In light of some ‘stolen valor’ type incidents, the phenomenon got me wondering- if you were going to fake military status, why exaggerate so much? I would assume it is to garner respect/reputation from having a supposed high rank/medals/etc.
But doesn’t all that stuff make it glaringly easy to confirm? I’m surprised these fakers don’t set the bar a little lower in their faux rank/accomplishments, since it arouses less suspicion. I had always thought that good liars got away with their lies by using deception that was plausible enough not to arouse any doubt.
They are attempting to get the recognition and honour that comes from having been in the military or naval services.
There knowledge of the same is through the media and press exposure of persons in active service
The persons in active service who get the most exposure are the ones who earn gain gallantry awards etc.
Therefore they potray themselves as such
the second subset are those
Were actually in military service
Who attempt to spice it up.
Of course there are people who are the opposite as well. One person I know was a truck driver. Not a glamorous job and he did not claim any great accomplishments, yet later I learnt his job had been to deliver ammunition and supplies and he was shelled by the other side throughout his runs.
It is surprising the number of these guys ho come to light after many years. I would have imagined it would be glaringly obvious to those people who had been in the military that they weren’t the real deal.
This, right here. They aren’t looking for the nod one might get for having been in uniform. They want to portray themselves as special, talented, and unquiely enough that there’s independent recognition of this fact by the US armed forces. That doesn’t come from being a 71L processing TDY per diem payments for TRADOC. That comes from being a SEAL with a Navy Cross and a Silver Star, earned because you had to kill with your bare hands to save your squad from Abu Nidal himself.
Just so you know, the mods here frown on “fixed that for you” edits, flyboy.
I was going to say who wants to say they were one of the guys who cleaned the bathrooms on the Enterprise, say, instead of being a fancy-dancy super secret classified SEAL, but I see I was beaten to it. Scum.
Corollary to what RNATB said, there’s little point in trolling if you can’t troll big. Think of what certain folks on less reputable message boards than this one troll over: they’re not dissing posters’ choices of breakfast cereal or brand of golf ball, they’re going after what’s going to hit their choice of mark the hardest. I think the mentality of military fakers is somewhat similar: they want to claim the things that will get them the most bang for their lie. If there’s a particular unit or branch the faker’s mark would be most impressed by, you can guarantee the faker is going to claim to be a member of that unit or branch.
Another dimension to consider is that lying is addictive. Once you know you can get away with it, you’ve gotta keep upping the ante or the thrill is gone. It’s a situation tailor-made for stepping on your own dick.
This is a good point. Somebody who was actually in the service would know what was realistic. Somebody basing their knowledge of service life on what they see from the outside would have a distorted view.
Originally posted by Cicero:
“It is surprising the number of these guys ho come to light after many years. I would have imagined it would be glaringly obvious to those people who had been in the military that they weren’t the real deal.”
It is obvious to us who have been in the military if someone is faking it if we talk to them in person. A guy I knew had supposedly played professional baseball and had fought as an infantryman in Viet Nam. I don’t know nothing about pro ball. I asked him what unit in Viet Nam and he told me a unit that had not been there. I asked him again some time later, pretending that I had forgotten that I had already asked him once and he named a different unit.
The guy was doing a wonderful job in a very difficult position at work. He was a damned good baseball player. I liked the guy. I knew his wife. I watched his kid for him when he coached the softball team. He wasn’t really getting anything out of his fake Viet Nam service except some vague status/cachet. He wasn’t calling himself a hero, just saying that he was there as an infantryman. I didn’t out him.
In any event, it’s remarkably easy to fool people with stories of military gallantry. You wouldn’t believe how many people ask me if I’m a pilot, not even noticing that I do not have officer rank insignia on my flight suit. With such little knowledge among the general public it’s not surprising that they believe these people. In fact, it is typically someone in the military, formerly in the military, or a close relative who catches these people, and sometimes not even then. There’s story after story where men get away with it for decades.
Because of that, why wouldn’t they continue with the charade? Their odds of getting caught are pretty low, their odds of being prosecuted are even less. As long as they don’t claim a Navy/Air Force Cross or a Medal of Honor they’re virtually home free. So many people have earned Purple Hearts that they need only claim that they were wounded in combat and they’re money.
Of course, they always get egos sooner or later, and that’s when they get caught. It’s not enough to fake being a wounded veteran, it always leads to claiming a relatively rare award, and that is easily confirmed.
Do you know all the units which were deployed to 'Nam off the top of your head?
Hell, I consider myself relatively knowledgeable about air forces (in general) relative to the average civilian, and I had no idea there were no enlisted pilots until just now - although now that I think about it, I’ve never heard of a USN or USAF pilot who wasn’t an officer. :smack: