How can I get the truth on a fake veteran?

How do I bust a fake Nam vet? I’ve put up with this guy for a year now, and I’m not really interested in whether he was in the reserves or active duty or what. I don’t need the finer points, just a confirmation, and something tells me he is flatout lying. He’s even got the whole “my records were lost in a fire” crap going on. I just want a fast yes or no answer to the quesion of whether he was ever in the US armed services, anywhere.

Does anyone know of a website that lets me search by name, or do I have to actually submit a full SF180 to the government? Someone please tell me how to bust this phony.

Well, unless he was in the Army and in Vietnam during or before 1960, or in the Air Force during or before 1964 and his name is alphabetically after “Hubbard, James E.”, it’s unlikely that his records were burned in a fire.

I looked into doing something like this for my dad (some guy at work was going on way too much about his experiences, and everyone had their doubts) and we got about this far before deciding it wasn’t worthwhile for us to pursue.

Take a look at that page - you might find otherwise.

Ask him to produce his DD-214 (discharge paper). Hell, you can order it from here (though you’ll need his SSN and other vital info).

This cite may offer some help.

Here’s another thought; find out what platoon, unit or what have you, who his comanding officer was (sorry to you military folk if I get the terminology incorrect) and then start Googling away. Perhaps you can find someone online that can verify his service or lack thereof without having to go through channels that require a SS#.

If he is lying, what a dick.

A DD214 should show the award for service in Viet Nam, by the way. Does he still have his ribbon? Did he throw it into the fire?


I can’t ask him directly for proof, not least of all because doing that is tantamount to just calling him a liar, which obviously I don’t want to do unless I’m sure. So ribbons and unit numbers and all that are kind of out: he gets very vague when asked, for obvious reasons.

I guess I’ll need to get a d.o.b. and ssn to make this work.

Ribbons and medals are easily purchased on ebay and other sites and provide no proof of military/combat service. No vet with half a brain doesn’t know where his DD-214 is, though, and would immediately request a replacement copy if it were lost.

It wouldn’t be hard to ask for more details without calling him a liar. “I served in 'Nam” “Hey, really? So did I” (or “So did my dad”, or “So did my brother”, or whatever) “What unit were you in?”. I suppose that there are probably a fair few vets out there who would prefer to forget the whole thing, but those guys wouldn’t be telling you that they’re vets in the first place. Someone who says that he served, but gets evasive when asked something as simple as what unit he was in, is lying.

If he can’t even give you a valid unit number, that’s your answer right there- I know zero about any aspect of any unit of the armed forces, but at least have heard of 82nd airborne, 103rd airborne, etc. throught movies and whatnot.

Actually, you can’t. He has to do this himself. Or you have to be his next of kin, legal guardian, or executor of his estate to do this.

Legally, that is. You could possibly fake it and get away with it. But that would make you a liar just like him.

173rd ?

Maybe you mean the 101st airborne? There is no 103rd.

I have no clue, but type it into Google and you get 10 pages of hits :confused:

Never mind, I see now most of those hits are about Russian units, or national guard units, or about movies/video games, etc.

Of course you’ve never seen or heard of the 103rd; that’s part of their mission. The 103rd Airborne Division - “The Falling Ninjas” - are highly trained stealth paratroopers.

Falling Ninjas, I like that.

Out the door
Jump at night
hit the ground
Ready to…flip out ant kill someone.

I don’t remember my unit number. I was in the Air Force during Viet Nam, I just never made it farther than Amarillo TX.

Stolen Valor

There are a number of groups that catch people who fake not only service, but also the higher decorations and grades: Sergeants-Major, Colonels, Bronze Stars, Medals of Honor, …

They can be nailed by persistent use of the Freedom of Information Act(FoIA), since military service is a federal matter, and since the supporting records, or at least some of them, are public record.

Back when the Air Force favored ridiculously long squadron numberings, right?