Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thirteen ways to spot a phony Vietnam Veteran.

1. His Good Conduct Ribbon has a “V” on it..

2. Says the Government “lost” his service records so they won’t have to reveal the secret missions he was on, which is why he can’t wear his MOH.

3. His 12 rows of ribbons include the WWI Victory Medal.

4. Modestly claims he served with SOG, the “Special Operations Group” in Vietnam.

5. Has a harrowing story of how on his first day in country, he had to kill two “gooks” walking point on a patrol into Cambodia.

6. Can’t seem to remember what unit he served with, below the division level—if that—or just where he was in Nam. (I was all over!)

7. Says he enlisted in the Air Force, but was trained at Marine Corps Basic Training at Camp LeJeune by Marine Drill Sergeants for special service with the Seals.

8. Appears to have been born about 1965.

9. His MOS of “Bandsman” was just a cover for the secret missions he was running in both North Korea and North Vietnam.

10. Starts telling you about the atrocities he committed.

11. Can’t remember his MOS, the names of anyone he served with, or which C-Rats had the big can main meals.

12. You show him your John Wayne and he doesn’t know what it is.

13 The reason the other POWs never heard of him is he was held in a separate camp because he knew too much.

Okay, this is intended as humor for vets, but I’ve come across pathetic people with five of these cues. Really.


  1. I met one one time who used the exact phrase "I was all over". It just so happened I was holding a book with a detailed foldout map of all of Vietnam. So I opened it and handed it to him and said "where were some of the places you were?"

    Ever hear somebody, who has never heard them pronounced aloud themselves, try to pronounce the names of Vietnamese cities and provinces?

    Hue came out sounding like "Hughey".

    For the record, I am a student of that conflict - not a veteran of it.

  2. It's about 1986 and I am in a restaurant in Jersey City, NJ eating dinner with a few Jersey City cops. The majority of us are Motorcycle cops. An emergency service cop joins us and he makes mention of the fact that he served in VN. I asked what unit he was with and he states that he was with the "Green Beret's". One of the guys asked him if he saw any action and he freely admitted doing alot of clandestine classified stuff "behind enemy lines". One of the guys asked if he had received any medals, and without batting an eye he responded. " I have the Congressional Medal of Honor". Immediately my blood began to boil as I knew this was a bald faced lie. I asked him when and where he received the medal and he stated that it was a classified mission and he was bound by the official secrets act not to reveal any details. He was very calmly advised by me that he was a liar and a coward and that if he didn't leave the table he was going to be dismembered. Before he could leave several people at the adjoining tables requested that I be asked to leave the restaurant. Needless to say I stood my ground and he left. To this day there are JC cops who believe that a zero named John Mechanics received the MOH for acts of gallantry while serving as a SF warrior in VN. He retired a few weeks later after learning he had cancer. He had never served in any branch of the service as far as I know. Thanks to the internet phonies are exposed much easier than 20+ years ago, but they are still out there and we must always be vigilant and expose them for the cowards they are. Semper Fidelis.

  3. John Wayne? Do I want to know?

  4. #14- he mentions he was at Dien Ben Phu, but is not French and had to be in high school (at most) in 1954
    #15- he talks about his Agent Orange problems, coming from the time he woke up covered with orange dust after a night in the jungle
    #16- he mentions qualifying at Parris Island with the M-16 in 1967, which is years before they stopped using the M-14 at PI.

  5. PS- some people called the C-rat can opener a "John Wayne", but most of us only referred to it as a P-38

  6. I am a Vietnam veteran, and served with 2/4, the "Magnificent Bastards" from Oct 67 to Nov 68. I retired from the Corps in July 1993. I am also a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, in Triangle, VA, and about a year ago I had one of my two encounters with a Wanna-be. I was at one of the exhibits and saw a gentleman decked out with a vest covered with all kinds of patches, and wore a Viet Vet hat. I went up to him and greeted him with our "special" greeting: "Welcome Home, Brother." I knew something was wrong when he gave me a blank stare. I then asked him what unit he served with and he wouldn't tell me. I ignored the non reply and proceeded to tell him who I served with and when. He responded by asking me how many tours I served; I told him only one, which was enough for me. He then said: "Well, I had 10 tours," and gave me a condescending look. I turned around and walked away muttering under my breath: "you're a f-ing liar and a wanna-be." We're not allowed to be confrontational with museum visitors. By the way, our tours normally were 12 and 20, and we Marines were there from 1965 to 1972. You do the math. Semper Fi, GH, MGySgt, USMC(Ret)

    1. Thanks for all you continue to do in serving our Corps Master Guns. Proud to be one of your Magnificent Bastard Warrior Brothers. Semper Fi,




  7. 3. His 12 rows of ribbons include the WWI Victory Medal.

    I know a guy who has one of these and he served in vietnam why is it looked at as a fraud? Please explain...

    1. Because it was awarder to people who served in WWI. Making him in his late 60s when he served in Vietnam and at least 112 when you posted this in 2010.

  8. Served in the same building, but not the same unit, with a Lt Col, who told me a story about almost getting into a fight with a Nam vet, who accused him of being a fake vet after over hearing him talking about duty in Nam. The vet didn't hear the whole conversation. The Lt Col had served in Nam, in the late 1990's, on a team searching a site for mains. Both parted ways as friends, but still, gotta be careful.

  9. True, I met a "Vietnam Vet" who told me drugs had messed up his mind and he couldn't remember the unit he had served with in the war. He was wearing a Navy Vietnam Vet cap. I can't believe anyone would forget their unit of service in a war.

  10. I am a veteran of the 101st Airborne. C company 1/506 battalion. I am tired of hearing people say their brother was a tunnel rat or their uncle was in intelligence and doesn't like to talk about the war. First there were some tunnel rats but not ten of thousands. When we found a tunnel we just blew it up with C-4. Why would anyone craw in to a hole for which they would run in to enemy troops. You wouldn't have a chance unless there was no one there. Also most people who worked in intelligence worked in offices in safe places in the rear.

    I also hear people say they have relatives that were forward observers and were out in the woods by themselves for months. First no one is in the woods by themselves. Second forward observers are officers and are assigned to companies and are with the company headquarters. They are out in the field but they are with a line company and not by themselves.
    If they were by themselves what would they be observing and if they were far out in the jungle they would be out of range for 155 guns.

  11. Lots of wanna-be's (isn't it strange that no one wanted to be associated with us back in the day of America's shameful treatment of us?) anyway .... lots of wanna-be's will listen to a vets story of an event or a battle and respond with a comment like "Man, that's nothing!" then they launch into their fantasy tale of what combat in Vietnam was really like. They'll tell you of their harrowing hand-to-hand combat experiences in Phi Pu, Loc Noy, Chi Lai, Phan Ku and other places they're sure you never heard of, because they don't exist.

  12. Just two years ago, I was serving on a Army Reserve Division Staff with a LTC Evans, who always wore an Americal Patch. He always told absurd stories about having been selected in basic to be a sniper, due to his superior shooting skills. He claimed he was accelerated through AIT, then sent to the Americal and, of course, eventually to Special Forces. When I finally had enough of his B.S., I contacted the squared-away folks at the "POW network" who are great at uncovering fakes. In summary, I learned that everyone's service records are Public Records, available under the FOIA laws. The found Evan's which revealed he never left CONUS. When the Div G-3 finally confronted him, he claimed that "he was once on orders to Vietnam" but even the dates didn't work. He was forced to retire but I was pissed as no real punitive action was taken against him. He is now in Idaho, likely passing himself off as a Vietnam Hero at the local VFW or American Legion,

  13. One of the guys in a VetCenter rap Group I just joined says he was in the 1 Infantry Division (army) assigned to the USMC so that make him authorized to sport a USMC vet hat. I don't think so, but willing to check it out. Not a Marine but have a lot of respect for the Corps do to real NAM Vets (brother in law for one)

  14. We have these guys here in UK too. On or near November 11th every year we have Remembrance Sunday. Lots of parades at war memorials up and down the country. The phonies turn up with a row of Ebay medals or a uniform that any former soldier can spot as wrong a mile away. And they've always been in the SAS, or the Parachute Regiment. It's called "Walting " here - short for Walter Mitty. Lots of them collect money allegedly for service charities, but they keep it themselves. They get prosecuted if found, but the punishment for wearing medals you're not entitled to is a laughably small fine. The embarrassment in the press and the abuse from real soldiers is the true punishment.

  15. Former High School Principal in our town had his pic on the wall, in uniform. "Where'd you serve?" Viet Nam! "What part?" I don't remember..............

  16. Wittig, Robert, USMC, Vietnam, Service number 2439646, Bravo Company 1/3, skipper, Captain Sampson, who was killed up around Con Thien. Was at Khe Gio Bridge, LZ Rockpile and up somewhere near the NW corner near DMZ and Laos. Some of this might be off, but mostly accurate after all these many years. Dong Ha was our home base but we only spent a short time in the rear. Also went to An Hoa on some op in that area, and the mud was amazing.