PUNISHING "PHONIES" AND "HONORING HEROES"
A CIRCUS SIDE SHOW FOR SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER
When I was a Marine in Vietnam, yes a combat infantryman, medals were handed out to "rear eschelon" non-combatants like candy but almost never to the men who fought and died in combat. In fact, our unit had two old mimeograph sheets, one for the Bronze Star and one for the Silver Star hang on nails in the S-3 hooch. The same story, a lie, was used to give out each medal, changing the name and the date.
This means, of course, that thousands of heroes actually were awarded medals for things that never happened and that this was done on a massive scale and always has been. Our officers were expected to win medals, even if never in combat (very few ever were). Their careers demanded it. These were called "end of tour" awards. A major would get a Silver Star for managing supplies and a Marine with 300 combat patrols would get a wooden plaque without his name on it.
A Marine killed in close combat against overwhelming odds would get a Purple Heart and nothing else except on the rarest of occasions. Otherwise, it would have taken a factory 3 shifts a day just making Medals of Honor alone.
This is the real truth. Can you handle the truth? From the look of how things are today, it seems it has become too convenient to believe lies. "Honoring heroes" is now a game. Honor enough heroes and you can bilk the taxpayer out of anything or attack anyone.
Real soldiers will tell you real heroes are always dead. There are no living heroes. This is the real truth, get used to it. Time to grow up. Service organizations can keep using this issue to cover up the fact they front for special interest groups more than their own membership and hope nobody notices. Sorry, we noticed and we aren’t afraid to talk about it.
We CAN handle the truth!
When defining what "stealing valor" means, perhaps we should look at what "heroes" actually are and how little substance there is to what is being stolen in the first place.
The phony hero game went into full gear back then. Men were selected, often for no reason at all, to get medals so they could be brought back to to the US to tour war plants and sell bonds. Their buddies were, mostly, glad to see someone ‘get a break’ but the people who received the medals, such as the ‘flag raisers’ on Iwo Jima felt humiliated. This is very well documented.
During the opening ceremonies for the WWII memorial in Washington, I met many combat vets, including a busload of Marine raiders.
Kids now leave bootcamp with more medals than these guys won fighting the worst part of World War II.
POW HEROISM/IRONY BEYOND BELIEF
A POW is someone who surrendered to the enemy. From Vietnam, one POW stands out, "Hawk." This, of course, is Colonel Ted Guy (not Bud Day – MOH winner). Ted was captured by North Vietnamese only when his pistol was empty and enemy soldiers were dead at his feet. Ted always said the idea of making a POW a hero was nuts.
I told him that I would have been proud to see him as a PFC my rifle squad. This is the highest honor any Marine can offer. Ted Guy would have been a "kickass" Marine.
Nixon made the returning POWs into "superheroes" even though a good number of them worked for the North Vietnamese, were informants against their buddies and collaborated in every way. Nixon needed someone to cover up his own crimes and the fact that he failed to negotiate to get all the POWs home.
When Ted found he had been lied to and people like John McCain were lying about the POW issue every day, he felt betrayed and mad as hell.
POW HEROISM/A TWO WAY STREET
If POWs, captured, tortured and held for years are heroes who can inspire men in combat then what do we call the thousands held by the US in our secret prisons? Find one way any of them are different from our own "POW heroes."
Has the US made, out of its own stupidity, a group of heroes to inspire an army to fight against us? Are we, in fact, now torturing the same kind of heroes we honored when they wore our uniform? Irony.
If our POWs are heroes so are theirs.
If this is the critieria alone, then the most of the Italian army during WW2 would have earned decorations for surrender.
THE REAL PHONIES, THE "SWIFT BOAT" LIARS
The fact that the "Swift Boat" liars, paid political types that turned on fellow vets after being paid off by rich defense contractors to throw an election to a draft dodger now hiding out from war crimes charges is another one of those ironies.
Is taking bribes to lie against fellow soldiers stealing valor? I can’t think of anything worse.
CON MEN OR CRAZIES, AMERICAS PHONY HERO MILLIONS
For 40 years, I have run into hundreds of people who told me they were in Vietnam. Many were the wrong age or had pitiful stories any real vet could pick out in a minute. Some were well known "war heroes" and "vet spokesmen" and even in politics or the leadership of veterans organizations.
I simply felt sorry for them. How much of a choice is it, being crazy from guilt for never fighting in a war that might have destroyed them anyway? Only a total phony or idiot would find honor in killing other people.
In fact, most veterans I have met, even during RFTW/Rolling Thunder, were either lying about some part of their service or had no service at all.
I call this, "the John Wayne syndrome" after famous Hollywood phony and draft dodger John Wayne, who for years, spoke at veterans organizations representing the virtues of sacrifices he never made.
The term "John Wayne" means "phony" to a Marine, much the way "Westmoreland" meant someone who strutted around taking credit for the heroism of others. In World War II, MaArthur was called "dugout Doug" by his troops as the phrase describing "Blood and Guts Patton" was "his guts, our blood." My uncle, who was with the 101st at Bastogne loved talking about Patton.
WHAT IS A REAL PHONY?
In a country where Rudy Guliani was once considered a hero for doing press conferences while hundreds of police and firemen died on 9/11, I think we may have our number one contenter here.
With 8 years of constant warfare and phony patriotic blabbering by dozens of war mongering politicians who dodged the draft or were placed in protected National Guard and Reserve slots, calling anyone a phony vet or accusing anyone of "Stolen Valor" is a joke.
The Hamlet quote "doeth protest too much" sums it up also. The noisier the ‘finger pointer,’ the more they have to hide. Check the military background and combat experience of, lets say, authors writing about this issue. You will see what I mean. Funny thing, you don’t find a former Navy Corpsman with one leg writing about Stolen Valor.
It seems it takes money and right wing oil company friends before we get real heroes, award winners, country club membership, suit wearing, Lexus driving "regular Joes". Sitting in air conditioned comfort in Vietnam drinking single malt scotch and waiting for the massage girl to show up won more medals than any other act. Find someone to dispute this, please.
STOLEN VALOR AND BURNING FLAGS, EXCUSES FOR BETRAYAL
Groups that have pushed for Flag Protection and Stolen Valor laws, seemingly to protect our nation and the sanctity of its veterans by outlawing a few minor liars and some imaginary flag burners are, in reality themselves, using this to coverup their own misdeeds.
Minor liars are jailed. Major liars are given awards.
In an election cycle when "the right" was wrong in the eyes of the vast majority of Americans, not only for mismanaging the economy but for waging an incompetent and illegal war, groups that hid behind Stolen Valor issues pushed their membership to support losing candidates whose platforms were neither patriotic nor good for America.
STOLEN VALOR BOYS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF SCANDAL AFTER SCANDAL
With endless scandals coming to light from falsified intelligence leading to illegal war to sexual torture of prisoners and illegal domestic spying, the veterans groups advocating "Stolen Valor" laws sit along side the bad guys against those trying to save America.
With a military in shambles, suicides at record rates, veteran unemployment and homeless skyrocketing and America fighting its way out of political isolation worldwide, the "Stolen Valor" supporting "old line" veterans groups have shown themselves to be wrong on issue after issue.
PHONY ISSUES WON’T COVER UP DECADES OF FAILURE
When VA funding was being cut to the bone, these groups stood by silent until the disaster hit.
When military and veteran healthcare disasters, one after the other, were made public, it was never by them, only "the liberal press."
When VA corruption was brought to light, who was found to have been looking the other way for decades?
PAPER MACHE HEROES
If a veterans organization is made up of, at least a few, combat veterans, all of them know that there are no combat heroes. Heroes are people either picked out as "freaks" by politicians to amuse civilians, amuse and mislead or rear eschelon phonies who need phony medals to get fat jobs working for crooked Pentagon contractors.
Everyone knows this is true. Why do we lie continually and try to find honor in it? If a phony, someone pretending to have military service but doesn’t is "Stealing Valor" then isn’t a rear eschelon phony wearing a medal given to him by one of his friends just as bad or worse?
Who should be expect more of? Are they both insane? Look around you. Of course they are!
Maybe we should put aside the game playing and get to the real issue. Should veterans blindly follow DC insider leaders without examining issues?
Should veterans demand that politicians get behind America more and themselves less?
Are veterans organizations, many of them, at least, more part of the problem, part of the Washington pattern of self serving corruption and little of the solution?
I suspect a little investigation, very little, will yield an unpleasant answer too many don’t want.
They can’t handle the truth.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.