just because it was in the way” and then killed his mother’s cat with a police baton.

            But at least he got his ass tazered by the cops when he was arrested.

  29. The Other Whitey says:

    In what drug-addled fantasy does it make sense to kidnap a foreign national, send him overseas, give him a multi-million-dollar gunship full of ordnance, because he’s (allegedly) and underage pro hockey player/brain surgeon? I’m really wracking my brain on that one. Hell, the fucking Norks would laugh their asses off at the suggestion of such a bizarre idea. This guy is a “speshul” kind of stupid, kind of like if Lars and old VWPussy had a mutant love child.

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      The hockey establishes athletic prowess and the neurosurgean establishes smarts. To his way to thinking hey were both important backstories and in the end he must have decided “What the hell? Let’s squirrel both stories in there.”

  30. farmgirl with a mosin nagant says:

    I almost choked on a jelly bean reading this one. Who knew that studying wildlife and ecology could get you on a hit list to be drafted! I’d better watch out – my agricultural science focus is on the intersections between agriculture and ecology with a particular emphasis on invasive species tracking and management. Since some of that tracking and management occurs from one end of a rifle, I must be their next pick to be sent somewhere to take care of business!!!

  31. MrBill says:

    There was a follow-up article in the same publication –

    In this one he also claims to have been the CEO of North Face.

    • MrBill says:

      I sent an e-mail to Kassidy Christensen, the writer of the second article. In part:

      I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t this guy’s story set off your BS detector even a little bit? Played for the Blackhawks AND Red Wings? Not one, but TWO Ph.Ds? A neurosurgeon (which would mean an MD and a long residency as well)? The CEO of North Face? AND super-secret CIA operative and Vietnam helicopter pilot to boot? One man did all this? Really?

      May I suggest a follow-up story? “How Two Writers for Were Bamboozled By a Con Artist”?

      • MrBill says:

        That e-mail just bounced back to me.

        • gitarcarver says:

          The last article written by the author is from August of 2014. It could be that she is no longer with the the publication and her email address has been made inoperative by the newspaper.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        Maybe her next story could be a testimonial titled “Life Without a Bullshit Detector”?

  32. 3/17 Air Cav says:

    The thing that really gets me about these Vietnam posers, when I say posers I mean the ones that weren’t even in the military, is this; back in the day when I was drafted, and served one year five months and twelve days in my illustrious Army Career. I would have traded places any time with them!

    Now, I would not trade places with them for anything. Kind of funny, what aging does to one. Respecting where we went and what we did under a very difficult time in our country. I’m proud of that time in my life and answering the call.

    Just sayin

  33. Reb says:

    I HAVE NOT SERVED MY COUNTRY IN THE MILITARY. I have served my community in law enforcement and as a Paralegal. ALL OF YOU HAVE. If assholes like this one pisses me off I can’t imagine how much it effects you. I just want to roll to where they live and beat the snot of the liars. I guess serving in the Military taught you to keep your temper and flick the idiot off your shoulder like a like a piece of lint. I’m in awe of the way you guys can hold back by not kicking their asses. I haven’t read a single thing about a pissed off veteran who kicked the crap out of one. Real heroes like you wouldn’t soil your good names….

  34. Chris says:

    I heard he was going to write Wave’s life story and title it ” Wave Reynar, From egg slinger to ass kicker 28 years no one ever knew about”

  35. TheCloser says:

    Another example of an unethical, lazy journalist publishing obvious BS.

  36. MrBill says:

    Found this thread on a sports discussion board, of all places –

  37. Friend S. Wilkins says:

    After reading parts of Surrendi’s harrowing and heroic tale, this scene from the movie, Taken, comes to mind.

  38. Mr Wolf says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say I can write an entire short-story about this guy in one sentence. The longest short-story sentence in existence.

    And I STILL couldn’t get all the B.S. in it.