Martin Wolfe; phony SEAL

| July 11, 2017

Someone sent us their work on this Martin Wolfe fellow from Ellsworth, Ohio. As you can see in the picture, he claims to have been a Navy SEAL as well as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps (see the LTC rank on his VFW cap). He also claims to have earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and I also see a Combat Action Ribbon in that rack.

Well he did serve in the Navy during Vietnam, and he was off the coast for a period of time because he earned the Vietnam Service Medal, but none of those other things he’s wearing are legit;

He served from 1967 – 1971, you know when most Americans wouldn’t. He had a break in service and joined again in 1974 until 1982, leaving the US Navy as a Signalman SM3, an E-4. Perfectly honorable service, shat upon.

Category: Phony soldiers

Comments (106)

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    Get a hair cut you mop-headed scraggly old lying shitbag.
    Fuck you.

  2. MSGRetired says:

    The VFW is loaded with Fuck Tards .. I am a life member and wont even go to my local post due to all the Bull Shit Stories. I swear my local post has so many Snipers, SF, Special Op’s guys ( ALL BULL SHIT ) etc etc I wonder if anyone else ever got a chance ..

    Yup this ASS hat Looks Like a Mushroom with that mop on top. FUCK YOU you sack of shit, and Thanks for bringing discredit upon the VFW !

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      The last we heard, his VFW Post was divesting themselves of his membership at the end of last month. I guess we’ll hear either way what happened.

      • Martinjmpr says:

        …which probably means he will just wait a decent interval and then either jump over to the American Legion or join a different VFW post…

        • 1610desig says:

          Probably another VFW…he has too much money in that “take an alcoholic to work” day outfit

    • Silentium Est Aureum says:

      I haven’t been to my post in so long I don’t know where the new one is located. They closed down the old one due to declining membership and costs associated with keeping it running.

    • HMC Ret says:

      MSGRetired: I’m glad I’m not the only one with similar thoughts. I joined several organizations after Navy retirement but maintain contact with only a few. I never joined the VFW b/c I’m not eligible, although I did go with some homies a few times. Never met so many war heroes at one place outside a Medal of Honor Convention.

      • Wilted Willy says:

        I really wonder how close they check the records of their members? I spent my entire 6 years state side and yet these fuckers sent me an invitation to join? Why would they do that other than to bump up their membership totals. I sent the invite to my father who was the local post commander and he was very surprised that I got the invite. I think they don’t care where you served as long as you send in your dues?? And one more thing, Fuck this fat cocksucker!! Google is a bitch!!

        • Martinjmpr says:

          As I understand it, they are required to verify that an applicant meets the standards to be admitted to the organization. To my knowledge, that is the sole “requirement” that the VFW chapter is supposed to verify.

          Obviously, as we’ve seen here, some VFW and AL chapters fail even at this, admitting members who either never served in a combat zone or never served at all.

          In this case, Wolfe does meet the standards because he served in the Vietnam theater and was awarded the VSR.

          Now, as to whether a VFW or AL chapter “should” verify not only eligibility, but also that people are who they present themselves to be, you would think that if they valued the integrity of their organization, they would do exactly that.

          The problem is that they don’t value integrity as much as they value “numbers.” If verifying that a member is actually an SF/Sniper/Recon/SEAL/Ranger would hurt their numbers, they’re not going to do it, and integrity be damned.

          It’s a classic example of short term gain/long term loss. In the short term, they keep the fakers, posers and embellishers as active members, which keeps them participating in community events and keeps their coffers full.

          But in the long term, once people outside the chapter realize that “hey, that’s the VFW chapter where everyone is a SEAL/Ranger/Sniper/Green Beret/Space Shuttle Door Gunner” and pretty soon they become a laughingstock among other veterans and even in the community as a whole.

          And the worst part, of course, is that that “stain of shame” taints even the honorable, honest members of that VFW chapter and, by extension, other VFW and AL chapters as well.

          • Marine 0331 says:

            I served two tours in Beirut, and when I got out of the Marines in 85, a friend suggested I join the local VFW. So, I stopped by one night and they told me I did not qualify as Beirut was not a war. Then about 5 years ago I was sent an application from the VFW. When I contacted them and advised them that I was a Beirut Vet, they told me I was still eligible. So apparently at some point their eligibility rules have changed and now they just want our dues like you suggested.

            • IDC SARC says:

              That’s silly. I was actually more or less recruited by the VFW in 1985 because of the 22d MAU Grenada/Beirut pump…the criteria says nothing about any defined war.

              We haven’t had a formally declared war in a very long time. If you deployed and got an expeditionary medal, specific campaign medal CAR, CIB etc then you qualify…and that criteria was the same in the 80s as it is now.

              • Martinjmpr says:

                At the risk of quibbling on a minor issue, the US has declared war in recent years on a number of occasions. In 2001 following the 9/11 attacks and in 2003 prior to the invasion of Iraq.

                A declaration of war does not need to contain the words “declaration of war.” We now use the more PC term of “Authorization for Use of Military Force” or AUMF for short but an AUMF is a declaration of war.

                • @ MARTIN JUMPER:

                  I agree!

                  During my time as an ordinary soldier in the United States Army, when it was so unpopular, everybody was always saying that Viet Nam was an illegal “undeclared” war.

                  But, whenever someone says that, I always respond that, “THE GULF OF TONKIN RESOLUTION”, was in fact, a formal declaration of war, as it was enacted by Congress, at the request of the President, and stated a specific course of action directed against an identified enemy.

                  But, folks laugh that off, saying the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked.

                  I once met a sailor who was there, and he said it was true.

                  Later, I learned other details, that it was a secret mission in support of South Vietnamese commandos who were sabotaging North Vietnamese communications facilities.

                  Mox nix.

                  I like to think my time in the old Republic of Viet Nam was not wasted, and this story reinforces my belief:


                • IDC SARC says:

                  “At the risk of quibbling on a minor issue”

                  This is me…not quibbling. 🙂

              • Silentium Est Aureum says:

                Yup. Lots of submarine guys are eligible for the VFW but not the AL because they served outside the AL eligibility dates but earned a boomer pin or Expeditionary Medal which does qualify them for the VFW.

        • Green Thumb says:

          A lot of them do not.

          I hate to say it but a lot of the ones out here in the Great NW are full of substandard discharges and fucking shitbags.

          That is why I do not want anything to do with them out here.

    • Pete McMullen says:

      I tried. I’m sad so many have such a negative opinion about the VFW. As adjutant of my post I assure you every prospective member must submit a DD214 and it is examined by three members of the post. If someone transfers in we again ask for proof of service. Could someone slip a forgery past that process maybe but the BS meter would catch that. Funny, we don’t have any special ops types, just a bunch of men and women trying to make a difference in our community.

  3. IDC SARC says:

    Oh…yes, I see.


  4. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    IS THAT his head or did his neck blow a fart bubble that has fungus growing from it?

  5. HMC Ret says:

    Wow! How many ribbons can he get on that uniform? He’s going for a bogus record.

  6. Silentium Est Aureum says:

    Perfectly honorable? Not with an RE-4 reenlistment code and a General Discharge (even if under Honorable.)

    And given the fact he made SM3 (again) less than 9 months before he was shown the door leads me to believe he was an SM2 (if not SM1) who stomped on his crank with golf shoes to get out the way he did.

    • Dave Hardin says:

      I will just leave this here…

      • 1610desig says:

        Good post…so he was likely a fan room queen?

      • MrBill says:

        I believe that RE-4 simply means ineligible to reenlist. What you’ve posted is, I believe, an exception for those who were previously separated for homosexual conduct where there was no other misconduct involved. The fact that Wolfe has RE-4 on his DD214, and that he received a general discharge, means that he probably stepped in some form or fashion, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he was separated for homosexual conduct.

        • MrBill says:

          “…probably stepped on himself in some form or fashion…” Must proofread better.

        • MSGT_RET says:

          You’re spot on MrBill. RE-4 used to cover a large number of misconduct issues, including homosexuality.

          When DADT was repealed, those who were discharged with an RE-4 code solely for homosexuality, were eligible to reenlist.

      • Hondo says:

        DH: I think you might want to take another look at his last DD214, amigo. My eyes make out the separation code as “JBK”. Available sources translate that separation code (for USN enlisted personnel) as “Involuntary discharge at end active obligated service, USN – Enlisted”.

        My guess is that he stepped on himself pretty hard, got busted at least 1 rank – but didn’t get a punitive discharge and had over 8 yrs active duty at the time. Pretty sure that means he’d have been entitled to a board of officers to consider his case if his command pressed for an involuntary admin separation (it did in the Army in the 1980s). However, if he was within a few months of separation his command could have accomplished pretty much the same thing with a bar to reenlistment – which would have forced him to leave at the end of his 6-year enlistment without any choice in the matter.

        Dunno for sure, but if I had to place a bet that’s what I’d guess happened.

        • Dave Hardin says:

          Did I ever tell you that I miss you when you are not around?

          Hey, I just report what I find out there on the interwebnet thingy. According to this Navy site he might have violated the Don’t ask Never get caught policy back in the day.

          Maybe he was playing with his chipping hammer in an unauthorized manner.

          As they say, “Its not gay if you are underway…but its kinda queer if you’re at the pier.”

    • HMC Ret says:

      Yeah, I saw that. I believe the Navy was no longer terribly interested in his presence. E4 with 11.5 years? Yeah, that’s normal. I thought when I retired, 1991, it was OTD if only an E4 with ten years service.

      • Silentium Est Aureum says:

        Even if he was E-5, he was getting dangerously close to HYT, which IIRC, was 14 years back in the early 80’s.

  7. 3E9 says:

    Twelve year E-4; outstanding!

  8. Texas Nomad says:

    Total of 12 years of service and left as an E-4? Not perfectly honorable… perhaps mostly honorable…

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Ain’t no phony like an old phony.

  10. Mick says:

    Oh boy. Here we go again.

    Another phony SEAL, who is also a phony Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel.

    Hmmmm. Let me guess. When he was ‘in the shit’ with the Marines, he was in Force Recon. And/or he was a Scout Sniper.

    And I’ll bet that all of his military records are ‘classified’ and ‘sealed’ at the personal direction of POTUS.

    Any sign of a motorcycle and a leather vest covered in poser bling anywhere in this hot mess?

    • HMC Ret says:

      Mick: He probably has a puppy dog somewhere. It’s his comfort dog for when he caught the PTAD while serving with the SEALs in the Nam of the Viet.

      • Old 1SG, US Army (retired) says:

        LMFAO… “in the Nam of the Viet”

        “back when I was in Nam…” (commonly heard in VFW and Legion halls)

        • Hondo says:

          Actually, one of the early names for Vietnam, in the Vietnamese language, apparently was “Nam Viet”. It was proclaimed as such by the Trieu Dynasty when it broke away from the Chinese Empire in 207BC.

          The Chinese have been p!ssed at the Vietnamese ever since, invading them periodically (with varying results) over the last 2+ millenia in attempts to restore Chinese rule.

          • Perry Gaskill says:

            The term was also in use by the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War. In their language, “Viet” means “People” and “Nam” means “South.” If you were talking to somebody who wanted to make a distinction between those from the South or North, the common term for Northerners was “bac viet,” meaning “north people” and “nam viet” for those people from the South.

            Sort of like the difference in our own Civil War between “Yanks” and “Rebs.”

            • David says:

              Not to mention that most of the lighter-skinned Vietnamese you ever meet are (according to a young lady I know of Vietnamese extraction) ethnically Chinese anyway – they are the remains of when Chinese folks originally came south a long time ago.

              • Perry Gaskill says:

                My own impression was that the recent-history ethnic Chinese you ran across tended to be from places such as the Cholon district in Saigon. It wasn’t so much a skin color separator as that of facial characteristics. The Montagnards, on the other hand, were definitely darker in color, about like a Native American.

                One of the combinations I always thought was interesting was the female offspring of French planters and ethnic Vietnamese. Some of those Eurasian ladies were attractive enough to stop a clock.

                • David says:

                  I have worked around Asians for almost 28 years and will go to my grave swearing that the most attractive ladies are almost all of that Vietnamese extraction. Eurasian comes a very close second…and are usually built better. (What’s that fapping noise coming from IDC SARC’s direction?)

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    What. A. Gasbag.

  12. Wilted Willy says:

    This gas bag should really wear a tie to keep the foreskin from rolling up over his eyes!

  13. CB in Tennessee says:

    The first DD214 for the 1976 separation reflects an Honorable Discharge, a Reenlistment Eligibility Code of RE-1 (Eligible for Immediate Reenlistment), SPD Code JBK (Expiration of Service Agreement/ETS).

    The second DD214 for the 1982 separation reflects a General, Under Honorable Conditions Discharge, a Reenlistment Eligibility Code of RE-4 (Not Eligible For Reenlistment, no waivers authorized), SPD Code JBK (Involuntary Separation at Expiration of Service Agreement).
    That implies a bar to reenlistment was in effect and/or he failed to make the rank gate for reenlistment.

  14. Toasty Coastie says:

    What in the cornbread hell is that? Friggin’ dick biscuit.

  15. 1610desig says:

    He had at least one notable accomplishment…he was Sailor of the Year at the Navy’s Rectal Warfare Development Center….a superlative pants down achiever

  16. Mark Lauer says:

    Yep. He’s got the Budweiser, and I believe three of what I call the “Giveyouaway” Ribbons.
    When will these guys learn to do a little research before they tack on all the chest candy?

  17. Skyjumper says:

    Only Budweiser he ever earned is from the consumption of adult beverages.

    Here’s a picture of him when he was a Boy Scout.
    (just kidding…shamelessly stolen from the interweb).

    At what point does a rack of ribbons cause bystanders to say “Hell No”!?

    I would think anything over five or six rows would be the cutoff point.

  18. timactual says:

    The silver oak leaf (I assume that is what is on his cap) is also the rank insignia of a Navy Commander ( O-5).

  19. 1610desig says:

    Maybe he blew his way to Commander…many others have too

  20. TAURUS 0302 USMC says:

    I have met 3 ex_seals in my small town (5000 pop.) None was
    legit. I confront people who are fakers. They aren’t that hard to figure out. Ask them for their MOS. A lot go to Vet groups and learn others stories but they usually screw them up. No need to be polite with them. Call them what they are.

    • Martinjmpr says:

      You see, that’s just it. As it has been said in other contexts, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”

      Someone at this jackwagon’s VFW post should have taken him aside and said “dude, if you’re going to claim Navy SEAL and USMC LTC, you need to back that up, otherwise, knock it off.”

      If I claim to have been an astronaut and walked on the moon, I would expect at least somebody at the VFW post to, you know, maybe spend a couple minutes on google to see if my story checks out. And that’s what seems to be lacking here.

      Look, if the guy said he was a brown-water navy gunner on a PBR and didn’t embellish his stories with tales of derring-do, then I wouldn’t expect anyone to look too deep into his CV because that’s a fairly plausible story.

      But anyone claiming high rank and/or high speed schools needs to be able to back it up, otherwise the whole post looks like a joke, both to the outside world and to any potential new members.

      SMH (as the kids say on Facebook. 😉 ) And the VFW/AL wonder why they’re dying organizations. It’s this kind of crap that’s killing them. Who in their right minds wants to be associated with a bunch of clowns like this?

    • IDC SARC says:

      Where I work it’s rampant. It’s like everybody there claims to be a SEAL, Green Beret, Ranger, or Marine Recon. WTF? 🙂

      • Graybeard says:


      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Any humor value in your crew engaging in an all-hands Class-A uniform bar-crawl of VFW and AL posts?

        Would the posers actually dive out windows?

        You would probably need to bring every defibrillator in inventory.

        Hmm. Just imagine the possibilities of starting a rumor that this was going to be a semi-common event….

  21. Jeff Monroe says:

    It doesn’t matter because at the time homosexual acts were against the ucmj-don’t ask don’t tell didn’t start until 1993 and only reasonly the gay stuff.

  22. Jeff Monroe says:

    The RE-R4 Only applies if you were discharged after 1993 .

  23. 2T451USAF says:

    I don’t understand this phony SEAL crap at all. I went to my local surplus store to by a set of Air Force E-4 chevrons a couple of years ago and they didn’t carry them. They did, however, carry tridents. I guess to make it easier for the fakers. Assholes, all.

    • ChipNASA says:

      2T291 Aerial Port,

      *High Five!!*

    • Martinjmpr says:

      I remember the Military Clothing Sales Store (MCSS) at Fort Benning had multiple sets of 2 star general rank insignia for sale. I looked at those and I thought: Isn’t there only one person on this post who could legitimately buy those? And does he even shop at the MCSS?

      • Eden says:

        I’ve seen the same at a PX I frequent. Makes no sense to me. I guess they (think they) have to carry a certain amount of each rank (but of course they’re always out of the common ones).

      • Chief says:

        it’s fairly common at my local BX as well. then again, I work at a major 4-star combatant command and on a base with two other 4 star commands. even though our uniform shop is very small (and has almost zero for Navy uniforms — dammit), they do carry every rank of every service up to O-10

  24. Martinjmpr says:

    Getting back to the never-ending topic of how these posers, fakers and embellishers end up in VFW/AL posts, often in leadership positions, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it varies from post to post based on the actions of the leadership.

    I’ve only spent a brief time in the VFW and Legion and never once did I hear anyone address the issue of claiming awards, decorations, badges, etc, that you are not entitled to, or of fabricating your military past.

    I think there’s a kind of sick symbiosis that goes on in these posts that have a lot of fakers. A kind of “don’t ask/don’t tell” or more accurately, an unwritten policy of “I promise not to question your outrageous bullshit if you promise not to question mine.”

    It’s corruption, over time it affects everyone. Just like the rookie cop who sees his training officer take a bribe and look the other way, I could imagine a new VFW or AL member who is honest with his military record sees all these bullshit artists spouting off about being Navy SEAL Ranger Green Beret Recons, and pretty soon he starts doing it too, just to fit in.

    Serious question: Has anyone here who has been in the VFW or AL ever been at a meeting where the topic of fakers or embellishers was addressed?

    It’s the elephant in the room, people don’t want to talk about it and maybe it’s not considered polite to challenge someone about their service, but integrity ought to outweigh manners, if the organization values its reputation.

    I wonder if the tainted reputation of the VFW and AL is one of the major factors that is keeping younger veterans like myself (and I’m not that young, at 55) from joining and/or maintaining membership status.

    Between the fakers and the “old man’s drinking club” aspect of it, there’s not a lot that the VFW or AL have to offer a prospective member, even one who might value spending time with other veterans.

    • Guard Bum says:

      You nailed my local post to a tee and it is why I cant join. I am in a small rural area with not many Veterans and the Vietnam and Korean Veterans in the VF W have very high social standing.

      Even though some of them are clearly full of shit people around here eat it up and I literally would have to move if I joined and started stirring shit up. As it is I confront the bullshit when it is in front of me and I have no desire to join a group of old codgers who resent us newer Vets anyway.

      • IDC SARC says:

        maybe if you join and bring in some new blood you can quell some of the rampant BS. Get in there gain leadership positions and instill pride in serving that transcends the need for fervent bullshittery?

        • Hondo says:

          Dunno, IDC SARC. Been my experience that some places – particularly the smaller towns and cities where there isn’t much movement in/out – are kinda clannish. Even “troublemakers” who are 100% right are likely to be resented – because, “Hell, everybody knows that (insert name here) is a really good guy – he’s a church deacon!” That’s particularly true if said “troublemaker” didn’t grow up in the area.

          Takes a long time to change such places. I grew up in one, and it hasn’t changed all that much in the 40+ years since I left home.

          • IDC SARC says:

            never know til you try…already know what happens if you do nothing

            • IDC SARC says:

              It would of course be up to any certain individual to assess the situation and decide if it was worth a shot or an effort in futility. We have to pick our battles.

              • Guard Bum says:

                I know I sound like a cheese dick but it just isnt worth the grief I would receive. When I say I am rural, my farm is a 45 min drive from a grocery and my great great grand kids would not be considered locals yet. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles.

        • Martinjmpr says:

          Or, maybe it’s time to ask ourselves whether these organizations add any real value to our communities. Yes, I know that the VFW and AL have been beneficial in helping some veterans obtain their benefits, but do the local chapters actually provide any service that is wanted or needed by the local community?

          Many people will say things like “Oh, they provide the honor guard for the 4th of July parade” or something but I have to ask – if that chapter closed and that service was not provided, would someone else step in and offer that service? And if the answer is “no” (as I suspect it is in many communities – not all, but many) then maybe we should reevaluate whether or not organizations like the VFW and AL really serve a purpose.

          • @ MARTIN JUMPER, Et Alia:

            I am a “LIFE” member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a “LIFE” member of the Disabled American Veterans.

            As a Mormon, I don’t imbibe alcohol, nor do I indulge in tobacco.

            What I liked about the VFW was their support of a National Children’s Home.

            What I did not like about the VFW was their “Voice of Democracy” program for indoctrinating children (i.e., the Constitution guarantees a republican form of government, and the word “democracy” is never mentioned – – – for a reason), and I thought the VFW was downright foolish to have a National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, a city renowned for its violent, racially hostile, anti-white, mostly stereotypical black population.

            I enjoyed marching in the Veterans Day parade, and eating chili afterwards at the VFW post.

            But, when ordering a soft drink at a VFW post, the bartender stated that this was the VFW, and they served alcohol.

            In the DAV, I enjoyed participating in the Honor Guard at military burials, and on Memorial Day, placing flags on the graves of veterans.

            A DAV National Service Officer, a genuine Wyoming cowboy, complained of the smoking at the DAV meeting, and said he would never go there again.

            It’s been many years, so I don’t know if the DAV still permits smoking during their meetings.

            The annual picnic/barbecue was enjoyable.

            As a chaplain, I would visit veterans in the hospital and call on the bereaved families of deceased veterans.

            Representing disabled veterans, I served on the committee which funded, designed, and built the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial which is located on the grounds of the Utah State Capitol.

            But, now, I live in a small community in the mountains, far from the megalopolis of Salt Lake City where all that stuff was happening.

            Here, there are little or no veterans activities that I know about, and the veterans who live here have never contacted me or invited me to their meetings.

            Also, I’m much older now, and can barely stand or walk, being in constant agony, and very heavily medicated.

            As I understand it, local military burials are handled by the local National Guard unit.

            Yes, I reckon there are uses for the veterans organizations, even if I don’t always agree with what they do, say, or represent.

            When I was able to participate, I enjoyed it.

            Maybe I was naive, but it never occurred to me that some members were lying about their military service.

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      They must make a decision to go down to the VFW, have a beer, and swap stories.

      The odd thing is – that at some deep level, they know they are BS’ing each other.

      Maybe it’s like going to a strip club and imagining that the dancers are falling in love with you? It is all filed under entertainment.

  25. mr. sharkman says:

    I was drinking (with a member) at a VFW post that I was not a member of. Pre-wedding rehearsal. THAT kind of drinking.

    There was a MFer there rockin’ a Golden Leg Spreader (Trident)…on a…wait for it…FANNY PACK.

    The drinking assault party consisted of 7 SOF guys, 3 of them being Teamguys.

    One of the Teamguys (not me, I was still stunned, staring, and thinking ‘WTF, O’ with a 12 second whiskey delay in effect) simply walked over and yanked it off the fanny pack.

    He looked at mr. fanny pack and simply said ‘You didn’t earn this so I am taking it’.

    Fanny pack just walked away and left the post/bar. Smart move. .5 seconds from Ugly Time and he could tell.

  26. A legitimate award is not shown on his DD-214, i.e., the Republic of Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Award.

    When it was first announced in the “PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES” newspaper, it was only for Viet Nam War veterans who had served in United States Army Vietnam (i.e., “USARV”), and/or in the United States Marine Corps.

    Later (as I understand it), the award was extended to veterans of the United States Navy and the United States Air Force who had served in the old Republic of Viet Nam.

    During my brief time in Saigon, serving in the Phu Lam Signal Battalion of the First Signal Brigade (before I swapped places with another guy and went North), I used to visit the Vietnamese American Friendship Club, hoping to learn about Vietnamese culture, heritage, history, customs, and language.

    That is where I learned that, according to their legends, the Vietnamese people are the offspring of the marriage of a dragon with a fairy.

    Later, while stationed at Camp Eagle (near Hue and Phu Bai) with the 501st Signal Battalion (Airmobile) of the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), I very briefly attempted to study the Vietnamese language.

    That’s why I always refer to it as, “Viet Nam”, and not, “Vietnam”.

    Thanks to the “STAR WARS” movies, I now enjoy referring to it as, “the old Republic” of Viet Nam!

    Now, why do the fakes always pretend to be United States Navy SEALs, United States Army Special Forces, United States Marine Corps Force Recon, or whatever?

    Why doesn’t anyone ever claim to have had MY mundane job, i.e., Field Radio Relay and Carrier Equipment Repairman (MOS 31L20), in the Signal Corps of the United States Army?

    We were frequently under fire, either from 122mm rockets, 80mm mortars, snipers, and/or sappers in our perimeter wire.

    We pulled perimeter guard duty every other night, rode shotgun on convoys over the Hai Vanh Pass, and even went on patrols outside of the wire (where I got my souvenir rusty metal punji stake from a booby trap).

    During the monsoon, guard duty meant sharing that sandbagged bunker in pitch black darkness with all the venomous creepy crawlies.

    And, of course, during the monsoon, you could never get dry, not even inside your own hooch.

    Then, there was the problem with illegal drug use and racial hostility, occasionally resulting in murder, and I was one of those they tried to kill with a grenade while I slept.

    Don’t forget those C-123 “Provider” aircraft spraying us with chemicals.

    And those pills that we took at dinner every day, that we were told were to prevent leprosy, and later, we were told to stop taking those pills because they caused cancer!

    So, I reckon a phony could pretend to be an ordinary run-of-the-mill soldier and still have some unbelievable tales to tell, huh?

    • Martinjmpr says:

      JRM: I think at least part of the reason that fakers always seem to claim that they were some kind of high speed “OPER8R” (though that word itself came about long AFTER the VN war) is partially because of what I’ve heard called “the great divorce”, i.e. the fact that the military, which used to be integrated with middle-class American society, has now become more or less isolated from it.

      As a result of “the great divorce”, most ordinary people have little to no contact with anyone who has actually served (at least during the time they’re serving) and therefore their only exposure to the military comes from popular culture: Movies, television, video games and (to a lesser extent), books.

      It’s unlikely that anyone is going to make a movie about a wire dog, or a helicopter refueler, or truck mechanic. If Hollywood is going to make a movie it will be about something “sexy” and exciting like Green Berets or SEALs or Marine Recons, fighter pilots, etc. (Though as a former MP I was gratified to see that there was at least [b]one[/b] movie about the Military Police: “Off Limits” starring Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines.)

      When people fake or embellish their service, they’re looking for admiration and approval, and so they naturally gravitate to those things that civilians have seen in movies and television, and that is SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers, Marine Recon, etc.

      If ordinary people had more experience with the military, then they’d know that even a “safe” job in the military often required some pretty crazy risks and conditions, things that no civilian ever has to deal with.

      • Mark Lauer says:

        I know what you mean.
        When I tell people I worked in Supply, they sort of go; “well, you served your country too”.

        I KNOW I served my country……”too”.

        They don’t seem to know that enemies often like to lob exploding things into supply areas, and these exploding things don’t discriminate between supplies and the people who inventory those supplies.

        • @ MARK LAUER:

          That is true!

          When I was at Dong Ha, sappers blew up the POL dump, killing the G.I.s on duty there.

          A photograph of the burning POL dump was on the front page of the “PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES” newspaper.

          Also at Dong Ha, one of those random harassment 122mm rockets killed a rear echelon soldier when a piece of shrapnel went through the sandbags and into the hooch where he was sleeping.

          At Camp Eagle, I was on guard duty on the perimeter when mortar rounds and 122mm rockets began coming in.

          The very first mortar that hit was right in front of a sandbagged bunker being manned by the 801st Maintenance Battalion (Airmobile), instantly killing or wounding everyone there.

          I watched one of the soldiers being decapitated by the shrapnel, falling forward off the top of the bunker, and in that same explosion, I saw another soldier just completely disappear.

          My unit in Saigon, the Phu Lam Signal Battalion of the First Signal Brigade, lost several soldiers, either in the bombing of the My Canh floating restaurant, or in the ambush at the Phu Tho racetrack.

          And, true, our jobs were ordinary, humdrum, everyday, run-of-the-mill, unexciting, and with little or no glory, recognition, or acknowledgement.

          We were just regular G.I. Joe soldiers, not combat heroes.

          • rgr769 says:

            My job was pretty humdrum, too. Sort of a series of extended backpacking hikes in the jungle covered mountains. It was like what one of my flight instructors said about being a pilot: “A boring, routine activity, punctuated by moments of stark terror.” Which I recalled, when I watched the AK bullets come up through the floor around me in a Huey about to land in the bush.