The news broke this week that a Marine Veteran of Fallujah, Michael Delfin, was assaulted by two men of the Air Force after they mistakenly or maliciously called out Delfin for Stolen Valor. Suffering a broken leg and jaw, Delfin now has what is likely a painful recovery because two douchebags who probably spent their deployment time wiping the testicle sweat off fighter pilots couldn’t or wouldn’t give a Marine Veteran the benefit of the doubt. Being a Marine Veteran of Iraq myself, circa 2003, I feel like I need to put out a few disclaimers to the world about Stolen Valor since such an incident could occur to a legit Marine brother. That is me in the picture above. I’m near the far right, I promise, I’m there, really!
I’m not going to be happy.
If you stop me for Stolen Valor, I’m probably not going to be too happy about it. Since I don’t walk around in uniform anymore and I typically only wear the subtle Marine swag, if you stop me because of Stolen Valor that likely means you think I am too fat to be a Marine. Or perhaps it is my scruffy beard or the fact that I don’t sing a little diddy of cadence to myself when I walk in and out of the grocery store. The only reason you would have to stop me is that I am wearing some sort of subtle reference to my service and by the looks of me, you don’t buy it. So screw you first of all. I’m not going to treat you like the police and produce my identification or papers just because some Nazi boot asks me. Just start a casual conversation with me and all should be clear soon.
Second, in addition to not being happy, understand that I am most certainly going to mess with you as I know you had no real reason to stop me. If you have followed this blog long enough, you know that absurdity is my muse. And since I am confident in my Veteran status, I’m going to jack with you as much as I can from a position of strength. About 15 years ago, when up for a meritorious promotion as I recall, I once told a Marine board of Staff NCOs and an Officer that the first female Marine was Polly Poontang because I couldn’t remember the real answer when asked. Surprisingly, I didn’t get that particular promotion. But just know that I want to see the reaction on your face when I tell you that I was part of the 54th Massachusettes. Get em 54th!
I don’t remember everything.
I saw a video where some dude was getting called out for legitimate Stolen Valor. But the real Veteran was asking him all these obscure uniform regulations. I remember thinking, dude I’d be busted because I can’t remember any of that stuff. If you call me out for Stolen Valor by asking me to quote the UCMJ to you or even recite my general orders, I’m going to be scratching my head. Fellow Warriors, if I have to pull out my recruit knowledge book from boot camp just to walk among you then we are in trouble. I might even tell you General Krulak is the current Commandant if you ask me. Then, I’ll likely tell you that Gunny Highway was my Platoon Seargent.
Knowledge is generational and things can change quickly. I served with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion 23rd Marines from 1997 to 2003. I enjoyed one tour to Iraq in 2003 and upon returning, I was out. When I got out, they were just issuing us the digital cammies. So how would one of you younger Marines like it if I walked up to you and said, “Hey Devil Dog, that doesn’t look like an iron on Eagle Globe and Anchor to me.” Or perhaps, “Hey their Devil Pup, where is the polish on your boots? Don’t you know uniform regulations require polished boots?”
Honestly, why not just call the above guy out for Stolen Valor then? I bet he doesn’t know the characteristics of the M-16. Freaking poser, he said he got wounded when the ramp dropped on his landing craft. Everyone knows the door opens from the rear on an AAV. Bust him, call him out brothers!
To be clear, I support the mission of Stolen Valor. I think for men of sound mind to rob from the experiences of men, many who never survived their war, is absolutely egregious. I just support those who do it right. I also think that for most of these Stolen Valor douches, the only thing they are missing more than actual military service is a chromosome or two. They have some serious mental health problems. I mean why not start beating up every hungry homeless man with a sign that says hungry Veteran because he was false flagging on cardboard. There is a process to going about this the right way and I suggest you google it while you are sitting at the bar steaming about the guy in a Marine hat who just doesn’t look right to you.
However, I don’t support the roaming band of vigilante veterans who are looking to question anyone with any subtle reference to military service like a band of misfits from Gangs of New York. Ease up brothers. It really is not that hard to tell if someone is legit or not through a casual conversation. After all, if you are really just determined to beat up someone for Stolen Valor, just walk into your local Applebee’s this Veteran’s Day and start throwing punches tornado style. You will hit more than one in your first 30 seconds, I guarantee it. Best of luck in your recovery Michael Delfin and to the Air Force douches who assaulted him, may you be found quickly, hopefully by Marines, and subsequently, educated. Like the Unprecedented Mediocrity Facebook Page Below for More Common Sense.