Thursday, April 3, 2008

Stolen Valor

A favorite book from a few years ago is Stolen Valor: How The Vietnam Generation Was Robbed Of Its Heroes and Its History by B.G. Burkett. Without giving a book report here I'll just say that if you're interested in the "phony soldiers" frauds and other lies told about Vietnam, this is the book to read. If, however, you would rather cling to all the old "conventional wisdom" about the Vietnam era military DO NOT read Stolen Valor. It will make your head spin and you'll never be able to watch network news or read the NY Times again. You are hereby warned.
Unfortunately there's a new generation of creeps trying to steal valor. Some of these stories have even made their way into the news. Last year a discussion about phony soldiers actually lead to an organized smear campaign of a radio talk show host who, in turn, adroitly turned the tables on the perps and raised millions of dollars for military charities. Which leads us to this feel-good story about an outed Vietnam phony:
US Army 'war hero' outed as fraud
Wed Apr 2, 4:06 PM ET
NEW YORK (AFP) - A New Yorker who for 40 years passed himself off as Vietnam war hero who had been decorated for extreme gallantry was sentenced to community service Wednesday after being outed as a fraud.
Click on the post title to read the entire story. And do yourself a favor, read Stolen Valor by B.G. Burkett. Or keep believing in "60 Minutes." Your choice.