Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Suicide over Stolen Valor

I like to hire heroes, but I’m always concerned because of the huge amount of people who lie on their resumes. They lie about their experience and their education with free abandon, and I catch them all the time.

It should be a crime . . .

But some job applicants cross the line, lying about their military awards, claiming medals for heroism that they did not earn. I detest military posers, and I love the Stolen Valor Act that makes it a Federal offense to lie about being a hero.

Exposing military posers

You can pull a job applicants DD214 and 201 file from St. Louis, but it takes months, and then you have to fire them and report them to the FBI for arrest.

Firing a poser after you have hired them can be demoralizing to the existing employees, and embarassing and ugly to the poser.

Fake military heroes like this prick belong in prison

A general disgrace: Commanders who claim false heroism

But it’s not only job seekers and enlisted men who embellish their heroism.

It’s not uncommon for general officers to steal medals, and Douglas MacArthur got all sorts of underserved medals for valor, including a Distinguished Flying Cross at age 71!

Undeserved medals of General Macarthur

But there are other cases of dishonest general officers.

A NEWSWEEK Stolen Valor investigation ends in suicide

In 1996, Four-Star Admiral Jeremy Boorda, Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, decided to “Guild the Lilly” and added two tiny “V” pins to his Navy Medals.

Boorda earned the medals legitimately, but without valor, and placing the tiny "V" nuggets on them is an important distinction:

The unearned “V” devices (on green ribbons, 3rd row down from top)

"V" is for Valor

The Navy Achievement Medal is a great honor all by itself, and he earned it, but the tiny “V” nugget is important because it stands for “Valor”.

Anybody in the military instantly recognized this tiny V as recognition of an American hero. The V device is also used on the Bronse Star to indicate that it was for a heroic act:

The bronze star with a “V” for Valor and an oak leaf cluster

The "V" is also attached to Navy medals, instantly marking the wearer as being a hero:

The “V” nugget is the mark of a hero.

Tragically, after being exposed by NEWSWEEK, Admiral Boorda killed himself.

This was a severe act of contrition for an Admiral, but it's not unheared of for men of honor in the military to commit suicide.