Does anyone keep track of this?
Several people and organizations have put in a lot of effort over the years to track down, expose and maintain records on fake and phony vets.
Among the leaders in this field are:
· POW Network, http://www.pownetwork.org
Chuck Schantag, a Vietnam Veteran, and his wife, Mary, maintain an extensive database of exposed frauds, fakers and phonies going back about two decades. Their efforts began after they investigated people’s claims of POW status in Vietnam, and expanded to exposing other frauds and phonies as well.
They are among the best at submitting requests to the national Personnel Records Center to verify various claims they hear about on a daily basis. Some of the frauds in their database have been exposed multiple times – meaning they continue their fantasy even after being shamed once.
· Home of Heroes, http://www.homeofheroes.com
Doug Sterner, a Vietnam Veteran, has spent many years compiling a list of legitimate recipients of awards from the Silver Star up through the Medal of Honor. He and his wife, Pamela, were instrumental in pushing for and writing the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, which was sponsored by Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo. and eventually signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006.
Sterner’s web site is dedicated to preserving the honor of the legitimate heroes of our nation’s military. He’s currently pushing for a centralized military database of all persons who served as well as all decorations presented.
· Professional Soldiers “Hall of Shame,” http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=117
The Professional Soldiers web site focuses on issues in the Special Forces community, but has also exposed numerous imposters and frauds who claim SF experience. On the issue of phonies, JD, one of the leaders of the web site wrote, “Allow me to address a few hundred SF soldiers and ask them that question, I'm sure we'll get a very good and (not) printable response.”
· Report Stolen Valor http://www.reportstolenvalor.org/
Founded by AMVETS in 2009, Reportstolenvalor.org provides links to various law enforcement agencies who investigate Stolen Valor cases, particularly when fraud is involved.
Other resources and reading:
“Stolen Valor” by B.G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley. 1998, Verity Press
“No Guts, No Glory: Unmasking Navy SEAL Imposters” by Steve Robinson. 2002, Moose Creek Publishing
“Fake Warriors” by Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer. 2003, Xlibris