Liars, or merely ignorant?

  • Thread starter zoobyshoe
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  • #76
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A bunch more background...

Yeah, I definitely see what you mean. I've met folks like that before as well. With all of that going on as well, I also think you definitely have reason to be suspicious. I especially agree with the part about being designed to be uncheckable, that is a red flag.
 
  • #77
DaveC426913
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I especially agree with the part about being designed to be uncheckable, that is a red flag.
And the fact that he so freely talks about it to strangers in public.


Zoob: you could lay traps. Make up some fact that sounds juicy, offer it, and see if he takes the bait.
 
  • #78
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The sniper teams would only work in pairs, the sniper with a Remington 700 with a Winchester magazine. And the spotter with an M14. Chambered in 30./06 and 7.62 respectively. There were no M16a1 based DMR's in the Marine corps at the time considering the term DMR didn't come around until a far later period, and is still the M14. There are the MKII Mod.1 and Mod.2 DMR's, but these are mostly used by private contracting firms as the M14 is the mainstay for the DMR in the US Army and Marine Corps.


taken from militaryphotos.net

So basically.
M16 never used as a DMR in Vietnam, still not used as an official DMR on the Marines or the US Army.
***It is possible that the man in question who said it was an M16 could have just gotten a number wrong***
Actual snipers used a Bolt action rifle chambered in 30./06
Marksmen and spotters used the M14 chambered in 7.62

Just thought this might help clarify anything misconceptions
The M-14 round converts to .299999, which is probably indistinguishable in diameter in any practical measurement from a .30 round. This makes so much more sense as a long distance, accuracy bullet than a .223 round, as the M-16 takes (.30=greater mass, more inertia, less responsive to light crosswinds, etc). It could well be he simply mis-spoke saying M-16 instead of 14. I suppose if I delved into it he might have a good explanation for why he was using a spotter's rifle instead of the sniper issue.
 
  • #79
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There is no need for sarcasm. I have no issue with your post - it is perfectly fine. But in post 32, someone asked for an explanation, and that has lead to a whole side-thread.

It is quite common to split threads if there are two independent conversations going. It helps both.
There is no side thread. Everything I found posted in my absence was perfectly on topic.
 
  • #80
turbo
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Zoob, if it helps, I had a co-worker who had been a SEAL and who had been frequently deployed in enemy-controlled territory in VietNam as a forward observer, calling in naval artillery strikes. I had known him for over a year and shared dozens of lunch-breaks with him (especially on night shifts) before he told me that. He was very quiet and unflappable, lean, fit, and strong. I can't imagine him sitting all day in a cafe, telling absolute strangers about his "top-secret" missions. It just wouldn't fit.

Edit: Also the notion that he could be confused over what caliber weapons he used would be laughable. The Special Ops guys from any branch of the service are quite highly trained and knowledgeable.
 
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  • #81
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Zoob, if it helps, I had a co-worker who had been a SEAL and who had been frequently deployed in enemy-controlled territory in VietNam as a forward observer, calling in naval artillery strikes. I had known him for over a year and shared dozens of lunch-breaks with him (especially on night shifts) before he told me that. He was very quiet and unflappable, lean, fit, and strong. I can't imagine him sitting all day in a cafe, telling absolute strangers about his "top-secret" missions. It just wouldn't fit.
The Seal did not raise the subject with me. I heard he was a sniper from a third party and I am the one who approached him to ask about bullet caliber. At some later point when we were both outside having a cigarette, I mentioned to him that by coincidence I had also met a Marine sniper at a different cafe. That's when he sketched out his SEAL history. At that point I'd known him over a year. So, he doesn't exactly sit and offer war tales to strangers, but once he got going he jumped straight to some extravagant claims.
 
  • #82
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Edit: Also the notion that he could be confused over what caliber weapons he used would be laughable.
The suggestion was that he mis-spoke, said M-16, when he meant M-14.
 
  • #83
turbo
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The suggestion was that he mis-spoke, said M-16, when he meant M-14.
Could be, I guess, but you should know that those are VERY different animals. The M-14 is a heavy-wood-stocked automatic rifle chambered for .308, and the M-16 is a small and very lightweight automatic rifle chambered for the tiny .223 rounds. With their light plastic stocks, fore-grips, etc, there were jokes about Mattel having produced them.
 
  • #84
31
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You should be hard pressed to get any information out of any former or current person who served. Any vet that I have talked to has been extremely humble and would only talk about something if you pried it out of him.

If this "SEAL" is running around telling people all about his experiences and the like then he is most likely a faker.

If you want to understanding war in Vietnam. Go to this site, page down a bit and read the daily action reports of an AO and units of the 4th Infantry in May-June 1968 near Dak To - Ben Het. The 4th infantry units listed were heavily involved in the fight for Ben Het, rocket ridge, clearing the tri-border, and the heavy combat that came with the "second phase" of the Tet offensive.
http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/star/imag...8300010327.pdf [Broken]

From what I have heard, a lot of the sniper teams would be sent out, they would walk 500m from the Fire base, set up their hide and snooze for a week and trudge back.

For whoever was doing the calculations on bullet weight between .308 and .223.

The military designates the calibres as 7.62mm and the 5.56mm

The stolen valor act is basically when anyone takes benefits from a Veterans organization that are undeserved. It mainly applies to civilians claiming benefits, It has been going on for a long time supposedly. A lot of people have claimed benefits from the VN war who didn't even get drafted.
 
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  • #85
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Could be, I guess, but you should know that those are VERY different animals. The M-14 is a heavy-wood-stocked automatic rifle chambered for .308, and the M-16 is a small and very lightweight automatic rifle chambered for the tiny .223 rounds. With their light plastic stocks, fore-grips, etc, there were jokes about Mattel having produced them.
Yeah, but the words "M-14" and "M-16" are exactly the same in two out of three syllables.
 
  • #86
turbo
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Yeah, but the words "M-14" and "M-16" are exactly the same in two out of three syllables.
My point is that the guns themselves are VERY different and if you have been "married" to one or the other through a couple of tours of duty, there is very little likelihood that you would mis-speak that way. One of my buddies who served in Viet Nam wanted an M-14 badly because he felt that the M-16 was 'way underpowered and prone to jamming and he felt kind of "naked" carrying one.
 
  • #87
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You should be hard pressed to get any information out of any former or current person who served. Any vet that I have talked to has been extremely humble and would only talk about something if you pried it out of him.

If this "SEAL" is running around telling people all about his experiences and the like then he is most likely a faker.
This is the same for WWII veterans as well, my parent's generation. I was once told my uncle had landed at Normandy and fought through Europe. I asked him about it and he just stood up and walked out of the room as if he hadn't heard me. My aunt then said: "He saw people get killed. He doesn't like to talk about it." I also recall two or three of my mother's friends relating how their husbands sometimes thrashed in their sleep having war nightmares.

So, I think you're right that the seal's willingness to relate such things is probably not a good sign.


The stolen valor act is basically when anyone takes benefits from a Veterans organization that are undeserved. It mainly applies to civilians claiming benefits, It has been going on for a long time supposedly. A lot of people have claimed benefits from the VN war who didn't even get drafted.
You're saying people are applying for VA benefits who were never even in the military?
 
  • #88
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My point is that the guns themselves are VERY different and if you have been "married" to one or the other through a couple of tours of duty, there is very little likelihood that you would mis-speak that way. One of my buddies who served in Viet Nam wanted an M-14 badly because he felt that the M-16 was 'way underpowered and prone to jamming and he felt kind of "naked" carrying one.

True, but I'm "married" to my arms, so to speak, and I sometimes say "left" when I mean "right".
 
  • #89
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True, but I'm "married" to my arms, so to speak, and I sometimes say "left" when I mean "right".

So, have you, erm... consummated that marriage yet? :biggrin:
 
  • #90
turbo
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Regarding the reticence of some vets, my father never speaks of his duty in Europe in WWII. My wife's uncle never told me of his service, though he was decorated and lost a lot of buddies at Anzio. I found out about that through one of his kids when he took the family on a trip to Italy to "bury some old ghosts" a couple of years before he died.

The father of one of my closest friends growing up had been a sniper in France in WWII. He was never right in the head, afterward and was in and out of the VA hospital for years. The meds bothered him so badly that he refused to take them, and suffered some psychotic episodes. The police got a call that he had brandished a rifle at a passing truck, so they congregated on his house with a SWAT team and hemmed him in, and refused to let his friend (a deputy sheriff) go to him and talk him down. There he was, trapped in his house by a large group of armed men surrounding him. After they shot a cannister of tear gas into the house he shot his deer-rifle though an open window and a SWAT sniper killed him. Eddie was one hell of a shot, and had he really intended to hurt somebody, he could have. A very sad end to a troubled life.
 
  • #91
ibnsos
  • #92
BobG
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You're saying people are applying for VA benefits who were never even in the military?

I'd estimate that at least half the people in the VFW bar every night down the street from my ex-mother-in-law were never in the military. The VFW part (Veterans of Foreign Wars) just qualifies them as a club with laws a little different than would apply for a commercial tavern and I guess just about everyone down there is a member or a guest of a member, but there don't seem to be very many ex-military members in their club (not under the age of 70 anyway - in fact, I think the current situation is desparation by a once strong VFW Post that was in danger of dwindling away).
 
  • #93
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I added the link to my earlier post. It is seriously a good read if you are looking to find out what the combat was actually like over there. Definitely gave me a different view on how the war was fought.

I believe one of the main reasons the VFW is dwindling is because the people who have served recently will do their tours, and once they get out they just dont want anything to really do with it anymore. At least where I live that is the main case. Our VFW is the same way with the non military members. Some nights I guarantee you there isn't a single military serviceman in the house! It really just is another bar to some people.

It's too bad that the WWII generation is starting to pass away. There is so much valuable information that hasn't been told yet because people haven't taken the time to listen to their stories. Just the day to day things that go on during the war are extremely interesting and it's a shame to lose them.
 
  • #94
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From http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1998" [Broken]:
The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 (summary) - Amends the federal criminal code to expand the prohibition against wearing, manufacturing, or selling military decorations or medals without legal authorization; to prohibit purchasing, soliciting, mailing, shipping, importing, exporting, producing blank certificates of receipt for, advertising, trading, bartering, or exchanging such decorations or medals without authorization.
Prohibits falsely representing oneself as having been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces or any of the service medals or badges.
Increases penalties for violations if the offense involves a distinguished service cross, an Air Force Cross, a Navy Cross, a silver star, or a Purple Heart.​

Two places for checking on an individual's claim to military involvement:
http://www.socnet.com/
http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/links_verification.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #95
This is the same for WWII veterans as well, my parent's generation. I was once told my uncle had landed at Normandy and fought through Europe. I asked him about it and he just stood up and walked out of the room as if he hadn't heard me. My aunt then said: "He saw people get killed. He doesn't like to talk about it." I also recall two or three of my mother's friends relating how their husbands sometimes thrashed in their sleep having war nightmares.

So, I think you're right that the seal's willingness to relate such things is probably not a good sign.

I had a friend who went so far as to lie and say that he never left the states and received an honourable discharge due to injury in order to avoid talking about what he went through in Vietnam. He never even told me himself but a mutual friend explained to me how he was suffering from PTSD and that was why he had a large bottle of vodka with him at all times.

The reason he spoke to that friend is because his father was in Vietnam and I guess he felt he would understand after hearing the stories from his father. My friend's father though was the sniper I mentioned earlier. He was not the sort to just talk about his military career but if he was around only a couple people whom he was comfortable with he would maybe talk a bit about his service. I wonder though if talking big may be a common thing for military guys. They like good stories and I have a few friends who have been in the military that made it sound like half of what they do is exaggerate and BS one another to keep each other entertained. The sniper I mention also told me that he saw an experimental jet on radar by accident once, not a very outrageous claim really. He also said that he knew a detective on the police force that knew OJ was covering for his son, and he spoke as if he knew what happened on the grassy knoll in Dealy Plaza. I certainly trust that he was a sniper in Vietnam. I suppose he knows people who told him things and he trusts those other people even if I might not.
 
  • #96
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Yes, they also dupe employers, schools, organizations, family members etc. for personal benefit. Head over to the Hall of Shame at http://professionalsoldiers.com/forums/index.php for many examples.
A link to that forum wasn't very helpful. I read a few threads and it just seems to be a bunch of guys who've defined themselves to be the authentic ones shaking their spears and thumping their chests at potential poseurs. I don't see any documentation of, or statistics about, people who've been proven to have committed fraud by false claims of military service.
 
  • #97
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I'd estimate that at least half the people in the VFW bar every night down the street from my ex-mother-in-law were never in the military. The VFW part (Veterans of Foreign Wars) just qualifies them as a club with laws a little different than would apply for a commercial tavern and I guess just about everyone down there is a member or a guest of a member, but there don't seem to be very many ex-military members in their club (not under the age of 70 anyway - in fact, I think the current situation is desparation by a once strong VFW Post that was in danger of dwindling away).
Hanging at the VFW doesn't seem to have much to do with applying for VA benefits when you never even served in the military.
 
  • #98
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From http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s109-1998" [Broken]:
The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 (summary) - Amends the federal criminal code to expand the prohibition against wearing, manufacturing, or selling military decorations or medals without legal authorization; to prohibit purchasing, soliciting, mailing, shipping, importing, exporting, producing blank certificates of receipt for, advertising, trading, bartering, or exchanging such decorations or medals without authorization.
Prohibits falsely representing oneself as having been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces or any of the service medals or badges.
Increases penalties for violations if the offense involves a distinguished service cross, an Air Force Cross, a Navy Cross, a silver star, or a Purple Heart.​

Two places for checking on an individual's claim to military involvement:
http://www.socnet.com/
http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/links_verification.htm [Broken]

So, the Stolen Valor Act is specifically aimed at people who claim military decorations they did not actually receive, not people who falsely apply for VA benefits.
 
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  • #99
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So, the Stolen Valor Act is specifically aimed at people who claim military decorations they did not actually receive, not people who falsely apply for VA benefits.

No I remember reading an article. When the Stolen Valor Act first came out it only included wearing medals. So to get around that the people would then frame their medals and tell stories about them. So to put an end to it they made it illegal to own or sell etc. etc. these medals without authorizations and they also made it illegal to tell stories about winning medals or being such and such in the military without having actually done it.

I'll look for the article.

EDIT: here
Those laws were amended to impose tighter restrictions, added stipulations against making false VERBAL claims, and added greater penalties. However, despite the laws being stiffened and expanded, no additional funds were designated for their enforcement.
*emphasis mine
http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies574.htm [Broken]
 
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