March 2007: Military Fraud Hunters
BADASSES OF THE MONTH -- MILITARY FRAUD HUNTERS
Ever go to a social function and have some stranger come up to you and without any apparent reason, start telling you about their previous combat and special forces experiences? Since the 1980s America has been awash in posers claiming they are, or were, the military deadly. This month's tribute is to the men and women who track and attempt to refute such claims. Such claims run the spectrum from fakers who wrongfully claim to have earned the Medal of Honor, to idiots falsely claiming to be SEALS.
Bullshido truly respects the quiet military professionals who go do their jobs without the notice of the press. It truly pisses us off to see someone, anyone, steal and misappropriate the true accomplishments of our couragous fighting men and women. Off duty the real heros usually carry themselves more like Ed down at the hardware store, then a self tortured and fictional John Rambo of "First Blood" fame. Some tricksters like Frank Dux, or Ralph Hall also teach martial arts and use their military lies to buttress their claims to be uber-warriors/Ninjers.
Opposing such activities are a small number of volunteers who end up challenging such liars and psychopaths and making them very unhappy by calling them on their bullshit. Such work is time consuming, confrontational, and unpleasant, and is typically not very lucrative. Their efforts however enriches us, by keeping a lid on some of the worst behavior that one can encounter.
So since military fraud hunting involves a cast of dozens, here are some of the people we honor this month. For any of the roughly 50 additional people we should have mentioned here, our apologies in advance for this omission. Your efforts are truly appreciated.
1) B.G. Burkett, author of Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation was Robbed of Its Heroes and History. Mr. Burkett served in Vietnam with the 199th Light Infantry in 1968 and 1969. With his mastery of the Freedom of Information Act and over 1,700 such requests he has exposed more fake Vietnam Combat Veterans that anyone else. He was one of the people to show that Frank Dux of Bloodsport fame never served in Vietnam. See http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies15.htm
2) Pownetwork.org Currently the website with the most profiles concerning people making false military claims. They did an incredible job on their investigation of Dr. Maung Gyi, who when not lying about his service record, founded Bando in the United States. http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies38.htm
3) The folks at Veriseal http://veriseal.org/about.html and most of the former members of Authentiseal. While the former accuse the latter of plagerizing their site, http://sec-global.com/services/ctp/vsg/tsk-tsk.html members of both sites have done good work exposing fake SEALS. See http://www.cyberseals.org/authentiseal concerning the latter site which has since shut down.
Both organizations rely, or relied, on a a privately assembled database of every man who has gone through BUDS and UDT training since the 1950s put together by R.D. Russell and his wife Pam. The best guide to fake seal busting is No Guts, No Glory: Unmasking Navy SEAL Imposters which can be obtained at http://www.moosecreekforge.com/special.html Its author, Steve Robinson, formally served as an investigator for Authentiseal and explains in nausating detail how these frauds operate and what sort of lies they tell. Steve was kind enough to consult with Bullshido when we were investigating David "Race" Bannon, even though his Judo days are now behind him :) We borrowed Steve's photo for the front page.
There presently appears to be thousands of men roaming the United States claiming false military distinctions. For those attempting to keep this human sludge under control, and stop the worst offenders, on your own dime, we salute you.