Posts tagged ‘Stolen Valor’

April 19, 2017

No Longer Indifferent on Benton Nomination to Selective Service

by lewwaters

Don Benton

As we all know by now, former 5 term state senator Don Benton has been nominated by President Trump to head the Selective Service, aka the Draft to those of us old enough to remember that era.

I see no need to delve into the history of the draft, but also realize there is little chance it will be reactivated to induct young men and possibly young women into the Military.

That being said, I have been largely indifferent to the nomination of Don Benton or that he never served in the Military himself in any capacity. Although if approved he would be the first ever to head the department without Military Service, it really made no difference to me in large part due to the unlikelihood our youth would once again be conscripted.

read more »

June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Dishonors Veterans: Upholds Stolen Valor Act as Unconstitutional

by lewwaters

As if the Supreme Court ruling upholding Obamacare as constitutional, mandating America citizens be forced to purchase health insurance, they slapped the honor of Veterans who have fought for and defended the freedoms and liberties of American citizens since our founding.

In yet another stunningly surprise ruling, the court ruled in a 6 to 3 decision that “the government does not have the power to punish people for making false claims regarding military service or honors.”

The government has the right to force Americans to purchase expensive health insurance or be fined, but cannot prosecute those who lie and steal the valor of honorable Veterans by falsely claiming receiving Medals of Valor awarded to Heroes for conspicuous gallantry in battle?

Free speech advocates are praising the decision, but since when does free speech give anyone a right to steal the valor of true Heroes?

We have long acknowledged that free speech has its limits, such as yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.

read more »

April 30, 2012

The Columbian’s “Absence of Malice”

by lewwaters

I always find it disheartening to see mispresentations on the Columbian’s website or in their print edition. Whether deliberate or accidental, misrepresentations serve no one and leave people with false impressions of news or something that happened.

As readers know, Clark County Politics blog and I both raised the question about a claim of “numerous combat medals” received by current Clark County Board of Commissioners candidate, Joe Tanner, seeing that he served aboard a ship cruising in the South China Sea off of the coast of Vietnam during the war in support of the war.

Such a claim is vague and leads people to believe such medals to be earned during actual combat by a soldier or sailor if a member of the Navy as was Tanner.

Most that never served in the Military do not see a distinction nor do they see a need to question Military service, unless of course your name is George W. Bush or you’re a Republican.

Seeing that Mr. Tanner was an Electronics Technician most likely serving at sea, the question arose about how “numerous combat medals” could be received. Given that, on April 25, 2012 I sent an email to the Tanner campaign requesting clarification.

On April 29, 2012, a little after 9 pm I received from Tanner;

Lew, sorry for the delay. I have a new grand daughter (my first) and that took priority. By noon tomorrow I will send to you my DD-214 and a statement about my military service. I am taking you at your word that you will publish my DD-214 and statement verbatim on your website. All the Democrats and Republicans I know believe you to be a straight shooter, so I am going to assume that – until and unless you give me a reason to think otherwise. At the same time I will post the DD-214 on my website and also send it to the Columbian and Reflector.

I think we will both be a big part of the political landscape in Clark County for many years, so hopefully we will have a mutually respectful and productive working relationship. By the way, I personally gave my DD-214 to David Madore 2 months ago, given our mutual experience in the Navy. I assumed you already had a copy, but in any event tomorrow you will have it (absent only my social security number).

read more »

April 30, 2012

Joe Tanners’ Military Medals Claim Clarified

by lewwaters

Joe Tanner, announced candidate for the Clark County Commissioner seat now occupied by Tom Mielke has caught the eye of primarily bloggers who have questioned claims made on his ABOUT JOE TANNER page. Primarily the claim, “As an active duty Vietnam veteran, Joe Tanner received numerous combat medals.

Mr. Tanner served in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician from 1966 to 1970 and was aboard the USS Providence, a Cleveland-class light cruiser that was converted to a guided missile cruiser. More on the ship will follow below.

As a Vietnam Veteran who served “boots on the ground” in the Central Highlands for 18 months, reading a sailors claim of “numerous combat medals” caught my eye as most sailors served aboard ships cruising in the South China Sea, far away from much of the in country battles in support roles. It also caught the eye of Clark County Politics, also a US Army Veteran with both of us seeking answers and clarification from the Tanner Campaign.

Mr. Tanner has answered with a copy of his Discharge, DD-214 and a statement on his Military Service below.

read more »

January 22, 2012

Where is Ron Paul’s DD 214?

by lewwaters

Once again we see Ron Paul supporters boasting of his Military Service, 2 years active in the US Air Force as a Flight Surgeon and another 2 in the Air National Guard (the same Air National Guard President Bush was accused of hiding out from the draft and Vietnam service in) as a doctor.

As the undated photo of him in uniform seems to show, he has Captain’s bars on his shoulders, no ribbons and a basic medical corps badge above his left pocket, but no Flight Surgeon Badge.

US Air Force Basic Flight Surgeon Badge

You might not feel it is relevant to ask to see Ron Paul’s Military Record, but just as with previous candidates who boast of Military Service, as Ron Paul did in the debates with Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and others, it is incumbent upon him to support his claim of service.

I have no doubt that he served as an Air Force doctor (Flight Surgeon) for 2 years, from 1963 to 1965 and then finished out with the Air National Guard (1965 to 1968), but since he now makes that service a central part of his campaign, we voters are entitled to know about his service, deployments (if any), character of service and rank attained.

While many say his active service was stateside, RonPaul.com, a major supportive web site claims in their sidebar, “Ron Paul is a proud Air Force veteran. He served as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the U.S. Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968. During his military service Ron Paul spent time on the ground in Iran, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, Ethiopia and other countries.”

read more »

November 4, 2011

STOLEN VALOR ACT “RIGHT TO LIE” CASE IN SUPREME COURT

by lewwaters

By Rees Lloyd,

The U.S. Supreme Court has voted to grant review and decide the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act (18 U.S. Code Sec. 704) in the case of the fake “Medal of Honor recipient,” fake “Marine,” fake “American Legion member,” former Tri-County Water Board politician in Southern California, and current incarcerated felon on conviction for fraud, Xavier Alvarez. (U.S. vs. Xavier Alvarez, USSC No. 11-210)

Alvarez brazenly boasted publicly that he was a former Marine and Medal of Honor recipient to boost his career as a minor Democratic Party politician, and decked himself out in a fake Army (not Marine) dress uniform with a chest full of medals which he didn’t earn — because he never served a day. (Alvarez’ medal-bedecked photo appears in a California Bar Journal story on his case at: http://www.calbarjournal.com/November2011/TopHeadlines/TH1.aspx)

Alvarez, exposed by a real former Marine, Melissa Campbell, assisted by American Legion Post 79 and District 21, and by legendary broadcast journalist and WWII Marine the-late George Putnam, a member of Post 79(see below), pleaded guilty in federal court to violation of the Stolen Valor Act, which imposes criminal penalties for false claims of receipt of the Medal of Honor or other medals of valor by imposters.

read more »

June 14, 2010

Why Exaggerate Military Service To Get Elected?

by lewwaters

Over many years of my life, I have followed several political campaigns from candidates of both parties. Many candidates display quite an impressive Military Record as part of the reason they should be elected, or so it seems.

While we have had many honorable people elected who performed heroic feats in their Military Service, some have either lied or grossly exaggerated their service in hopes voters see them as brave and honorable soldiers, ready to fight for the voters.

In my opinion and many others, doing so is a grave disservice to voters. It is false advertising, selling us a bill of goods while unable to actually deliver.

No one who ever served honorably should be ashamed of what they were assigned to do while serving, all jobs being necessary to complete even the smallest mission. From Company Clerks to Cooks, Motor Pool Mechanics to Artillerymen, Supply Clerks to Infantry, each and every job is important and must be performed so the mission can be successfully accomplished.

So, why do some feel the need to exaggerate their service?

I guess they feel it makes them brave in the eyes of others. It’s one thing to spin such yarns to your children or friends and neighbors, even at the VFW bar where we can easily pick out such braggarts by their ridiculous claims. But, to sell yourself to the public by either exaggerating your service, or omitting the truth of your service allowing others to assume you served in war, when you did not, is taking on to yourself something for which you are not entitled.

Look at the recent news of Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, who gradually insinuated he served in Viet Nam when he never did. Or Mark Kirk, who overly boasted of a minimal unit citation as if he were personally awarded a citation of high merit.

Think back to 2004 and the claims made by Democrat John ‘F’in Kerry (who is said to have served in Viet Nam) and his being exposed by former shipmates, even though the media denigrated the shipmates, not Kerry.

Even Hillary Clinton boasted in 2008 how she tried to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, but was turned down due to wearing glasses. Then, recall her story of dodging sniper fire in Bosnia, only to be revealed a falsehood.

Some candidates hoping for office claim a disability from their time serving, revealing the nature of the injury, as former Senator Bob Dole did during his time in the Senate.

Others have not stated the injury, where it happened or how. Some have even tried the old Bovine Scatology of claiming they are not permitted to discuss where they were or how it happened, being some mythical “top secret” operation we are supposed to just buy in to.

Ask just about any Veteran who actually served in a combat zone and see how they view such claims. We know better.

Voters deserve truthful statements from candidates who claim Military Service, not bravado or even silence of where they served or how they served, especially if they make their service a major part of their campaign by claiming the rank they last held in campaign ads.

What voters don’t need is more candidates seeking office by either exaggerating or relying on lies of omission to pad an otherwise weak resume’ in hopes of fooling enough voters to see them as they aren’t.

In introducing an amendment to a war spending bill, to make inaccurate or misleading statements about one’s military service record a punishable offense, this past May, Senator Orin Hatch (R. Ut) said,

“It is sad that there are those who attempt to inflate their record and make these claims. To do that defiles the sacrifice and service of those who have served in combat. Worse yet, it dishonors the sacrifice of the brave men and women in uniform who have given their lives in combat so that the freedoms we enjoy are defended.”

“It is a crime to dishonor the sacrifice of so many by falsely representing combat service for the purposes of self-promotion or benefit. My amendment would deter those who would falsely prop themselves up in order to appear worthy of the award and title of ‘combat veteran’.”

We deserve honorable and truthful elected officials, not someone who would exaggerate a claim or make vague statements, allowing others to believe an injury received in basic training was due to combat service, when they never served in such an area.

It matters not how bold or in your face their speeches or confrontations with others in the past may be, exaggerations and lies of omission are still dishonorable and not worthy of my vote or support and in need of being exposed to voters, regardless of party affiliation.

If we are to have honorable, truthful and reliable elected officials, it should begin in honest and open representation of any Military Service claimed.