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)

  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...

  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.