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A Maryland man dedicated himself to honoring veterans. He also lied about being a Navy SEAL and POW
Bob Pollock became known as perhaps one of the most dedicated people around Crofton, Maryland committed to honoring those who serve the nation. It only made sense, as the creator of the Two Rivers community monument told neighbors and friends he was a former Navy SEAL and had been a prisoner of war.
Except he wasn't.
Pollock dedicated a monument to first-responders and military personnel at the Two Rivers community center near Crofton last week, telling The Capital community columnist Melissa Driscoll Krol that he served as a Navy SEAL during the Vietnam War. In front of the crowd of community members and public officials, Sen. Ed Reilly called Pollock -- his friend and neighbor of 20 years -- "a true American patriot."
After Krol's column was published online Monday, multiple people reached out to The Capital accusing Pollock of being a fraud. When asked about the accusations and lack of records to prove his Navy SEAL status, Pollock denied claiming to ever be a SEAL or POW.
However, in a recorded interview with Krol, Pollock said clearly he had served in the Navy special operations force.
"I was a Navy SEAL. I was one of the first...," he said to Krol at the event.
Krol, herself a veteran, said she had heard he was a SEAL. When asked Wednesday about his claim, Pollock denied it despite being reminded about the recording.
"I worked with them, but that was it," Pollock said. "Please accept my apologies. I don't remember saying that. It caught me totally by surprise when I read it in the paper. I don't know what to do."
Friends said Pollock had talked about his SEAL and POW status for years.
His wife, Nancy Pollock, said it was what she believed for years. She said her husband told her he also worked on a special project with the SEALs in Vietnam.
"All I know is when I met him, that's what I knew," she said. "I of course assumed he was a SEAL but I don't know if that project had him working with the SEALs, I don't know. It's unbelievable."
Don Shipley believes Pollock served in Vietnam, as from what he's seen Pollock was a meteorologist on the USS Constellation as he's told people.
But Shipley, a Cambridge resident who has dedicated his time to exposing people who falsely claim to be SEALs, says he could find no proof Pollock ever completed SEAL training or was a SEAL in any way.
A spokeswoman for the Naval Special Warfare Headquarters confirmed there is no record of Pollock being a SEAL.
Shipley said he and other members of the POW Network, which runs fakewarriors.org, get Google Alerts for the phrase "Navy SEAL," and request military records for everyone claiming to be a SEAL or POW.
"I knew it was BS as soon as I saw the POW thing. No SEAL has ever been a POW. He wasn't either, hoisting weather balloons off the USS Constellation," Shipley said.
"Thanks a lot for your service, but don't go out and lie to people and ruin the reputations of your wonderful newspaper and a woman who is trying to tell the truth."
Reilly said he knew Pollock has told people he was SEAL and POW over 20 years. They were neighbors in Crofton before Pollock moved to Two Rivers a few years ago.
"He sure fooled me," Reilly said after being told of accusations against Pollock. "What a shame."
Falsely claiming to be a Navy SEAL or POW is more common than people think, Shipley said.
"No one is more targeted for fakes than Navy SEALs are, no branch of service or profession in this country. There are fewer than 10,000 living Navy SEALs in the country. There's a thousand impostors for every living Navy SEAL.
"Your chances of bumping into a Navy SEAL are about as good as sitting in coach on an airplane next to Obama."
Community columnist Melissa Driscoll Krol contributed to this article.
©2019 The Capital (Annapolis, Md.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.