Thomas Burke – Phony Wounded Vietnam Green Beret

| December 7, 2018

The folks at Military Phony sent us their work on Thomas Burke, who claims to be a Vietnam vet and a Purple Heart recipient.

Last June, the A&E Network profiled a Church in Pennsylvania on their series Cults & Extreme Beliefs.  In the episode, a man is shown taking part in church services wearing a green beret with a Special Forces flash.  A search of the church’s YouTube channel revealed an interview with the man, Thomas Burke, conducted by the head of the church, Sean Moon.


In the video, Burke states he served in Vietnam as a Special Forces soldier. Here is a synopsis of some of his claims:

  1. Green Beret in Vietnam
  2. Purple Heart Recipient
  3. He also wears a CIB on his beret
  4. Claims he was selected for Special Forces in part because of his Native American tracking abilities.
  5. Claims he worked for MACV-SOG, but refers to the SOG as Special Operations Group when the acronym actual meant Studies and Observation Group.
  6. Claims  “I seen rivers of bodies that looked like a beaver dam…”

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) could not find a record for Burke…

Burke also claims on his Facebook page that he was the 1959 “World Pistal [sic] Champ”…

Since he wasn’t specific as to this being a military accomplishment, it is hard to pin this down.

One of our ninjas tracked down the following information:

Regarding the 1959 World Pistol Champ claim – the International Shooting Sports Federation holds its World Championships every four years. It held events in 1958 and 1962, but nothing in 1959. There was a National Shooting Championship held at Camp Perry in Ohio. Army MSgt Huelet L. “Joe” Benner won his sixth title in 1959. If Chief Burke competed in some other World Pistol Championships, he is welcome to submit evidence.

According the Church Facebook page, “Chief (Burke) will be advising the King (Moon) in combat tactical training with Sanctuarians.”

Thomas Chief Burke goes by “Wounded Bear”.  We wonder if this is related to his Purple Heart that he claims he received for Vietnam?  If that is true, then he would have gotten his Native American name later in life.  Either that, or he was injured as a young child and the name was bestowed on him at that time.  At this point, we can only wonder if he is actually more than 1/1024th Native American.

In any case, if Wounded Bear is leveraging some wampum from his stories of being wounded in Vietnam, he may be putting himself at risk of being in violation of Stolen Valor laws.  This case could even be a nice test of the brand new Pennsylvania Stolen Valor Act put in place last year.   What would the Indian name for “full of shit” be?

Category: Phony soldiers, Stolen Valor Act

Comments (96)

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  1. Hondo says:

    What would the Indian name for “full of shit” be?

    Possibly “Walking Goose”. Or maybe “Toh-mas-burk”.

  2. Sapper3307 says:

    The video id full of BINGO points.

    • rgr769 says:

      His Fakebook page is down now. So, y’all have accomplished one thing by this exposure of his fakery.

  3. sbalm says:

    He may no longer be able to call himself “Wounded Bear.”

    Speaking of which, I slipped in the shower and was wounded bare.

  4. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Pistal is a natural insect repellant, maybe in 1959 he was working on a formula for that…he also claims to have developed a classified thermal paint. I have no doubt he might very well be somewhat of an amateur chemist, and that he might be involved in using that skill to self medicate resulting in an inability to recognize or speak the truth.

    He should change his name from Wounded Bear to Fucking Clown, that might be more appropriate to his actual personality and reality.

    • Hondo says:

      Could be. This lying tool IMO is pretty damn repellent to me.

      He also indeed seems to resemble an aged survivor of the 1960s hippie slogan, “Better living through chemicals”. So you might be right about that, too.

      • SFC D says:

        I’m pretty sure there was an announcement at Woodstock to the effect of “stay away from the brown acid”. Somebody didn’t listen.

      • Skyjumper says:

        Funny you should mention that, Hondo.

        On his Facebook page posted above, He has listed as one of his many accomplishments “Cheif” Scientist.

        The Urban Dictionary has this as the definition of “Cheif”……

        When smoking weed, taking more than an appropriate number of hits of a blunt (primarily one that is not filled with your weed.)

        Damn dude, you’re Cheifing the hell out of my blunt and you didn’t even throw in.”

        My guess he was a stank ass hippie draft dodger (Thanks EX-Ph2) who is now trying to look like a hero.

        Maybe his tribe could tie him up to a pole roast him on an open fire instead of lopping off his head with a knife. Cuz everyone knows……….that a hot steak is better than a cold chop. 😉

    • akpual says:

      I thought a pistal was part of a flower. He’s a flower child.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Burke? No NPRC record of service. Lies like roadkill on a hot day.

    In my humble opinion, Mr. Burke is a stank ass hippie draft dodger that just wishes he’d done anything beside grope & grab hippie chicks after protests when the dope smoking lamp was lit.

    I’d bet money he was up there at Woodstock, grooving in the mud, and later on, burning photocopies of his draft card during protests.

    Someone should ask him if he was down at the Pentagon after the meetup at the reflecting pool in October of 1967. Nothing would surprise me less. I could see everything going on there, from the Naval Annex.

    Such a J-E-R-K!!!!

    • rgr769 says:

      Ditto on the likelihood that he was a stank-ass hippie draft dodger. A large percentage of our POSers claiming all sorts of daring-do turn out to have done everything possible to avoid combat, either in or out of service. But now that it is popular to be a combat veteran, they falsely claim to be one.

  6. 26Limabeans says:

    “conducted by the head of the church, Sean Moon”

    So he’s a Moonie as well.

    • AverageNCO says:

      Yeah Sean Moon’s father founded the Unification Church. The Sanctuary Church in Pennsylvania is an offshoot of that.

  7. The Stranger says:

    Wounded Bear?
    More like “Fractured Taint”.
    I wonder what our sometime contributor Ten Bears thinks of this dude?

  8. Combat Historian says:

    “…I seen rivers of bodies that looked like a beaver dam…”

    Please, spare me your lying phony hollyweird bullshit. Just fuck off and eat shit and choke, scumbag!

  9. 5th/77th FA says:

    Google Hit. Thomas Burke, lying valor thief. NOT a combat wounded Veteran. NOT a Special Forces Soldier. NOT a former member of MACV-SOG.

    IS a special feces warrior
    IS a self inflicted dick stepper.

    Have a little Google fame, Thomas Burke AKA Chief LiesaLot. Hope you and lieawatha didn’t have a love child.

  10. Jay says:

    In the tune of the old Ricola commercial “PIIIIEEEECCCEE OF SHHIIIIIIIIIIITTTT!”

  11. AW1Ed says:

    This calls for…

    Ballad of the Green Bidet
    Dedicated to Thomas Burke, fake Green Beret

    Faking assholes, like this guy,
    The fat slobs, who always lie.
    Men who failed in every way,
    Try to steal the Green Beret.

    Unearned bling on pudgy chests,
    Doo-rag and dog, check out the vest!
    One hundred times, they’ll boast today
    “Believe me man, I’m a Green Beret!”

    E-bay wings, upon his chest,
    Trying to look, like America’s Best,
    One hundred men, he’ll blow today.
    B’cause Thomas is, a Green Bidet.

    Blowing winos, at bus stops.
    Sporting Medals, like stage props,
    He never earned it, but he’ll say,
    “Look at me, a Green Beret.

    The Internet, has found him out.
    Gone his name, and his clout.
    His own shit, upon his tray,
    Served to him, a Green Bidet.

    Comfort dog, at his side.
    Shiny HD, for his ride.
    He will pose, another day,
    Because he earned, The Green Bidet

    Tip ‘o the chapeau to 11Bmailclerk,
    RCAF-CHAIRBORNE, A Proud Infidel®™, and 26Limabeans

    • Louella says:

      AW1Ed – I have to say you made me smile 🙂 I have always loved the original song. While I have not been fortunate enough to have been in the Services, I have nothing but admiration, pride and love for those who have and those who serve now, defending those on both sides of our border (I am Canadian) Thank you ALL for everything you have given! As for these “idiots” karma WILL bite them in the ass!

    • Green Thumb says:

      Such a “Phildoesque” submission….

  12. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    I’m sure that Thomas Burke was just another freeloading fleabag stank-ass hippie when Real Men were legitimately serving in Vietnam.

    According to Official Records found, Thomas Burke NEVER served in the US Army.
    Thomas Burke looks like the type that enjoys blowing winos behind bus stops for spare change.
    Thomas Burke is a Dutch Rudder Gang wannabe.
    Thomas Burke is a reject Apprentice towel Boy from Brucie’s Bath House (Entrance in Rear).
    Thomas Burke looks like the type that enjoys sniffing toilet seats in Truck Stops and highway rest areas.
    Thomas Burke likely masturbated to “Hanoi Jane” Fonda.
    Thomas Burke is a walking pile of Phildo.
    Thomas Burke looks like a walking pile of unwashed sphincters.
    Thomas Burke appears to be someone who has never supported himself, always leeching.
    Thomas Burke isn’t worth even a squirt of a real US Army Soldier’s piss.

    The power of Google®™ be with you Thomas Burke, THE INTERNET IS FOREVER! Got that, Thomas Burke

  13. Wilted Willy says:

    Here we have an old lying piece of shit scumbag! He deserves to be shit upon by real soldiers that really served and died for us! This old cocksucker should be hung by his nutsack until DEAD! Then throw his old scumbag body in a Texas fire ant hill and leave him for the buzzards!
    Enjoy your new found Google fame there Thomas Burke, the stank ass hippie jerk! Now go choke on a bag of dicks!

  14. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Hey Willie Nelson just called, he wants his persona and bag of weed back … NOW!

  15. Perry Gaskill says:

    Somebody needs to ‘splain to those of us on the short bus why it’s assumed that Thomas “Chief” Burke is the real name of an old fake in Pennsylvania who likes to play dress up in tiger camo. It also shouldn’t be surprising that Burke has been a player in the World Peace and Unification Sanctuary which was spun off from the late Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. Apparently the Sanctuarians were too bizarre even for the Moonies, which says a lot.

    As a casual observation, Burke, if that’s his name, strikes me as being remarkably similar to Hugh “Wavy Gravy” Romney who has spent 50 years being an aging Woodstock hippie, counter-culture Hog Farm hero, and professional weirdo.

  16. AnotherPat says:


    A Go Fund Me for Thomas Burke. According to the site, Burke’s Company is Native-American, Veteran-Owned.

    You Be The Judge:

    “My name is Gregg Noll of Sanctuary Church. We are supporting Chief Tom Burke of Native American Environmental Tech to help in the relief effort of those victimized by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael. Native American Environmental is one of the top manufacturers of mold, germ and virus (i.e.: superbugs, eColi, influenza) killing products as well as a natural insect repellent. They have been supplying disaster relief organizations for over 10 years, organizations such as FEMA…”

    “Native American Environmental is a veteran owned company that manufactures their five star rated products that have allowed thousands of American Families to get back into their homes.”

    “We are a Native American – Veteran owned company. We strive to provide consumers with cutting edge products that combat Pest & Mold that cause real health risks to our Families & Community.”

    “Our founders M. Rita Burke and Chief Burke were dedicated to finding solutions to these…”

  17. AnotherPat says:

    This is his Company:

    His personal Facebook account is swamped exposing him as a Phony. Wonder when he will take it down.

    Definite Stolen Valor in PA, claiming to be Vet Owned. Does he really have American Indian Blood in him or is he another Elizabeth Warren?

    • AW1Ed says:

      “Does he really have American Indian Blood in him or is he another Elizabeth Warren?”

      Anything is possible. Pat. But given his track record, I’m thinking Liz Warren.

  18. Him and Mr. Moon, weren’t those the folks who wore those white uniforms and were in airports wearing white that greeted folks who were returning from SEA in caskets and uniforms and were chanting and spitting on them also. These fellers ought to start right after Christmas and put back on their white outfits and get their decorations on sale at WM and parade their glory. Oh, please using the terminology of clown when you describe these fake hero’s as clowns as Bob Hope was somewhat of a clown as was Red Skelton and Emmett Kelly. Bob Hope was bestowed the honor of becoming a recognized Armed Forces Personal for his service in the USO by congress, Emmett Kelley was honored by some as to rescuing some people in a fire of a big top and Red Skelton many times payed tribute to service members and our flag. I do not want these fellows and others such as them to be degraded in such a way. Heck if you get down to it a hobo or bum or tramp is several steps up on the tiers of civilization compared to these that proclaim stolen valor.

  19. Another military phony wannabe, and it goes on and on.

  20. Daisy Cutter says:

    So, apart from the “Chief” in the video – is the guy in the Burger King hat the pastor of the church?

  21. Mike Simpson says:

    Looks like another Don Waterhawk.

    it appears being a fake Native American and fake Green Beret go hand in hand. I wonder what group Elizabeth Warren will claim.

  22. My, My, My says:

    Thomas Burke’s reaction to seeing his booky facey this morning:

  23. AnotherPat says:

    This is ANOTHER, DIFFERENT Video on YouTube of Tom Burke talking to Moon of the Santuary Church.

    It is about 39 minutes. The first minutes are describing Burke as a Combat Vietnam Vet, Green Beret, Special Forces, etc. etc.

    You Be The Judge:

    “Current Issues From a Green Beret’s Perspective | Interview With Chief Tom Burke

  24. Claw says:

    Sigh – Initially thought this was an older gentleman whose train had went off the rails when he lost his wife.

    After viewing the videos and the tin cup rattle page, convinced he’s just another lying-ass con artist despite his age.

  25. Keepin' It Real says:

    I always wondered what happened to Grandpa Walton.


    His look was obviously inspired by “Four-Leaf” Tayback

  27. OldManchu says:

    Go Army! Beat the phony seals! Can this asshole count as 2? He tried better than most.

  28. Wompwomp says:

    You need to remove the reference to MAC V SOG and what it really means, I’ve gotten a few phonies on that one, as I thought it stood for special ops group until I actually went through the Q course and got training in history of SF..

    • AverageNCO says:

      B.G. Burkett discussed the actual meaning of the SOG acronym in Vietnam extensively when he wrote the book “Stolen Valor” in 1998. The info is out there, these phonies just don’t do enough homework. If they are a poser, something will always trip them up.

      • rgr769 says:

        When I was in the RVN I had an E-6 volunteer to join my company. When I looked as his history of assignments, I noted he had spent the previous 2 years in something called “Studies and Observation Group.” He promptly explained what that really meant. That wasn’t the last time I saw that in someone’s 201 file that joined my unit. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my old battalion commander in the 509th had been the S-3 ops officer of the whole MACVSOG.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Thanks for the warning, Wompwomp. If I use SOG in a story, I will make a note to intentionally define it incorrectly.

  29. Green Thumb says:

    Dude looks that old gnarly dude from Krull.

    Another Instant Indian – Phildo must be proud.

  30. PRCS (Ret.) says:

    A beret and camouflage, but no vest that I noted. Dude is half-assing it.

    • The Stranger says:

      The plethora of brightly covered patches on his tiger stripes make up for the lack of a vest. Jeez, that’s basic Poser 101. 😂

  31. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Thomas Burke is more fake than a Civil War Issue polyester blanket as well as a stank-ass hippie!

    • rgr769 says:

      That repro Colt 1851 navy he shows in the video appears to have a brass frame. It is the pistol that never was back in the 1800’s. Fake, just like “Chief” Shitting Bull here.

  32. 26Limabeans says:

    From his FB

    “thermal physics “451Paint” which has been classified by DOD”

    Dude is whacked.

  33. 100E says:

    Why God, why… does every one of these Vietnam posers have to look like a Hobo decorated by meth addicts?
    Most members of SOG will refer to CCN, etc. SOG, in the beginning, was ‘Special Operations Group’, but that changed to ‘Studies and Observation….”

    • rgr769 says:

      No one who actually earned a Special Forces qualification and served in a Special Forces Group would ever wear his beret in the disgraceful manner as does this aging stank-ass hippie fraudster. Especially with all that fake bling pinned to it. Anyone know what that pretzel thing is he has pinned to the top of it?

      And by the way, MACVSOG was the Saigon HQ for all the spook unit operations in RVN, including the Command and Control strategic recon units (CCS, CCC, and CCN), the Naval Advisory Detachment/Vietnamese Sea Commandos, and SF Detachment B-56; also MACVSOG also was the admin parent for the US troops serving with the PRU (the Phoenix Program). And the first rule of MACVSOG, like Fight Club, is that you don’t talk about it. And everyone I served with who had actually served with MACVSOG units didn’t talk about it to people without clearances.

  34. No SF trooper would EVER desecrate his beret in such a manner. That should have been everyone’s first clue.

  35. IIRC, this fahk nutz ran or still runs with Bill Perry & Ward Reilly of the VVAW. Perry of Winter Soldier 1 fame and Winter Crybabies2 @ Meany College of Labor. In fact, I am pretty sure of it and recall bumping into him in DC a few times.

  36. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how well Vietnam vintage uniforms hold up over 40+ years. My issue 1980s BDUs showed significant wear and fading after a few months of hard use and sun exposure. Folks who were wearing the Jungle Fatigues until the stop date seemed to have the same problem – fade.

    What the heck is in the fabric of those Vietnam-vintage uniforms that keeps them looking like they just came out of a store last month?

  37. NHSparky says:

    Another Ward Churchill dipshit.

    This guy’s Indian name should be Walking Eagle–meaning he’s so full of shit he can’t fly.

  38. Brain fart here, maybe he was in Vietnam. Line of thought is Moon was anti war as was shown at airports, there was another person who was anti war besides this fool and as he was a follower of Moon maybe he was loaned to that ug-a-ly wind bag who went to Nam and he was the bag carrier of that other bag who was up north posing with those poor folks. Possible unproven theory but still not qualified for chest candy.

  39. 2T451USAF says:

    It would be crazy awesome if y’all published a tutorial on FOIA requests for military records. My widowed mom-in-law just married a dude that claims some Vietnam related stuff that, to me, seems implausible at best. I submitted a request for records, but I’m not at all certain I did it right.

  40. 3/10/MED/b says:

    Go to the top of the page of this site, hit “Military Records”, should help. Good luck.

  41. 3/10/MED/b says:

    Beware of anyone who won’t sign an SF180…

    • 2T451USAF says:

      My mother-in-law would have a heart attack if I dared even ask! I suspect that once I get a hold of his service record and disprove his purple heart and claims of derring-do she’ll just be mad at me for distrusting him enough to have put in the effort and for spoiling her blissful ignorance. Still, I feel I have a responsibility to her and to my wife, especially given my belief that if a man will lie about one thing he’ll lie about anything.