You Write My Medal, I’ll Write Yours

Rumor Mill: One Marine with three tours in Iraq alleges officers have been submitting one another for medals they have not earned. This goes beyond the fakers who have made headlines over the past few years. If true, this crew is falsifying paperwork for military bling.

Fact or urban legend?

Our source says he has seen (Marine) O’s chillin’ in theater headquarters, bored, discussing the deed. Whether he has seen them make good on the act is unclear.

An intel officer confirmed the buzz but he has not seen any such transactions actually take place. With contempt he commented, “Headquarters pogues want an “I was there too!” ribbon. It happens in all the services. You just need a little admin help, and you have an award.”

This type of stolen valor differs from the outrageous false claims by those who masquerade as prisoner of war survivors or Medal of Honor recipients. What happens when Lt. Bill puts Capt. Bob in for a medal and Bob reciprocates? Add Joe, Greg and Jill and you have a bigger problem. No longer are the valor-posers acting alone. This is a medal theft ring. It seems we’re not talkin’ Silver Stars or the Blue Max, just enough bling so the guys stuck flying some Green Zone desk can get some respect and a shot at promotion.

Some offenders have been nabbed, but not the officers we’ve been told about. One Navy chief wanted a Purple Heart. He got it, fraudulently, plus a demotion to E-5.

Another Navy petty officer was a bit too greedy He was accused of falsifying paperwork to award himself (get this) a “Bronze Star with “V,” Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation Medal and various other medals.” It is interesting to note that at least one of his fabrications was convincing enough to snag him a large award ceremony. Can you imagine?

Stay tuned. We’ll see if we can ferret out the perpetrators of the alleged medal schemes. Until then, our bling-determined and bored officers’ story lives as lore and legend.

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