The TV show contestant and former soldier embroiled in a controversy over whether he was wounded in Afghanistan admitted on a military-focused podcast that that he, in fact, did not earn medals he once claimed to have received, but maintains he suffers from traumatic brain injury, despite assertions by military officials to the contrary.
Timothy Michael Poe, who received a standing ovation during a recent broadcast of “America’s Got Talent,” told C.J. Grisham on the You Served podcast Tuesday that he did not have either a Purple Heart or Bronze Star, medals he claimed he was awarded while attending a golf tournament sponsored by the Defenders of Freedom.
"It was just something stupid," he said of the reason for his claims. "I don't [have a Purple Heart and Bronze Star] and I never said on 'America's Got Talent' that I did.
“Everyone [at the tournament] had something … It was just one of those things, you know, you feel out of place and want to feel you are part of something."
On the podcast, Poe said he suffers from traumatic brain injury, a claim the military disputes.
"By the time I turned and went to jump on my guys, I yelled 'grenade' and the blast had hit me," Poe said in his audition video for "America's Got Talent," which aired along with the judges' interview. He said his stutter was due to the brain injury he suffered in the blast, along with a broken back.
The Minnesota National Guard told AP Poe had served in the Guard for nine years, working as a supply specialist, and was not injured in the month he was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009.
"We looked very closely at his record," spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Olson told AP. "We did not find something to substantiate what he said."
During Poe's nearly 24-minute interview with Grisham -- during which he stutters -- he said the Minnesota National Guard officials who dispute his claim do not have all of his medical records.
Poe told Grisham he is willing to release his medical records supporting his diagnosis; You Served plans to post them on its site when received, Grisham said.