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Nathan Phillips In 2018 Video Falsely Claims 'I'm A Vietnam Vet'
I was going to start this post off with a rundown of the different ways Nathan Phillips — the Native American activist involved in a scuffle between Catholic high school students in Washington, D.C. — has described his past service with the Marine Corps.
I was going to bring up his troublesome claims of being a "recon ranger" — which he was not. I was going to reflect on his claim that he was a "Vietnam-times veteran" who came home and was "spit on" and "called a baby killer," despite his service record keeping him in the United States, and it being unclear where he was claiming to have come home from.
The claims would have been questioned, but his overall story of being just a "Vietnam-times veteran" would have been outside the realm of stolen valor.
But then, another video emerged.
Many news organizations initially described Phillips as a Vietnam veteran, until they were forced to issue corrections. Well, they're going to need to issue a few more, since Phillips apparently slipped up in 2018 and claimed that he was "a Vietnam vet" and he was "in theater" during the war — which is categorically false.
Here's the full quote, taken from a video of Phillips posted to the Native Youth Alliance Facebook page (9:45 mark):
"I'm a Vietnam vet, you know," Phillips said. "I served in the Marine Corps from '72 to '76. I got discharged May 5, 1976. I got honorable discharge and one of the boxes in there shows if you were peacetime or... what my box says that I was in theater. I don't talk much about my Vietnam times. I usually say 'I don't recollect. I don't recall,' you know, those years."
In the same video, at around the 23:45 mark, he states, "I got a Section 8 home because I'm a veteran, wartime veteran like that. Honorable, in theater, so I have Section 8 home."
Phillips did serve in the Marine Corps from May 20, 1972 until May 5, 1976, according to a Corps spokeswoman, but did not serve anywhere near Vietnam or any theater of war. He had zero deployments and his only award was a National Defense Service Medal. He briefly had the military occupational specialty of 0351 Anti-tank missile-man before being assigned as an 1161 refrigerator technician.
He also was discharged as a private after four years of service.
WATCH: Why Do Some People Steal Valor?
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
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The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.
The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.
The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.