Embellishing, or even outright fabricating war stories — contemporarily referred to as stolen valor — has gone on as long as there have been wars. What some don’t realize is that this can occur among veterans and active-duty personnel as well. Ashley Rowland of Stars and Stripes looks at the story of Damian Barbee, an E-8 who was charged in May about lying on his service record. He was charged for falsely claiming to have earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Master Parachutist Badge and an Army Commendation Medal with combat “V.”
Oh, and his Ranger tab was fake, too.
“In many cases, there’s a very clear and specific financial gain that they’re seeking. For others, there’s something about wanting to be perceived as a hero, to have people look at them with admiration,” said Christopher Frueh, a psychologist at the University of Hawaii, adding that the lie “becomes a narrative, it becomes a story, an excuse, an explanation, a way of filling some other gap.”
After he was caught and charged, Barbee was demoted to the rank of staff sergeant and sentenced to hard labor for three months.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL officer accused of failing to properly report alleged war crimes carried out by one of his men was arraigned on Tuesday in San Diego.
After being informed of his rights, Lt. Jacob Portier did not enter a plea or choose whether he'd ask for a jury or bench trial, since his civilian attorney has raised questions over a protective order in the case.
An AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter lands during a combined arms demonstration as part of South Carolina National Guard Air & Ground Expo 2009 at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., Oct. 10, 2009. (U.S. Army/Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine)
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
The Pentagon has identified a Green Beret who was killed on Tuesday by enemy small arms fire in southern Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Joshua Z. Beale.
Beale was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was killed during combat operations in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard called the ongoing partial government shutdown "unacceptable" following reports that some Coast Guardsmen are relying on donations from food pantries while their regular paychecks remain on hold.
"We're five-plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay," Adm. Karl Schultz said in a video message to service members. "You, as members of the armed forces, should not be expected to shoulder this burden."