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Old 12-24-2018, 12:13 AM
 
9,988 posts, read 11,984,947 times
Reputation: 13391

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Happened yesterday and I am not pretty darn sure I am 100% sure the "vet" I ran into was not a "vet".

From 1968 to 1969 I served as a combat medic with 1/18 First Infantry Division operating out of DiAn, South Vietnam most of the time in the area between DiAn and Lai Khe in the Michelin Rubber Plantation.

As all medics were I was in H&HC but from here we would be assigned to different companies and from here different platoons. Every platoon always had a medic and the platoon leader (lieutenant), radio operator and medic who would always walk together in a group.

So yesterday I am in a WalMart store and across from me I spot a fella my age sporting a First Infantry Division hat with the Big Red One 1/18th on it emblazoned with Vietnam Veteran. Wow, this is getting close if he was there the same time I was we probably met over there or at least knew some common people.

I identified myself, I was with the 1/18th too and asked him where he was at mentioning DiAn, Lai Khe and few of the forward fire bases that I can remember. Venable Heights was one of them.

He didn't say anything just repeated he was "all over the place" which didn't make sense because everyone had some sort of base camp.

When I pressed him a little he just said he was always doing "search and destroy missions" which was funny because I never remember being on a search and destroy mission. I am not so sure the term "search and destroy" didn't come out of Hollywood.

Maybe up north but not around where we were.

I told him I was a medic to which he responded that I was one of the guys in the rear... that when a soldier got hurt members of his platoon would sort of patch him up and then ship him off to the rear so guys in the safe zone like me could work to patch him up.

I smelled a rat.

There are only certain things you can know only by having been there. Oh, and I am not any Rambo all I wanted to do was get through my 365 days and come home. A Rambo I was not.

My wife was with me and asked me when we were leaving why didn't I stick around and talk to a fellow veteran and it broke my heart to have to say he wasn't a veteran, he never was in Vietnam and most likely he was never in the military. This veteran appeared to be with his wife and I had the very distinct feeling he didn't want to stick around and talk to me either.

I should have asked him what was the name of the lizard that made the special sounds at night. If you were there in my area you know exactly what the lizards name was but I don't wanna be banned from CD so I won't say it.

Why would someone do this?
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Old 12-24-2018, 12:21 AM
 
13,563 posts, read 12,497,097 times
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Many reasons people do this, attention, red badge of courage, etc.

I have a relative that does this, Vietnam era age, never served a day in his life, but everyone he knows thinks he did. He tries to play off the "crazy veteran" guy, lol. Feeds his ego of trying to be some tough guy or something.

I caught someone once in a lie, he slowly backtracked as we engaged more in conversation, to the point he said he really was just interested in joining back then. I was not trying to corner him or anything, I was innocently sharing the Navy experience with him.
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Old 12-24-2018, 01:45 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
6,354 posts, read 3,426,674 times
Reputation: 13095
It makes them feel important and it gets them attention. I'm not as diplomatic as you. I would have called him out on it.
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Old 12-24-2018, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Murrica
2,488 posts, read 1,501,832 times
Reputation: 1293
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
It makes them feel important and it gets them attention. I'm not as diplomatic as you. I would have called him out on it.
I’m with you. It’s a whole different thing than saying you were a great athlete or something in school.
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Old 12-24-2018, 09:54 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,485 posts, read 39,621,298 times
Reputation: 28569
Quote:
Shipley says there have been about 19,000 SEALs in history, going back to the inception of the program in 1943. He says about 9,000 SEALs are still living today. He says for every real SEAL, the FBI estimates there are 250 impostors. Shipley believes there are more like 1,000 fakes for every real one.
https://www.kare11.com/article/news/...l/89-424400555

People lie... A fact of life.

Fake military vets claiming they served in combat, saved lives, survived injuries, and earned numerous medals will probably exist forever... I try to stay away from them. Some are truly sick individuals.
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Old 12-25-2018, 12:56 AM
 
8,820 posts, read 10,739,852 times
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I have met many veterans of the Vietnam War who think they were some admin clerk when their medals and citations shows the real person. For whatever reason they have not totally blocked out their traumatic experiences but their mind has altered the events to make it less stressful to remember. In time that safer memory gets mangled with actual traumatic events to the point when they recite it, the recollection sounds more like a story.

I don't know if this person was or wasn't really in the service, but I have learned from growing up surrounded by those who were driven to tears if they talked about what they lived, and knowing how even my father made up rose colored images of horrific events as a safety net, that these disjointed false sounding stories may just be covering an even greater horror they can not face.
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Old 12-25-2018, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
9,179 posts, read 5,023,646 times
Reputation: 7837
It can go both ways.

Since I don't talk in specifics, a lot of people think I'm a fake. Further, a lot are surprised when they find out I'm a Vet. I guess being a belly dancer doesn't fit into the image of what they expect of a Vet.

I don't talk in specifics since I talk openly about history but I don't want to be disloyal to commands long past. I don't talk in specifics since I was a provost marshal (USN term security officer), I know bad things about people and now, that might be a slander charge. I don't talk in specifics for one makes enemies in that line of work, I don't want anyone to come looking for me if any are, and it is the nature of that line of work not to talk in specifics.

At the very least, there is what people know but at times, they may believe it absolutely. I was doing a fitness for duty examination at a clinic once. I was there in working blues, with a radio on my belt and the mic up on an epaulet. A retiree came over and wanted to know if I was NIS. Eh, made me feel like Waffen SS but the thing is, in his time, military members of NIS were probably more common than those few short years before the creation of NCIS.

That said, give a lot of room to those who may have been the exception to how we usually know things are done.
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Old 12-29-2018, 10:39 PM
 
10,635 posts, read 7,752,776 times
Reputation: 18867
Pathological liar. I worked with one in the Memphis area. If this guy said Marine Corps I'd swear it was him.
They build themselves up that way. Try to get a little admiration any way they can get it.
Don't be afraid to say "You lie like a cheap rug!"
And thank you so much for your service.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,695 posts, read 4,591,215 times
Reputation: 6004
I am with you. It makes me mad but I don't get worked up about it. I wear a ball cap that shows my military rank. Many people recognize it but there a lot who don't. I don't generally look for thanks for service but I am eminently proud of my service and the rank I attained.
Attached Thumbnails
Why does this bug me so much? Pretty darn sure I ran into a Stolen Valor thief-img_1744.jpg  
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:44 PM
 
4,182 posts, read 1,924,570 times
Reputation: 3359
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
I am with you. It makes me mad but I don't get worked up about it. I wear a ball cap that shows my military rank. Many people recognize it but there a lot who don't. I don't generally look for thanks for service but I am eminently proud of my service and the rank I attained.
I recognize it...…….you used to watch me when I signed out on pass...……..
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