I do not understand why some service members feel the need to exaggerate their military service. I suppose some of that has long occurred. Once, I was in the Officers Club at Ft. Sam Houston, Texas enjoying a drink with another service member. Some guy we did not know, sitting at the bar started telling us about his "dog-fight’ during the Granada invasion. This would have been around the early 90’s. The man claimed he was a Navy pilot and engaged in aerial combat during the Granada invasion, which occurred in the early 1980’s. At the time in the early 1990’s, the Granada invasion or the Panama invasion were the only significant combat actions in recent U.S. history.
Problem was there was no aerial combat during the Granada thing. Even the ground combat was pretty limited. My military friend and I did not call the man out on his fabrication. His beliefs did not cause us harm. And, if he was drinking a beverage at the Ft. Sam Officers Club, then he probably had some service connection.
Fifteen years later, I was serving in Iraq. As we headed home at the end of a 12 month tour, we learned that someone we thought was a First Sergeant with multiple parachute school badges, a Special Forces badge, and more was also a fraud. Perhaps none of his "hooah" badges were valid. Yet, he wore a great many on his uniform. The crazy thing was that he was actually a fairly effective First Sergeant.
Now, we learn that San Antonio singer Timothy Poe might not have the medals or combat wounds he has claimed. Mr. Poe appeared on "America’s Got Talent" earlier this week. He claimed to have suffered wounds from a grenade in Afghanistan and from being shot in the leg in Iraq. Spokesmen for the Minnesota National Guard, with whom he claims to have served, however, say he did not deploy to Iraq. And, there are questions about his supposed wounds from Afghanistan. See San Antonio Express News report.
Why the need to embellish? We may never know why. But, i am sure there once was some Roman veteran who claimed to have conquered Gaul with Julius Ceasar – even though he was actually stuck in some Roman boot camp in Podunk, Rome plucking chickens for the camp dinner.