People have myriad reasons for faking or embellishing their military records.
Some do it simply to put a bit of spice in an otherwise dull life. Others do it to get free drinks, impress women or create a local reputation as “someone not to be messed with.”
Some are engaged in true fraud, such as receiving VA benefits they are not entitled to or trying to avoid paying a large education bill.
On a more public scale, there have been numerous cases in which politicians and other prominent persons have used their faked/embellished record for political gain or influence.
“The only thing that really is consistent is low self-esteem or ego, and greed. Rarely is it a true mental illness,” wrote Mary Schantag of the POW Network, an organization that has exposed and documented thousands of phony veterans in the last two decades.
In the end, though, the one thing they always manage to steal is the valor of those who have served honorably and earned our nation’s decorations for valor on the battlefield.
“The dishonor which such deception does to those who truly earned the awards discredits
the contributions of the real heroes and devalues the sacrifices of those who gave their
lives in service to the nation while observing those ideals.” – Steve Robinson, Navy SEAL, author of “No Guts, No Glory: Unmasking Navy SEAL imposters”