Faking it (Disability Fraud and Stolen Valor)

Hi folks, Dremulf here. Today I’m going to talk about something that affects just about EVERYONE. Faking something.

We’ve all some faking in our lives, usually something harmless like telling your school friends you are going someplace cool, when really you are going to your Grandmas house for one of those dreaded visits (just kidding, most grandparents are awesome).

But I am not talking about tall tales like that. I’m talking about people who go out and PRETEND to be something they are not for some kind of social or monetary gain. Believe it or not, there are people who think being mentally ill is a cash cow. The smart ones research the mental illness they want to be diagnosed with. The smart ones also take their time getting the diagnosis, they start with small complaints to their general practitioner. eventually their GP refers them to a psychologist or psychiatrist, they then describe their ‘symptoms’ and BAM, they have a mental illness, on paper anyway.

The thing is, people don’t pay attention to this. When a guy fakes back injury, it hits national news for some reason. But when a guy pretends to be Schizophrenic, or suffering from PTSD, people don’t really care. But I do. You wouldn’t pretend to have a broken leg to get a better table at a restaurant, well I hope you wouldn’t anyway, wo why would you pretend to be mentally ill? Some of these people do it to get attention or sympathy. Some do it because if you are bad enough (like me) you can disability for it (its NOT the wonderful income people think it is. I worked my butt off for a number of years, making 2-3K a month, but that only qualified me for 900 a month in disability)

Other people do it, because they want to prove how easy it is to do. These people are typically the ones who honestly believe that ALL mental illness is fake. They document their fraud, then post it to places like YouTube, or Facebook. To these people I say this. You can also fake religion, or fake a neck or back injury, but those really do exist, I know they do, I am currently using a wheel chair, until my broken back is healed enough to walk.

Now while faking illness of any kind is pretty bad stuff, there is a kind of Faker that I hate more than anything else. Valor Thieves.

These scum of the gene pool pretend to be soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors. Some even pretend to be firefighters, police, and even medical professionals!

Our men and women in uniform deserve better than to have poseurs taking their Glory.

The worst part of what these people do is not just that they pretend to be heroes, but that they do it so poorly.

Case in point. Yesterday I went to my High schools 6 year reunion, we did not have the 5 year because a student was deployed and the school wanted to be able to honor them. Well we had the reunion and the student in question turns up. Now please understand that while I did not pass Basic Training, I was in the Army. I know the rules, the regulations, an the various insignia and patches. I know what a uniform should look like is what I mean.

First of All. He is wearing an Airforce Combat Uniform. Second, his medals are a combination of Marine, Army and Navy awards. His rank insignia is that of  a corporal in the army (Marines also have a corporal rank but the colors are different). He has a Delta Force patch on his shoulder (where his American Flag Should be) and below it is a very fake Airborne Rangers patch. It was obviously fake, because guess what? Airborne and Rangers are actually different. Rangers are trained in leadership skills, Airborne are hard core plane jumpers. YES you can be both, but the patch does not say “Airboren Rangar”. Yes that is how it was spelled on the patch.

It was also obviously fake because there is no 72nd Airborne Division.

When asked what branch he was in instead of saying Army, Marines, Navy or Airforce, he says “I’m Delta Force Airborne Ranger, 72nd Airborne Division.”

Anyone reading this know the military? If you don’t well let me educate you a bit. Delta Force are Special Forces Marines. Airborne are Special Forces Army. You cannot be both at the same time. You can train as  a Delta Force Marine, and then transfer to the Army and become Airborne, but you can’t be both at the same time.

When asked about his rank , he replied he was a Sergeant Major. One of the highest NCO ranks you have in the military. It also takes a decade or two to get there. Keep in mind the rank insignia on his uniform was that of a Corporal.

When I confronted him about these obvious things, he started with the holier than thou routine “What would you know? You aren’t military I was in Iraq for 8 months, I got there in January of 2011, the following May I was deployed straight to Afghanistan.”

See his mistake there? First he was in Iraq for 8 months, but he left for Afghanistan in May. Last time I checked that was only five months.

Then he started with the excuses “This isn’t my usual uniform its my old one.”

Then I asked him where, and when he went to Basic training. “Fort Benning Charlie Company Delta Battalion. I was there from April 14 2012, to August 10th the same year.”

Now there are a couple reasons why this is obviously false. First of all, how was he deployed to the middle east a year before he even went to BCT? Second of all, from April 23rd 2012 to June 7th 2012, I was in Fort Benning for BCT, In Charlie Company Delta Battalion. For any one who wishes to know I was in 2nd Platoon the Roughnecks. He was never there. I can actually attest to that myself.

So when I heard him say where he was I asked him if he remembered Drill Sergeant Saladin of 2nd Platoon. “Yes of course, what an asshole.” I said Blackest man in GA right? “Damn straight.” Drill Sergeant Saladin is white…and he was by no means an Asshole. He was hard core, he was strict as hell and didn’t hold back. But he supported us. When one of us started having  a really hard time, like if the homesickness got really bad, he’d take us to the back room and we would have a chat. I had that happen a couple times.

I want to go on the record now, to say that Staff Sergeant Saladin (provided he did get the Staff Sergeant promotion) is one of the best men I have ever had the privilege to meet. He was a Soldier among Soldiers. He was an honest to god Airborne, He spent real time over seas. And while you could tell he had seen things, he never let that affect his judgement or treatment of us recruits. Even when I was being pushed out because of my break down, he never judged me for it. He helped me stay stable while I was being processed. If not for him, I would have taken my life before even getting on the plane to come home.

Having known the shame and pain involved with being kicked out of the army, it gave me a greater appreciation for those who made it. So seeing someone so blatantly lie about being in the Service. Well if you don’t have mental illness it might be hard for you to understand. Imagine how you would feel if your childhood hero was impersonated by a loser who had no idea what it meant to be that person. Now imagine that person, even after being caught in the lie, continued to insist it was the truth. Hell imagine if someone pretended to be an animal lover, used it to gain your trust, then tortured your cat to death with a syringe full of Sulphuric acid. Its like that.

Please if you see someone who is obviously Stealing Valor, call the police. It is a federal crime to do so, and they need to learn that it will NOT be tolerated!

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Author: Dremulf

J-I am Schizophrenic dog owner who wants to spread the message that Mental Illness is not a death sentence, and that animals can cure almost any ailment of the heart and soul. B-I am a farmer and dog breeder who suffers from Schizophrenia. I am a huge supporter of the military and can be a bit rough around the edges.

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