Army officer approached a fake U.S. Marine at the airport and emotions ran high
A US Army veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan was concerned about a man wearing a Marine uniform that showed signs of being phony unmasked the impostor in a YouTube video that became viral.
The incident was caught on video in September 2015 by the wife of an unidentified Army officer as her husband asked the man pretending to be a Marine to have a word with him after flying together from New Mexico to Kansas, as Rare reported.
The real Army veteran noticed something that just didn’t look right in the impostor’s uniform before boarding the flight, and during the trip they had a closer look to a photo they took of the suspect, coming to the conclusion that it was a fake.
After the plane landed in their destination, the officer waited for the man in the uniform to walk out the gate to expose him for committing Stolen Valor. Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa
As soon as the offended officer approached the impostor to ask him for his military ID, the man admitted he wasn’t really part of the Army, although he tried to excuse himself by saying that he never said he was a real Marine.
When the officer asked the man in full military regalia why he was dressed like that, the exposed civilian had the most curious answer, claiming that he “went to a wedding.”
The officer went on to tell the phony man that he was breaking the law by pretending to be an Army officer of high rank. Although the officer was visibly upset, he managed to remain calm, but this was a much harder task for his wife.
“That is unacceptable and inappropriate, and an insult to people who have died wearing that uniform. How dare you?” asked the enraged woman raising her voice.
“It hurts because I saw so many of my buddies get killed in Vietnam, and they wore the uniform proudly and served their country proudly.”
-Army Vietnam veteran Orlando Padilla, USMC Life, September 10, 2015.
According to the American Legion the Stolen Valor Act of 2013 was signed into law by former President Barack Obama, making it a “federal crime for an individual to fraudulently hold oneself out to be a recipient of […] military decorations or medals with the intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefits.”
Although we don’t know if the fake officer in the video was trying to benefit in any way from pretending to be what he wasn’t, it is understandable that someone who actually went to war might be offended by such behavior.
In a much more uplifting note, a real soldier, Major Brett Lea, traveled a long way back home from Germany, where he was deployed serving for the U.S. military, to surprise his daughter at her graduation.
His daughter, Claudia, was graduating from Marshall University in West Virginia, and Major Lea, who also graduated in the institution, and her father managed to attend the ceremony by surprise with the complicity of the organizers.