Earl F. Skellen; phony Vietnam vet

| August 12, 2016

Earl F. Skellen

Adam sends us a link from Holley, New York where 69-year-old Earl F. Skellen has been passing himself off as a Vietnam veteran even becoming the Post Commander of VFW Post 202 recently;

“As a member of the VFW, Skellen used his position of power to purchase a John Deere zero-turn lawn mower at a greatly reduced price of $500 when the value of the mower at the time of purchase was over $2,000,” a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office said.

An investigation by Investigator Kenneth Strickland and members of the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency determined he had not served either in Vietnam or for any branch of the armed forces at any time.

Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower said his agency responded quickly to a concern voiced by a member of the VFW post.

Skellen is cooling his heels in jail on $1000 bond on charges of first-degree scheme to defraud, a Class E Felony, and fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E Felony.

I might drive up to get that deal on a tractor, though.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (164)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Geez…what a piece of…..(you fill in your favorite expletive.)

  2. HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

    Hope the boys (Bubba, Thor, Julio and Mr. “Tiny”) are feeding him a lot of cockmeat sammiches and tubsteak during his stay in the poundhimintheass jail.

    Assclown …

  3. Hondo says:


  4. Akpual says:

    I’ve been reading these stories on this and other blogs for quite some time now and I still don’t get how these guys get away with this shit for so long. Damn I must be dumb.

    • Poetrooper says:

      I chalk it up to the good will that most veterans extend to their fellows. It’s a very large brotherhood, but we tend to look at it as one, nonetheless, and as a result we sometimes make ourselves too accepting.

      That of course does not extend to those who read here; we are just the opposite. I find myself far more skeptical of other veterans I now encounter than before becoming a member of this forum and because of that heightened vigilance I have found some phonies. It’s a shame more members of the American Legion and VFW don’t regularly read TAH. I’d wager we’d see a lot more of these assholes exposed were that the case.

      • desert says:

        That’s all fine and I agree except, it doesn’t take a second to VERIFY, look at the documents….!! A lot better than looking like gullible PHOOLS!

    • desert says:

      I can’t believe they let the scumbag IN the VFW, much less made him commander? I am a life member of VFW and a few years back decided to join the American Legion, a lady vet came to the house, looked at all my documents , verified my service etc etc and welcomed me to the American Legion…thats what I call an efficient Organization, not sure if its just our Post or American Legion wide?

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    He wants to be a vet? Fine. Draft his ass, show him how to shoot a gun of some kind, load him and the other phonies into a Herc and drop them off in Syria or Iraq some place where there’s a firefight going on. If they survive, they get the bennies they’re stealing from other people.

    • William Shrum says:

      I totally agree with you! Since my dear brother has claimed his phone Purple Heart, I say let’s send him to Syria and make sure he gets shot at least once, preferably in the nuts! Another first class shit bag!!!

  6. Graybeard says:

    That is not my photo.
    a) My beard is much more manly.
    b) I’m not going bald.
    c) I’m a tried-and-true Texan – I would never willingly live in New York.

    Just sayin’

  7. I think his punishment should be to go thru at 69 years old, what ever branch of service he claims to be a “veteran” of, thru that branches basic training, without pay of course and if he doesn’t pass, well then it’s a 4 year jail sentence and 2 years probation,that would be justice, which would be equal to an enlistment, that would be a righteous punishment….and hope his false claim was that of a Marine, that would be funny or a heart attack with his 1st confrontation with the drill instructor, he might screw up from the get go with lining up at the painted feet at where to stand painted at Parris Island.
    BUT some liberal shitbag non-vet lawyer would claim that as “cruel and unusual punishment”.

  8. ex-OS2 says:


  9. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Booger-munching SHITBIRD!

  10. AverageNCO says:

    What stands out to me is that someone from his VFW post turned him in, when so many local VSO’s circle their wagons around fakers. Also, local authorities actually charged him with something. I can’t help but think that what we do here, and at Guardian of Valor, Fake Warriors, etc is brining awareness to the issue.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      Well…yes and no.

      I mean I guess you could call it a “victory” that someone from his VSO turned him in but it was a pretty big failure that he got so high in the organization to begin with.

      It also damages the reputation of other VSO’s. You have to wonder how many fakers they have in their ranks or even in high offices.

      • AverageNCO says:

        I wonder how long he was a member. He may have joined pre-Internet days when folks’ weren’t as conscious of fakers.

  11. SKYJUMPER says:

    I’d be curious to see what kind of military embellishments he wore on his hat & shirt when he was the Post Commander.

    Seriously, these organizations need to better “vet” these people!

    What a sack of nuts!!

    • akpual says:

      Yep vet the vets. The Vets don’t always do a good job of that. One more reason not to join the VFW. Damn I shouldn’t feel that way.

      • Poetrooper says:

        You shouldn’t feel bad, Akpual, because a lot us feel that way. The way I handle it is to join the national organizations but never affiliate with a local post. That way they get my dues and get to count me as a member but I don’t have to associate with the inevitable bullshit artists.

        The reason they don’t vet the vets is because they don’t want to do anything to limit or reduce membership numbers. But they most definitely should have tighter vetting requirements for post officers.

  12. 1610desig says:

    VFW post commander, Guardian of squalor…

  13. Skippy says:

    POS !!!!!!
    I guess I can call him Grass ????

  14. Ex-PH2 says:

    Okay, so this draft dodger wants to be important, eh? I’ve got the perfect spot for him, and he’ll be on the winning side, too.


    If he gets back alive, he can have a small parade… or at least a bouquet of roses, a turkey sandwich and a bottle of Cold Duck.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

      Cold Duck? Isn’t being a little to generous, Ex-PH2? I’d think a DRG cocktail is more up Earl’s alley.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Cold Duck is dreadful stuff, Senior Chief. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone except as a fitting punishment for being a draft dodger.

  15. Club Manager says:

    I’ve been looking at mowers. If that was a brand new mower (not used), the price tag was closer to $4,000.

  16. Martinjmpr says:

    Now that I think about it, it kind of makes sense that so many fakers are in VSO’s. I would call what they do “bootstrapping.” That is, they are “bootstrapping” their faked or embellished claims.

    I was briefly in the AL a few years back and I seem to recall that when I filled out my application, they asked me to attach a copy of my DD-214 but if I did not have one, they would give me, I want to say as much as 6 months to get one to them. In the meantime, all my claims would have been accepted as factual.

    So what do you want to bet that a lot of these fakers join their local AL or VFW, say they ‘lost’ their DD-214 and by the time their 6 months (or whatever) is up, they’ve already ingratiated themselves to the group and whoever is assigned to follow-up on the 214s (my guess is that if it’s a small post, that would be “nobody”) quickly forgets and moves on to other business.

    After a few years, they are fully accepted in the group and nobody questions their status. Furthermore, having spent years hanging around actual BTDT guys, they now know the lingo and maybe they’ve even swiped a few ‘war stories’ for themselves.

    Even better, perhaps they move or their local VFW/AL post shuts down and they transfer to another one. Now there’s absolutely no question because instead of coming to the new post “off the street” they are coming in as a long time member, presumably “vetted” by the previous post, and so, again, nobody questions their claims.

    If they’re really successful at it, they can ride the Veteran train all the way to the afterlife and get a nicely written obituary detailing their imaginary military careers.

    And because of their long time membership in a “legitimate” VSO, nobody even thinks to question the accuracy of their tales.

    • Eden says:

      I’ve been told by several people, flat out, that I’m eligible to join the VFW, even though I told them I’ve never deployed. Of course, I never tried to actually join, but it might be an interesting exercise to see what would happen.

      • Hondo says:

        You might well be. Ever serve a short tour or extended TDY in Korea? That counts (KDSM counts as a campaign medal).


        Yep. Anyone who did a normal peacetime tour in Korea since 1954 – or who did 30 days consecutive/60 days nonconsecutive TDY in Korea – and thus qualifies for the KDSM now also qualifies to join the VFW.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          And AFAIK even before the KDSM was approved, a tour in Korea post-1953 would have qualified you for membership in the AL even if you never deployed anywhere else.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          BTW as enrollment numbers dwindle I would expect the requirements for the VFW and AL to be relaxed even further.

          It would not surprise me a bit if, within the next 20 years or so, all that was required for membership in either organization was a DD-214.

          After all, anyone who served after 9/11/01 was a participant in the “Global War on Terror” (GWOT) even if they never left the US.

          It’s a rather tortured rationale but I could absolutely see the powers that be at the VFW arguing that anyone who serves on active duty for even one day after 9/11 has participated in a “foreign war” regardless of where and how they served.

          And I could see the AL making much the same argument, and additionally saying that if you received the NDSM (which everybody gets nowadays) you qualify for membership in their organization too.

          The only remaining question would be whether declining membership numbers will eventually require the VFW and AL to merge with each other.

        • Eden says:

          Never even got to leave the U.S., although I narrowly missed it several times, including a near-deployment to Desert Storm. I did do my AT in North Dakota and Minnesota during DS, which qualified me for an NDSM, but that’s it.

      • jason says:

        I never deployed but I did serve 4 months in korea so I am eligible for vfw. and because of medical issues I am eligible for dav. but I am not eligible for American legion.

    • Claw says:

      Or simply pay up and become an associate canteen member and climb the ladder from there.

      It only takes one current member “buddy” to vouch for you and you’re in.

    • Joan Ellis says:

      Phony Montagna joined each and every one he could find in Florida and Vermont

  17. lily says:

    I’ve been a “member at large” of the VFW by simply joining online. I enjoy reading updates about what’s happening in regards to veteran benefits. They have some good stories. The only thing I don’t like is they sometimes only release one magazine for a two month period.

    The American Legion gives a more interesting magazine and it’s every month. The only problem I have with it is that some of the people they allow to write stories are crazy. This one lady who wrote a story about Kosovo in 2008 tried to claim that to me in an e-mail that all of the Serbians were innocent and all of the Albanians were criminals during the Kosovo war. I disagreed since we have plenty of proof of war crimes committed by both sides. She wouldn’t listen and even claimed that the KLA forced all the Albanians to flee Kosovo.

    Surprisingly, I got the most material out of the Association of the United States Army. They are the cheapest when it comes to dues. You get a magazine, a news paper and an update from all the different commands called the “green book”.

    It’s discouraging that so many fakers join these VSOs. That’s why I’m not going to join a club anytime soon. I was just interested in helping some real vets and getting updated on what’s going on in regards to veteran issues.

  18. Tallywhagger says:

    That’s about the Bernathiest looking sonofabitch I’ve seen since the disgraced, no-airplane-flying-disbarred-fucktard-of-Florida photoshopped himself on top of someone else’s official Navy portrait.

    Ya’ know… I bet Dan could do pretty good for himself in the new-Navy. He seems like their kind of people.

    • Hondo says:

      Concur. Based on his demonstrated skill at transportation planning, he’s apparently well qualified to be the commander of RIVRON 3’s next 2-boat mission.

  19. Green Thumb says:


  20. Mark Lauer says:

    This guy was probably marching on the anti-war lines back during the Vietnam War. Didn’t want to go over there and fight for Uncle Sam. But he sure does want to reap the benefits of those who did.

  21. Joan Ellis says:

    We need a break
    Let’s go out to the lake, Earl
    Well, the weeks went by and spring turned to summer
    And summer faded into fall
    And it turns out Earl was a missing person
    who nobody missed at all
    We’ll pack a lunch
    And stuff you in the trunk, Earl
    Well, is that all right?
    Good! Let’s go for a ride, Earl.

    Apologies to the Dixie Chicks…but I do have an extra tarp and a bag of lime

    • Brenda jo nanni says:

      We have no idea who this is and this was not even close to what Earl did. Yes he passed himself off as a vet and that was wrong but everything he did was to further the VFW and improve life for veterans. He did not ask for pity or attention his heart was for veterans of every war and making sure that they got their due. His fault was to include himself in the ranks but it had nothing to do with glory or personal gain.

  22. jarhead says:

    Sooner or later he will get out. Look for him to try pull one such as: “I’m Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. They were just kidding when they said I died. BTW, can I hold a dollar for ya?”

  23. HMC Ret says:

    I wonder if Earl has claimed Secret Squirrel Status? (SSS … Secret Squirrel Status … I have now copyrighted SSS.) ‘Everything I did was TS and no records can be released. Only the President has access to my records. Even I can’t gain access to them. They’re kept under lock at a secret location.’

    Earl The Secret Squirrel. I like it.

  24. jarhead says:

    HMC, good job, I like it!!! SO much that I wrote a rhyme for you.

    Earl, Earl the Secret Squirrel
    Born with the mannerisms of a little girl
    Hair’s so long it’s got a little curl
    Lyin’ mofuker just makes you wanna hurl.

    Lied his ass off just to get a deal on a mower
    Bought it on the cheap and drove it out the door
    Where he’s goin’ his ass is gonna be sore
    Is Earl the Secret Squirrel really just a whore?

  25. omgitshim says:

    More then likely one of those that ran off to Canada scared to death. But now wants to jump on the bandwagon. Need good public shaming (him and is whole family) like they use to do.

  26. HMC Ret says:

    Never did one day in uniform for his country and now regrets not having served. So he creates an entire new Earl complete with service in VN. And he passed for how long among other vets who suspected nothing? He hung around long enough to learn the lingo so as not to raise suspicion? How is this even possible? Most vets I hang with have excellent poser radar. Absolute total poser with no contribution to the nation’s military. He needs to crawl back under his rock. Jeez …

    Thanks for the poem, Jarhead. I like it.

  27. Kilo3/7 says:

    Grade A shitbird…. and surprise surprise, he’s butt buddies with this assclown from a few weeks ago: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=67158

    Above assclown is a Legion 410 member. So apparently their standards aren’t very strict either.

  28. Brenda jo nanni says:

    I would like to reply here and first of let me say that the lie was not right. Earl and I have been together almost 25 years now. We, in fact , met at the Holley VFW where he had recently become a member. We were introduced by friends there who were also members and had joined him into the club. He was introduced to me as a vet. Over the years a couple things came up that made me a bit suspicious but without any true knowledge I let them go. We have both over the years been extremely active in the Holley NY VFW. Giving of our time our money and our support to the club. When Earl was asked, no BEGGED, to be commander it was because no one at the club wanted to leave the bar stool long enough to take the position. And that is the truth. Yes he should have never gone that far. I totally agree and I totally get it that it is a slap in the face to all of you who actually served. But I have to bring up this point. NEVER ONCE did he ever take ANYTHING as far as benefits. The story about the mower is from disgruntled vets who did not like the fact that he tried to make the club a success. He did not use his position of power to swindle them out of the mower. We owned a small mowing company and all year we had been mowing the four acres there for free. Again. Vets would come in and sit at the bar but no one wanted to mow It had been decided among the vets that since no one wanted to do it anymore it was time to contract out the job. We offered the VFW $500 for the mower PLUS our services of mowing ALL of the property for the rest of the season however long this might be until frost. A meeting was called FOUR vets showed up and voted yes. The meeting had been announced and posted. We took ownership of the mower and did the service that we had promised. Earl mowed, my boys mowed, we made sure we made good on our promise. THAT was the deal that had been voted on by those who cared to come to the meeting. Earl is a good man. He gave three years of his life to that club and when I say that I mean being called to the bar at 10 o’clock at night because no one wanted to fix the toilet, being there when the health department showed up for inspection and they find rat droppings in the silver ware drawers. No monetary gain was ever made by him. We have thousands of our money for events, we funded bands for events out of our own pocket when the club couldn’t afford it so that the event could go on. We went to every moving wall that was in our area and not one of the vets from Holley VFW ever attended. They would rather sit at the bar. Yes. It was wrong and it pissed me off too. I was lied to for years. I am dealing with total embarrassment also. But all of this news story is not true. He is not in jail nor was he ever. We had enough to bail him out that night. I’m sorry it happened I wish I could turn back time He is being punished in his own mind believe me he hates himself right now. But I have to make you all understand. Never never never was there anything done to take advantage of any vet or veterans organization. Everything he did was to help and further the cause of the VFW. It’s true no good deed goes unpunished. There are many in that organization who didn’t want the club to change. They disliked him because he tried to make it a proper club and they didn’t want to go along with the rules. That’s all I can say.

    • jarhead says:

      Brenda…you don’t understand the position veterans take of frauds who misrepresented themselves as having served in the military. Regardless of what all he “tried” to do for the local VFW, he had no business ingratiating himself on the organization….especially representing himself to be a member who paid his dues with time in service.

      Your picture of personal embarrassment is pretty clear and understood. Regardless as what he did or did not do for the organization, he still joined under FALSE pretenses. Might be able to have a little sympathy for what this has cost you, but for Earl, that phony can kiss my ass. The chump is a liar and should never have been allowed in the door. Your claim that he wanted to “make it a proper club” falls short of expectations of a person who did not know what a proper club was in the beginning. He never served; how would he know the rules for a “proper” club when he wasn’t a proper man?

      Let me close before my sympathy for you starts to fizzle. In your defense of Earl, maybe you ought to consider taking the newspaper that presented the facts to court for their lying. Here’s their story and it’s pretty damning:

      HOLLEY — In an apparent case of stolen valor, a Holley man has been charged with defrauding VFW Post 202 in the village and obtaining financial benefits as a veteran despite never serving in the military.
      Earl F. Skellen, 69, was charged Wednesday by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office with first-degree scheme to defraud, a Class E Felony, and fourth-degree grand larceny, a Class E Felony, following a two-month investigation.

    • Green Thumb says:

      Earl is a shitbag.

      And I suspect you know this.

      Stop whining and get rid of the loser.

      And if you have an issue with that, look in the mirror.

      The man is a fake and a thief.

      And you, by proxy or will, are an enabler.

      And while you are at it, tell him to work Green Thumb’s balls.

  29. Brenda jo nanni says:

    I would also like to say this. I see the criticism and remarks about what should be done to him. And you that have served that is your due. But to any of you I challenge you to tell me how much chi you have done for your local VFW. Because we both Earl and I had done a lot. Not bragging here because we did it out of caring. But we funded a hell of a lot of events out of our own pocket and gave much of our time there. Because we cared about the organization. It’s your right to crucify him if you want to. But remember there are two sides to every story and this news article only tells the side of those who didn’t like it because he wanted them to be a great club that was there for the vets.

    • Green Thumb says:

      Get lost.

      Have your VFW leadership step up and do their jobs by checking credentials.

      Stop whining.

    • ex-OS2 says:

      Earl is a cocksucker. I don’t give a flying fuck what he has done for the VFW. He is a lying piece of shit who didn’t have the balls to actually serve but wants to strut around real heroes and act like one. There are many ways that he could have supported Veterans and the VFW, lying about serving is not one of them. Stolen Valor crimes are not victimless, every single person who has ever served is a victim of Earls crime. Fuck him, the punishment he may receive will not be enough.

      Brenda, would you want a surgeon to operate on you without ever attending medical school just because he wanted to “help” people?

      • jarhead says:

        Brenda….. let us know how it goes when Earl tries to “help” you with a colonoscopy! If I were you, I’d be wary of his probe device.

    • ex-OS2 says:

      I don’t think you are in any position to challenge anyone here on how much chi they have done for the local VFW. We served our nation Honorably, unlike Earl. Is that enough chi for you? How about asking some Vietnam Vets around here how much chi their buddies who were killed over there gave. You can shove whatever chi Earl gave right up his ass.

    • HMC Ret says:

      ” But to any of you I challenge you to tell me how much chi you have done for your local VFW.”

      I haven’t done anything for my local VFW or DAV or American Legion or any other organization.

      I wouldn’t belong to any organization that would have me as a member.

    • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

      Brenda – where was Earl when others were either drafted or volunteered to serve in Vietnam? That’s the issue that many of us have with what he did. He LIED about being a veteran. Go click on a few of the people listed under the heading of STOLEN VALOR at the top of this blog and see how many of them are just like Earl.

  30. 3/17 Air Cav says:

    Brenda……..challenge accepted. I donated a 69 mustang to my VFW. I did it out of respect and wanting to help other vets not as fortunate I. They held a raffle and raised over 12K! Your guy Earl, I believe, did it because he wanted to be a Vietnam vet. Seems like everyone, who wasn’t in Vietnam wants to join our club. I take it very personal, when someone who didn’t even serve in the military, claims to be one of us

  31. jarhead says:

    Final thought for the night regarding your story on Earl. You claimed, “He is not in jail and never was”, but you had enough to “Bail him out on that night”. What is missing here? If you didn’t bail him out of jail……..did you bail him out of an Elvis impersonator’s convention????

    Earl’s Gotta FLY…..like a jail bird!

    Sympathy meter reading even lower now.

    • Brenda nanni says:

      They never put him in jail. He went from court to being booked and he paid bail He never physically was in jail.

      • Green Thumb says:


      • ex-OS2 says:

        Great, he posted bail. Where is Earl at while you chime in here on his behalf? There is no excuse for what Earl has done and he should grow some balls and defend himself, but we know he won’t. He is a phony, liar and a thief.

  32. Brenda nanni says:

    I accept all of your comments and I understand your feelings on what he did as far as impersonation. You all certainly have that right. I don’t dispute any of it. But my main thing is we nor he never swindled the VFW out of that mower. We paid for it with our money and the services we had agreed to do in the original bargain. Four acres is a big yard and we mowed it many times. I estimate an outside company would charge at least $200 for each now. That was part of the bargain. What he did as far as impersonation I have no defense for I realize your anger. But we paid for that mower in the way that it was voted on. Now the VFW is taking us to court for $1700 And we will pay it because we just want this over with. We are both retired and on fixed incomes. In my estimation we have already fulfilled our payment agreement. But they are requesting we pay again. The news item is misinformation about what actually went on

    • HMCS(FMF) ret. says:

      Brenda, if the VFW is taking you to court over this, then back up your claims there and talk with the local news outlets about this. If you and Earl don’t have a contract or any other legal document with the post about the purchase of the mower and the mowing services, you’ll probably be forced to pay the $1,700.00.

      Again, there are a few that have been outed on this and other MILBLOGS that have stolen from the vet organizations that they have “represented”. You don’t think that the local VFW membership is upset that Earl lied to them and he used those lies to be Post Commander. How much access did Earl have to the fund to run the post? If I was a member of the post, I’d be demanding of all post funds during Earl’s time as post commander, just to make sure that funds were not stolen or misused.

    • Claw says:

      Ya Dah, Ya Dah, Ya Dah, he’s been living a lie for the past 25 years.

      If he even received a free cup of coffee from the VFW canteen, that is a tangible benefit.

      If all he has to pay for 25 years of bold face lies is $1,700.00, it’s still not enough, no matter how much “good” he did.

      And as a side note, tell him to get a haircut and shave. He looks like Joe Shit the Ragman in that picture.

    • ex-OS2 says:

      The impersonation and lies are more egregious than the fucking mower Brenda.

  33. jarhead says:

    Earl told the worst of lies to get himself into the power position as Post Commander. Earl told the worst of lies just to become a member of an organization he had no reason or purpose to join. Do you really think all the “good” he did for the organization was worthy of the sacrifices made by all the legitimate members?
    Why didn’t he just work at becoming the top Avon sales rep in your area?
    Both Earl and Jimmy cracked corn and we don’t care.
    No matter how you try to justify any and all Earl did for the organization, he had NOT made the sacrifices VFW members were required to do. Making up lies and selling them just so he could become Post Commander does not make all his efforts a good swap for membership.
    You wanna make your case Brenda? Instead of pimping for him, let him present his own case on this forum.
    Probably won’t get far, but at least he won’t need a prescription for Growaset.
    Your being his sock puppet has worn out its welcome.
    The more he lets his woman try to find a way out of the mess he created, the less likely he is to EVER get any sympathy from veterans like us.
    Finally, PLEASE don’t do what we’d all expect now, and start writing as if he were the one making the posts. We’ve seen waaaay too many carny fakers to not recognize identical written communication patterns by different names to be fooled. If Earl or someone else takes up where you leave off, it will show and will be called out. This ain’t the Howdy Doody Club.

    • Brenda jo nanni says:

      Again you guys don’t listen. He was BEGGED to take the post because no one else would do it. VETS DID NOT WANT TO TAKE TGE POSITION FOR TGEIR OWN POST!!!! Again WRONG But he didn’t actively seek out to be commander. You have no idea what these VETS are like up here in this post. I had respect until I saw first hand what really goes on there. I still respect the service from anyone who serves this country I didn’t and I regret that. But being a vet doesn’t mean that you are honorable in every day life. Served your country YES. Never take that away. Be a decent human being on the outside? Not so sure about that. I’ve seen differently.

      • ex-OS2 says:

        Begged. Pffttt. You seem to want to blame the vets at that VFW for forcing Earl to lie, nice try. Earl had multiple opportunities to admit his lies. Yet, he alone chose to continue to be a cowardly liar and put himself in a place of veteran leadership which is egregious. If you were not aware of Earl’s lies, you are a victim of stolen valor as we are. If you knew, you are an accomplice.

        • Just An Old Dog says:

          Thats what I gathered. Earl the poser was FORCED to be the Commander because all the other vets were a bunch of drunks who “didn’t want to get off their bar stools”

  34. jarhead says:

    Brenda…One more question if you don’t mind. You appear to have been forthcoming in your posts, in spite of things not going well in your effort to support your husband. Would you please answer a last question a few of us have wondered? Believing you to answer it honestly, your answer will have impact on the final thoughts about Earl’s behavior. The question is not meant to embarrass you or Earl, just something that would clear things up.

    • jarhead says:

      Hmmmmmm….crickets and nothing else. Let me know if you are still alive Brenda. You need not answer if you choose. Not that big a deal.
      PLEASE respond….the suspense is Skillen’ me.

      • Brenda jo nanni says:

        I have no idea what the question is that you are asking and no he will not post here because he has no idea I have written any of this. In answer to the ?? About the post funds the quartermaster can tell you that when Earl was commander the post was entirely in the black. Before and after him the post remains in the red. We know this because despite what he did some have remained friends with him and value his friend ship. They have forgiven him and call every day to chat and want to remain friends. And I guess if you still think we got that mower at rock bottom price none of you know the value of mowing a 4-5 acre yard which around here would be about $250. I think we figured it out that we had mowed it at least 14 times per our agreement. And I am not looking for any legal or moral advice from any of you I know what we will have to do we will have to pay these HONORABLE vets AGAIN for something we already paid for. And this is because of TWO vets at that club that want this. None of the rest of them feel that it is right You can all cry about the big bad lie Earl told and fabricate all the sinister reasons that he told the lie. A lie is wrong. I cannot dispute that fact. But there were no sinister reason for the lie there was no wrong commited as a result of the lie. Did any of you ever realize that everyone that you fought for was not perfect ok he lied and said he was one of you. You guys have to be such big men that your egos can’t say he might have a problem and he is working thru it personally? You know imitation is the best form of flattery. But instead you all have to make sure that this was a real dirty deed that he did to gain I don’t know what. All he gained was comradery ok under false pretenses yes. But many still are his comrades because they know deep down what kind of person he is despite this. So what is your question? I’ll be glad to answer it. Fire away. But please realize. I don’t need any of you to give me a stamp of approval. I know what I am. And I know how my life has been lived to honor my God and try to make the world a better place for those that I share it with. However you all choose to go on is your business. I’m just saying We did not steal that mower we paid for it every cent. And the news article that you all so gullibly are going by is not correct.

        • SFC D says:

          “And I know how my life has been lived to honor my God and try to make the world a better place for those that I share it with.”

          Bullshit. Your husband is a thief and a liar. You’re a willing accomplice. That honors your god? Just what deity do you worship?

          • Brenda jo nanni says:

            Basically a God who realizes we all make mistakes. Including myself. And I would guess every one of you.

        • ex-OS2 says:

          Brenda, Earl has no idea that you are on here defending him? So you are in essence lying to him? He lies, you lie….

  35. ex-OS2 says:



    When Earl finishes mowing the yard with his zero turn mower that he got for a rock bottom price, encourage him to visit here and explain why he decided to be a thief and a phony veteran. Remind him that all his chi to the VFW isn’t worth a fucking dime.

    • ex-OS2 says:

      Make sure he reads “How to be a good phony soldier” located here at TAH. We have seen and heard it all.

    • Brenda jo nanni says:

      Rock bottom price??? Where do you get that??? From the news clip? All I’ve ever heard from Vietnam vets is don’t believe everything the govt tries to shove down your throat. But you’re all not gonna budge on this one. It must be true I saw I in the paper! It was on the internet it can’t be wrong!! Wow!!! If the paper says the sky is green I guess it must be because the news would NEVER distort a story!! That ranks right up there with believing politicians don’t lie!!!

  36. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “You can all cry about the big bad lie Earl told and fabricate all the sinister reasons that he told the lie.”

    Gee, Brenda. I thought you were okay until that last comment and that line. Now, the worm has turned. We can access the internet and read about your phony. We’re not in jail. We are not out on bail or hoping to be either. We are not accused of fraud or deceiving others to bolster our egos or to save grass cutting fees. We do not have a pending court date, or have to pay for an attorney or, worse, suffer some public defender. We do not face the prospect of jail or probation, of restitution, costs, and fines. All of that belongs to your boy. Enjoy it. The least of your problems is the acreage that will now go unmowed.

  37. Brenda jo nanni says:

    It always feels so good to boost our own egos and bash someone who has done something wrong. It’s so great to really let the insults fly and the nastier we get the better we feel. No one can tell us any different because it feels so good. We all do it at some point or another. No matter what anyone says to the contrary we won’t let it go because it is such a good feeling to stomp on someone.

    • SFC D says:

      Ask your beloved Earl just how good it felt when he stomped on his own pecker.

      • Brenda jo nanni says:

        My point exactly

        • 2/17 Air Cav says:

          “Knowing that so many brave men and women have served, and have lost their lives, I know the veterans take this extremely personally, and so do I,” [Orleans County Sheriff Rand] Bower said. “This shouldn’t happen and I’m glad we caught it.”

          So are we. Your guy didn’t just do something wrong, Brenda. Everyone screws up now and then. Usually, when we do, we resolve not to do it again and make amends of some sort. What your guy did was live wrongfulness. Year after year, ingratiating himself among the Veteran community, being so bold as to join–somehow–a VFW post. But even that wasn’t enough. He took a VFW office. Now he’s caught and I guess now he’s sorry. By the way, the story says he is 69. What did he do during the Vietnam years?

          • Brenda jo nanni says:

            I do not know what he did back then because I did not know him then. And I have said over and over again I know he did wrong and so does he. I’m not minimizing it. But I remain by his side because of this reason. If this was someone else and the tables were turned it would be Earl that walked up to the guy and said that was a f up thing you did. Now how can we make this better and how can I help you address whatever demons that you were listening to to do something like that. He wouldn’t lower himself to say how ugly the guy was or everything must be true because the paper said so. He wouldn’t ignore the wrong but neither would he make it a volley of insults to make himself feel better. He would look for a way to help not tear down.

          • nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

            We know what he DIDN’T do…

    • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

      So you’re saying you think it’s OKAY to lie for years about serving in a war where others fought and died, claiming accolades and benefits others gave life and limb for? What he did is no fish story, HE LIED through his teeth for years and neither of you obviously have no regret about it other than being caught!

      • Brenda jo nanni says:

        No I’m not saying it’s ok!!! I’m saying we all have done things we are ashamed of. And posts like these only serve to keep the hate and mean ness going. Yeah you all hate Earl! Feels great doesn’t it? I gaurantee it would not be him posting things like this and if he saw something in the paper he would question its validity. Before he jumped on the band wagon like a herd of ostriches.

        • 3/17 Air Cav says:

          Brenda……I could give a shit about the lawnmower! What I do care about is stolen valor! I was in Vietnam 1971. Some of us that we’re there, myself included, did not talk about it for decades. This site has helped some of us talk about it more freely.

          Now that it’s cool to be a Vietnam vet, people like your Earl jump on the band wagon. Its disrespectful to those I know who did not come home! That’s what pisses me off!

        • ex-OS2 says:

          Everyone wants to be a hero but are too cowardly to do what makes a hero.

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          Brenda, I served Active Duty in the Army in the early nineties and other than my tour in KoreA, I didn’t go anywhere. I came back in to the NG after a NINE YEAR break in service and did TWO tours in the Middle East. I volunteered, risked my life and limb overseas and those who chose not to and LIE about ever serving really grate me the wrong way REGARDLESS of which war they claim to have been part of. Yet you come here and pompously spout off like you only feel guilty about being caught, that’s what I see, I’m not bashful about it, and I call it like I see it.

  38. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    This military blog is primarily about Stolen Valor. Interspersed among the many stories of phony baloneys such as Earl are political issues, Constitutional issues, and crimes perpetrated by valor thieves. So, if it makes you feel any better, Brenda, few here much care about the mower. I certainly don’t. The real story, the one that merited attention, is Earl’s BIG LIE. He feels bad. Sure he does. But he didn’t feel so bad before he got caught or he would have withdrawn from the VFW and closed his yap about being a VN Veteran.

    • Brenda jo nanni says:

      I cannot deny that fact and this has been a heated argument between us. I hold that against him also. But I still stand by because I know in my heart and in his heart he only wants good for everyone. Relationships are not perfect. Ours isn’t. But I weigh the good against the bad or maybe the bad against the good. And without being disrespectful here I would also like to say this. How did his lie actually harm you? You all joined up because it was in your heart to do so. Nothing he did took that away from any of you. We still thank you all for your service and for our freedom. His lie didn’t change that. He didn’t illegal ly get benefits that should have gone to any of you. Your pride for what you did is still there. What did he take from you? How did what he did impact the pride you gave for what you did for your country? He lied. How did that directly impact you? It was wrong. Don’t know how many times I can say it. But what exactly did he take? No money was gained by him. None of your valor was tarnished our diminished. I am not trying to an a hole here. I really want to know. Because to me this seems like a case of mom he’s touching me mom he’s is my space mom make him stop looking at me mom he says that’s his when it’s really mine.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        1. He never served.
        2. He LIED to God and everyone for years about being a VN Vet.
        3. Neither of you appear remorseful about anything other than getting caught.

        Thus your attempts to whitewash it reach me just like when Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart tried to slither out from under and whitewash what they did.

      • 317 Air Cav says:

        Brenda………Some of us did not join up! Some were drafted, like me. I’m in college at the time playing baseball. Life was good. I had no intention of going in the Army. It was not in my heart. Six months later I’m in Vietnam. Life as I knew it was not good.

        I came home, put the uniform in the closet and got on with my life. My country had called, I went.

        You ask “What exactly did he take? I’ll tell what he took. He took valor and sacrifice from those who did not get the chance to live their life, get married have kids and grandkids.

        Way back then, during that war, your Earl had a choice. I don’t blame him for staying out of that war! I would have too, given a choice.

        What I do blame him for is stealing Valor and commitment that he did not earn, on the backs of those who did not comeback

      • OIF '06-'07-'08 says:

        Dear fucking God Brenda, during my tour in Iraq, my unit had well over 30 Purple Hearts awarded along with one fatality, but since you have never been through any thing like that, you will simply never understand.

        So, in closing, you and Earl can go straight to hell.

      • OIF '06-'07-'08 says:

        One question from me Brenda. Why does he not come here and post instead of hiding behind your skirt like the little pussy that he is?

  39. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    One last thing from me, Brenda. We don’t give absolution around here. Many people have worn our country’s uniform. Some went to war and some of them returned without limbs, eyesight, or hearing. Too many never came back at all. Others returned without physical wounds but were forever changed. These things I’m sure you know. When Earl or anyone else falsely claims to have worn the uniform and claims to have gone to war at the behest of our government, he is nothing less than a thief, taking as his own what belongs to others. So, whatever your purpose in being here, understand that nothing you write will change the repugnance of what Earl has done. Nothing. Good luck to you. As for Earl, if the shame wanes, he can refresh it by googling his own name and selecting “This Ain’t Hell…”

    • Brenda jo nanni says:

      Please don’t mistake my comments as asking for absolution or forgiveness from any of you. None of you are God and He is the only one we need to answer to. You all go on about your business of bolstering your egos by feeling good about stomping someone else. But remember we all have to share the same heaven when we die. I plan on going there having tried to be a bigger person by realizing that not everyone is perfect. I don’t like to see people hurt. But if it makes you all feel like big men then have at it.

      • ex-OS2 says:

        It is apparent that Earl bolstered his ego for a very long time, stomping on Veterans for decades with his lies. Just make sure Earl isn’t wearing that Vietnam Service Medal when he gets to Heaven since heroes that earned it will be there too.

      • jarhead says:

        Brenda….A person can not help but wonder how forgiving you’d be had somebody hurt one of your children? Differing degrees of hurt, yes we realize that. Do you really think you’d be so forgiving if relatives of the offender tried their best to make excuses and put you in a position of accepting how much the offender had done for their community?
        In this case, don’t even try saying Earl’s actions did not impact any of us. Might be hard to convince you of that had a person hurt one of yours, but not you personally, and tried to justify their side of the story.
        Consider your pleadings here a failed attempt to gather any support from REAL veterans. You might want to consider this….you try and pull the same pity party on the judge and/or District Attorney prosecuting this case…….IMHO you are ONLY going to make matters worse for Earl and further embarrass yourself. With Earl’s lips sewn together while you try to rally some sort of support, his not having the testes to speak and own up to his actions are louder than anything you can say. His hush-hush indicates he’d throw a very good woman under the bus if he thought it would save himself.
        On a side note, if Earl and you were ever to divorce, do yourself a favor and stay FAAAAAR away from the name Riester should he show up at your door.

  40. Ex-PH2 says:

    Oh, gee whiz, what was ol’ Earl Yellen doing in 1969? I’m sure that he was somewhere in a crowd of draft card burners and protesters, heavily engaged in avoiding the draft. Maybe even ran away to Canada. You might even find him in a picture of a crowd like this.


    Yo’ butt buddy, Brenda, is a draft dodger and a protestor and a lying sack of utter crap. He found out that he could get something out of people who were gullible enough to believe he served, WHEN HE DID NOT. He might even been down at the Pentagon in the fall of 1968. It was right across the street from my barracks at Quarters K, the WOMEN’S BARRACKS, where I was living because I was in the military AND OL’ EARL YELLEN WAS NOT.

    Ask him where he actually was in 1968. Chicago maybe? Protesting at the Democratic National Convention, when Mayor Daley gave the order ‘shoot to kill’ and protesters were beating up the cops. Or was he in L.A., smoking dope and boinking idiotic hippie chicks and giving VD and crabs? Or maybe he was running around with the SDS and the Weather Underground, trying to cause chaos.

    Go on. Ask him, Brenda. He NEVER SERVED.

    Yo’ boy EARL YELLEN is a fraud, Brenda. He’s in jail for felony fraud. Grow up and deal with it.

    Hey, doesn’t that guy on the left with the buttons on his t-shirt look kinda like Woody Harrelson? Except I don’t think Woody’s old enough for that.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Oh, one last thing, Brenda.

      How much money have you been ‘lending’ him?

      And has he EVER paid back one single cent?

      • Brenda jo nanni says:

        Lending him??? What??? He has always worked. We both have. We are both retired now. Lending him money? What do you think you know here that you don’t?? We don’t lend each other money we pay the bills together. We both have our own retirement pension, social security, and health insurance. Not sure what you think you are talking about here. In fact he has always been the bigger breadwinner in our relationship. If anything he supports me. Just because he makes more than I do. And he claimed to be Marine but wore no pubs except the red yellow and green Vietnam pin.

        • Brenda jo nanni says:


          • ex-OS2 says:

            Oh, just ribbons that led people to believe he served in Vietnam? Do you even realize what you just said Brenda? In your spare time, Google how many American Marines, Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors and civilians were killed in Vietnam.

            Ponder on that staggering number and maybe, just maybe you can see why people get pissed off when cowards like Earl steal valor.

            • Ex-PH2 says:

              Including those still listed as missing in action and unaccounted for, the total is 59,830 as of early this year.

              That’s almost 60,000 people whose lives have been spit on by Earl Skellen.

              • ex-OS2 says:

                Brenda seems to think a sibling squabble is akin to Stolen Valor.

                Thank you for posting those statistics EX-PH2, they are humbling.

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          Okay, usually men like Earl con gullible women into ‘lending’ them money or even supporting them in some way. We have one right now who is disturbingly showing signs of purely sociopathic behavior in every way.

          25 years ago, I had a nice apartment in a 3-flat, a house that had been converted to three apartments. I got lower rent in exchange for paying the heating bill for the building. It was NOT cheap, but I lived there. I started dating a guy who claimed to be an in-country Vietnam vet. He also said he was a recovering alcoholic. I gave him a chance based on that, but I did not like the things that followed. He started meeting me at work without asking me, said he was suspended from his job and couldn’t get another because ‘THEY would find out’, meaning his supervisor. It went from there to looking at my ‘stuff’ and my nice apartment and deciding that I was a fool, and asking me for my social security number to get a job (BIG RED FLAG), among several other things. As it happened, I saw him in a bar drinking ahead of a vets’ meeting, and broke it off with him.

          These things are all red flags, especially where money is concerned. I might have looked gullible but I was not, nor was I stupid. I cut him off cold.

          So you, Brenda, have been keeping company with someone who has committed felony fraud, is in jail for it, and you’re doing an whole lot to defend him while refusing to admit that he is a criminal.

          My advice to you is to pin him down about where he was during 1968 and 1969, because he is a liar and a fraud. And stop defending him. If he hasn’t stuck you for money, you’re fortunate. Other women might not be that fortunate.

          He has committed and is in jail for felony fraud. It’s time you accept that and demand some answer, which YOU have a right to get from him.

          And tell him to stop wearing any Vietnam ribbons, period. He has no right to it. There are over 58,300 men AND women who were killed over in Vietnam while Earl was avoiding doing his fair share.

          I despise him for all of his lies and deceptions.

        • nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

          Breadwinner – scammer.

          Many times stolen valor is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to other nefarious things that have been done. Most likely he pulled the VFW scam because he has experience in running scams.

          Yep – you got yourself a winner there babe. And he uses you to defend himself. Still scamming…

        • Ex-PH2 says:

          You didn’t answer my question, Brenda, and I want answers.

          Where was Earl and what was he really doing in 1968 and 1969? I have a right to know and so does everyone else here. All he is capable of doing lie his ass off. If he isn’t willing to admit that he hid when others served, he is scum at the bottom of the pond.

  41. jarhead says:

    Brenda….one comment before my question. We all look at Earl’s lie’s as having crapped on the grave of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. He’s one of many, all of whom we disrespect.
    Now the question was simply this….exactly what service uniform did Earl wear when he was attending VFW Post functions? Of course, the follow up is….exactly what ribbons and medals did he wear?
    Just curious, NOT meant to embarrass you…as promised.

  42. Just An Old Dog says:

    Fuck this guy. He is a liar, and despite what this woman says a fucking thief. He was able to purchase a mower that was valued at about 2000 bucks for 500, based on his fraudulent membership in the VFW.
    The VFW is rightfully suing him for 1700 bucks, which is the amount between what he paid for it and the ammount it was worth.
    Pay up, Shut up and crawl under a rock, shitbag.

  43. nbcguy54ACTUAL says:

    Brenda. Brenda…

    Musta changed her name to Bueler…

  44. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Brenda, I asked you this question a couple of days ago – where was Earl when others were either drafted or volunteered to serve in Vietnam? That’s the issue that many of us have with what he did. He LIED about being a veteran.

    He could have not even gone down this path leading to his arrest by having something resembling ethics and a conscious and not even tried to pass himself off as a veteran. HE made the decision to lie about it and he ran with the lie for years, maybe even decades. How many people do you think he lied to – including yourself – about being a vet? How much money did he take away from deserving vets because he “rocked the lie”? Personally, if he took one dime at any time, he committed fraud – he stole from my brothers and sisters that wore the uniform and put their lives on the line every damn day to preserve the freedom that we live under.

    Earl could have stopped this lie at any time in his life, just by standing up and being an adult and telling people that he lied. But he didn’t… he ran with it because he thought he could. Even when he was asked to step up and be post commander because “When Earl was asked, no BEGGED, to be commander it was because no one at the club wanted to leave the bar stool long enough to take the position.”, he could of…no, HE SHOULD HAVE told everyone that he lied about his service, but he didn’t.

    He’s facing two felonies for what he did, plus you are being sued by the VFW for the issue with the mower and cutting the yard. Yet, you come here and ask for us to forgive Earl for this? There’s a saying that’s pretty popular in the military – “All it takes is one ‘aw, shit’ to screw up a thousand ‘atta boys’ “. As far as I’m concerned, Earl may have bent over backwards and given away millions of dollars to help vets, be he lied to each and every one of them about his service – and I have no sympathy for his plight.

  45. jarhead says:

    Well Brenda, if you are going to continue to support Earl under ANY circumstances, why don’t you do him a big favor and encourage him to take singing lessons? When he gets ready to take on his new career, let him enjoy his first night on the stage by singing a true oldie…..Puke, Puke, Puke of Earl. For theatrical purposes change his name to something absolutely fitting….Commander Earl.

    There was once a cat named Commander Cody

    C-2224, nicknamed “Cody,” was a clone marshal commander who served the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. As a commander of the 212th Attack Battalion, Cody participated in many battles over the course of the war.

  46. ex-OS2 says:

    Did you enjoy meeting new friends at the Ghetto Penthouse?

    Was Brenda allowed to ride the mower while you were locked up or did she pawn it to post bail?

    Make sure you get the oil changed on that mower after 50 hours or so, no need for mistakes.


  47. Green Thumb says:

    Another day, same turd.

    Earl F. Skellen is no more than a ball-working thief and poser.