The last two weeks articles regarding stolen valor were well received. I’ve had more emails about these than any other Veterans Corner topic. Several people contacted me about their own stolen valor stories, many of them right here in the valley. I’m speculating stolen valor is a much bigger problem than suspected.
A couple of readers asked:
How can I tell if someone was a POW? I failed to mention many will claim Prisoner of War status. Hard to believe someone would lie about this. I will do some research and see if there is a POW database. If anyone knows of such a thing please contact me.
How can you out these people or get their records? One reader wrote about her co-workers amazing tales of bravery and daring. She asked to see his records. He claimed they were at his mother’s or sisters house. How many of us keep important documents at a family members house (eyes rolling)?
Records can be requested through www.archives.gov>veterans. You can also use public record searches, however I do not know how accurate they are. Phonies will also claim too that their service is classified or sealed. Not true.
A local at the Legion here in Moorhead told me I missed an interesting fellow. He claims he was on the last chopper out of a country. Then he had to blow the embassy when he cleared. I would’ve loved to meet this character. Military SOP dictates you don’t land aircraft on top of buildings packed with explosives. Static electricity and radio waves can set explosives off. Helicopters have lots of both from what I recall of blowing up trees. You need 1lb of C4 explosive for every 12-16 inches worth of trunk girth. You also need at least 1lb C4, for a kicker charge to direct how the tree falls. So I wonder where this clown was hiding several thousands of Lbs of C4. I’m also wondering how they had time to place them during an evacuation?
One thing I’ve wrote about several times before is military families struggles. When a spouse or partner deploys, this compounds the regular family struggles 20 fold. Divorce rates among military members are much higher than regular society. Infidelity, reckless spending, drug and alcohol abuse, depression and a sense of abandonment can manifest. The difficulty in the children can be even more damaging. A few months or even over a year spent deployed is not easy. Deploy several times it’s even more complex to maintain normalcy in a marriage.
I recently heard a political add cast against a veteran regarding his family and role. Military careers have ended over lesser, unproven allegations. I’ve seen it happen several times. To use something like this in a political ad is disturbing and dishonorable. It’s the kids that are harmed even more by these actions.
Next week lots of Veterans Day happenings and I’ll post as many as I can here. If you have something, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Dick, a loyal reader. I really appreciate the kind words.