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Discussion Starter #1
So I am a moderator on our local community website. Someone posted asking for advice about self-defense training. A couple of people jumped in and recommended a school that I had researched in the past. That research led me to this stolen valor site page regarding the instructor there:


I posted that link on the thread and was careful to say I do not endorse the information on that site, but it is something I think any prospective student might like to be aware of. Now I'm getting blowback from his students and his wife, saying it is all "rumors, half-truths, images taken out of context and/or bold faced lies" and that has nothing to do with his martial arts instruction. FWIW, there is another stolen valor site where a poster claiming to be that guy himself came on and apologized for posting military background stuff on his site and saying he would remove it, which he did. Although the apology sounded more like "I'm sorry I got caught" than "I'm really sorry."

My thoughts are:
  • I hate stolen valor. When I was an LT in the Navy, I confronted a reserve CDR in uniform who was wearing wings I knew he didn't earn. I told him I would put him on report with the admiral if I ever saw it again. He complied.
  • I think an instructor doing something like that should impact someone's decision to study martial arts under him. How can you respect someone like that enough to entrust your safety to? And if he falsified his background about something like being a "special forces" veteran, what else has he falsified? Martial arts credentials are not as easy to check.
  • I think it's relevant because he did use his "supposed" military background in advertising to promote his martial arts school.
  • I can't see a motive for that valor site to attack him unjustly. And their documentation seems extraordinary to me. Letters from DoD, notarized testimony of former students, etc.
  • I can't believe anyone is sticking up for him.
Thoughts? Anyone ever run into something like that?
 

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I would never do business with anyone who stole valor by pretending or overblowing their service.
Be it self defense training or car repair.
They have shown a very bad problem with their morals and i do not do business with anyone like that.
So students and wife say that his qualifications as a martial arts instructor have nothing to do with stolen valor?
Perhaps not, but they do show what kind of man he is.
 

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The fact that he retracted it from his web site speaks for itself.

People stick up for others for emotional reasons...like his wife. He may be an good martial arts teacher and his students like him for that.

My friends Ex- son in law was outed on the Stolen Valor website for similar BS and there were completely correct. He never defrauded anyone, just lots of talk to friends and relatives.
 

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My primary objection is that it disrespects veterans who actually did serve - some at a huge personal price. To answer your question, no I have never knowingly done business with a valor pretender; and never would knowingly do so. As for you pointing him out (y) .
 

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Far bigger issue than than disrespect to veterans is that this guy is instructing people how to defend themselves and potentially how to kill.
Exposing a cheat is good TV. Hand this info to the local news. They'll do the additional research and keep you from being dragged into this.
 

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There are lots of poseurs out there. I have encountered many of them.
 

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I've met some people claiming to be Vietnam vets and wore such civilian apparel displaying the ribbon even though they weren't in-country or even in that region. They just served during the Vietnam era.
 
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My wife worked for the marketing director of a large corporation. I heard his reputation as a Green Beret and trained killer before I met him. When I met him, a couple of questions made me think he was a poseur. I checked and found out he was an Army supply officer in Germany and was never anywhere near Viet Nam or Southeast Asia.

I mentioned I was in a location in Viet Nam on occasions and he would say he had been there. When asked about a particular landmark or location, he would say he was just passing through.

It has turned into a family joke. Now when someone is bragging about something, we turn to each other and say, "Just passing through."
 

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I've met some people claiming to be Vietnam vets and wore such civilian apparel displaying the ribbon even though they weren't in-country or even in that region. They just served during the Vietnam era.
I am considered a Gulf War vet by the VA, just because I served during that time frame. If anyone asks about my time in service, and puts together that I was a bridge crew member during that time, I'm very quick to disillusion them, that I was not in Kuwait. Instead, I was in Germany, pulling guard duty. 2 hours on, 2 hours off, for the entirety of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Stolen Valor is deplorable. I don't know if it's wishful thinking, hero worship, or just trying to take advantage of perceived benefits of being a vet, that causes it. Whichever it is, these people deserve the ridicule, scorn, and civil penalties they get when caught. As for me, and the vets I keep in touch with from my time in, we'd all happily teach these guys the error of their ways.
 

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On occasion I will wear a Go Navy tee shirt or a Navy sweatshirt.
My Dad, an uncle and my cousin were Navy and i love the US Navy.
Many people used to ask me if I served, and i would say no sir, but I have lot's of family who did and I just wear it in support of our Navy.
Usually get a nod, I never considered wearing a shirt that just said NAVY on it as a stolen valor thing or being a poser. I am always honest about it.
I asked my cousin who is still alive what he thought and he said he had no problem with that.
 

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Plenty of people claiming to have been things they weren’t. There are many others just like him. No matter how much people want to defend him the truth is the truth. If they dude wants to make these claims he should have earned the right to do so, since he didn’t, he deserves to be called out.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Far bigger issue than than disrespect to veterans is that this guy is instructing people how to defend themselves and potentially how to kill.
Exposing a cheat is good TV. Hand this info to the local news. They'll do the additional research and keep you from being dragged into this.
Our local news is worthless. I volunteer to monitor all our local media for the VCDL, to see if there is any coverage of guns, gun crime, gun control, etc. If a story doesn't involve running conservatives into the ground, they aren't interested. Maybe I should tell them I think he is a Trump supporter!
 

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Stolen valor is not a crime in itself. Stolen valor for financial gain is a crime, and if that is the case here, he should be investigated.
 
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