One chilly Spring day I took my car into the shop with my two oldest boys ages 4 and 2. As I sat down in the lobby and corralled my boys, I noticed an older man there wearing a Korean War veteran hat. I was stationed in Korea for a year and I have an immense amount of respect for the men who fought there. I was also happy for the opportunity for the boys to meet one of the warriors who gave so much for a country most people had never even heard of.
I get the boys together and asked the man where he was in Korea. With a look of disgust and bewilderment he scoffed, “I wasn’t in Korea.” I became utterly confused at that point and cocked my head to the side. Comically the only response I could muster was “But the hat?” Realizing the source of my enquiry the man went on to explain that he served during the Korean War but remained stateside. I immediately felt my blood get hot and slowly shook my head at him. I calmly suggested he ditch the hat. It took me a couple of minutes for my blood pressure to subside and I suppressed the urge to make an ass out of myself.
I’m not saying he shouldn’t be proud of his service, but he shouldn’t be riding the coattails of others. Apparently by his logic I can claim credit for everything any service member did from 1999 to 2004 anywhere in the world. That would be one hell of a hat. Unfortunately this type of thing isn’t uncommon.
According to the FBI there’s approximately 300 fake Navy Seals for every living one. (Shipley) In addition to that fun fact, according to Don Shipley’s article Stolen Valor Navy Seal Imposters Part 1, a 2000 census revealed 4 out of 5 people who claim to be Vietnam vets are not. That statistic is absolutely appalling. Don is a retired Navy Seal and he exposes frauds as a matter of community service. Check out Don’s videos on YouTube were he puts these frauds in a headlock of truth for your viewing pleasure.
Shipley, D., Stolen Valor Navy Seal Impostors Part 1,www.navyseals.com http://navyseals.com/2408/stolen-valor-navy-seal-imposters-part-one/ (accessed 8/6/14)
Picture was pulled from http://foxtravelandtours.com/old-ref/New%20Folder/Hotspot%20Korean%20War%20Memorial.htm