James W.D. Stewart

James W.D. Stewart

Embrace "The Suck"


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It takes the heart of a warrior to find deception and take it down.

It starts off simple enough…  A casual mention of military service.  And, oh by the way, a Victoria Cross and a few other honours earned.  How can you not trust a person who served their country so gallantly?

From there, confidence builds.  One story weaves into even more glorious tales, until…  At some point, the fabrication is woven so tightly that you begin to suspect.

How can one person achieve so much in such a short time?  It's almost too good to be true…

While this seems to be an issue more prevalent within the United States of America than here in Canada, we do have our share as well.  The most recent of which readily comes to my mind is Franck Gervais.  Franck had never been in the military, yet he wore a military uniform to the Ottawa Remembrance Day ceremonies.  Hell, he even gave a public interview on national television during the ceremonies.

Personally, I don't much care if somebody makes false claims about military service…  They're, usually, trying to pick-up a woman or some other shit.  What I have a real issue with though, is somebody who is attempting to obtain some sort of financial gain (i.e. assistance, charity, discount, donation, etc.) based upon their service claim(s).  Here in Sudbury alone, I've come across a Canadian seaman who was a Navy SEAL, a Canadian grunt who was in the Gulf but was stationed on a boat, a US Army secret-squirrel—spaceshuttle-door-gunner—special-forces, a guy who was in Iraq and had his buddy die in his arms after being fragged, and others.

/blog/2017/04/07/stolen-valour/

https://forces.army/blog/2017/04/07/stolen-valour/

Stolen Valour

Count Words — Reading Time
by James Stewart
Published: 
Updated:    Grammar
Location:  Greater Sudbury Public Library, 74 Mackenzie St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 4X8, Canada
 

 

It takes the heart of a warrior to find deception and take it down.

It starts off simple enough…  A casual mention of military service.  And, oh by the way, a Victoria Cross and a few other honours earned.  How can you not trust a person who served their country so gallantly?

From there, confidence builds.  One story weaves into even more glorious tales, until…  At some point, the fabrication is woven so tightly that you begin to suspect.

How can one person achieve so much in such a short time?  It's almost too good to be true…

While this seems to be an issue more prevalent within the United States of America than here in Canada, we do have our share as well.  The most recent of which readily comes to my mind is Franck Gervais.  Franck had never been in the military, yet he wore a military uniform to the Ottawa Remembrance Day ceremonies.  Hell, he even gave a public interview on national television during the ceremonies.

Personally, I don't much care if somebody makes false claims about military service…  They're, usually, trying to pick-up a woman or some other shit.  What I have a real issue with though, is somebody who is attempting to obtain some sort of financial gain (i.e. assistance, charity, discount, donation, etc.) based upon their service claim(s).  Here in Sudbury alone, I've come across a Canadian seaman who was a Navy SEAL, a Canadian grunt who was in the Gulf but was stationed on a boat, a US Army secret-squirrel—spaceshuttle-door-gunner—special-forces, a guy who was in Iraq and had his buddy die in his arms after being fragged, and others.

 
The above video is performed by Big Ol Band and was inspired by LMFAO's "Sexy and I know It".

The guy who made the Navy SEAL claims, from what I gather from other local veterans, may have served with the merchant marines.  However, quite clearly, is no SEAL.  Another veteran had advised me that a contact within VAC told him that the guy has some service, but is full-of-shit about his SEAL claims though.  I'd sent a message, via Facebook Messenger, to Don Shipley about this guy.  But, I've yet to receive a response from Don.  I guess, he has no real interest in Canadians that are passing themselves off as SEALs.  I told this guy straight-out, if he was a Navy SEAL, than I was a fucking submarine door-gunner… And, that my Navy buddy, who was standing beside me at the time, had a screen door from one of our deisel subs for sale.

The squid-grunt of the Gulf was originally introduced to me via a mutual friend.  The mutual friend hasn't ever served, but introduced him to me though as he knew that I've served myself.  I presented him with my veterean-designated platinum CFOne, regimental coin, veteran (poppy) license plates on my car, etc. and asked him for some proof-of-service.
 
Initially, he said that it was in a safe at home in his house…  Entirely, plausible.  However, I attended his home (which, is actually his mother's place) several times.  I'd given him a ride home and picked him up, a few times, to have an excuse to be at his house.  Whenever we were there though, he always had some sort of half-assed excuse to not be able to get to it at the time.  Moreover, one time, he'd even made a point of specifically telling me to not make any mention of him having served in the Forces in front of his mother.  Why would that be?  Things that make you go, hmmm…
 
I did some research into the ship that he said he was on…  The USS Durham.  Take note of the USS designator?  He was supposedly stationed in Petawawa, but was posted to a US ship?  He was in the Canadian Army, but posted to a US boat…  Let that sink in for a moment.
 
Anyhow, the USS Durham was a Charleston class amphibious cargo ship.  She served as a commissioned ship for 24 years and 9 months; earning a total of 15 awards and campaign ribbons for her service.  In the Gulf War, she was part of an 18-ship amphibious task force.  The largest such force since the Korean War.  The task force arrived on station, in the North Arabian Sea, on 12 January 1991.  The ship was decommissioned on 25 February 1994.
 
The Battle for Qurah and Umm al Maradim, were several naval and land battles for control over the islands off the coast of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf.  Mainly, the islands of Qurah and Umm al Maradim.

  • Qurah
    • Qurah was the first island to be retaken by Coalition Forces.  On 24 January 1991, two A-6's destroyed an enemy minelayer, a minesweeper, and a patrol boat near Qurah Island.  A second minesweeper was sunk when it ran into one of their own mines; trying to evade the A-6s.  Helicopters from USS Curts flew over the wreckage to pick up Iraqi survivors and take them back as POWs.  As they picked up the survivors, Iraqi troops on Qurah fired at the helicopters forcing them to fall back, managing to get twenty-two survivors out of the water.  USS Curts maneuvered itself in a position so that it could fire on the island's defenses.  This started a six-hour battle to retake the first parcel of Kuwaiti Territory.  USS Leftwich landed US Navy SEALs on the island via helicopter, and by the time the gunfire had ceased, three Iraqi soldiers lay dead with fifty-one surrendering.  There were no Coalition losses.
  • Umm al Maradim
    • On 29 January 1991, in the northern Persian Gulf, the five ships of Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) ALFA — USS Cayuga, USS Durham, USS Fort McHenry, USS Ogden, and USS Okinawa — steamed near the Kuwaiti island, Umm al Maradim.  United States Marines assaulted the 300-meter by 400-meter island, 12 miles off of the Kuwaiti coast, using embarked Marine helicopter.  After several hours of intense combat, the Marines succeeded in liberating the second Kuwaiti island.  After destroying Iraqi anti-aircraft weapons and artillery stored on the island, which had been used as an early warning post by the enemy, the Marines raised the Kuwaiti flag over the second parcel of reclaimed territory.
I later learned from our mutual friend that this guy was some sort of mechanic.  Apparently, he'd told my friend that he was shot several times while storming a beach-head during the Gulf war.  WTF would a Canadian mechanic be doing posted to a US cargo ship, during a US Marine helicopter insertion?  Dying to know the answer to such a question, I asked him myself about what our friend had told me.  He told me the same, that he was stationed in Petawawa on-board the USS Durham.  He even told me that he still had the belt buckle from the USS Durham.
 
At this point, he proceeded to tell me the tale that he'd told our friend previously.  While I don't recall the specifics, as I had no real interest in retaining what he was telling me, it went like something from Normandy days.  He said that the USS Durham, amongst other ships in the fleet, stormed a beach-head in the Gulf.  He said that the front of the ships opened up, and they ran out down the ramps, storming the beach.  He says that he was shot while assualting the beach… He'd gotten hit several times while running across the beach or some fucking shit.  How in the fuck does this super-soldier—mechanic—fast-moving-assaulter—squirrel not have a Victoria Cross?
 
Eventually, I'd finally just said fuck it, and told him exactly what I thought of him.  He then goes on to tell our mutual friend that his ID documents aren't actually in a safe at the house…  They're, actually, in a locker at NDHQ in Ottawa.  Seriously, dude?  That's the best that he could come up with?  He went on to tell us that when he got out of the Army, he went to NDHQ, walked in, told them to fuck off, and they gave him a locker to store his shit in permanently.  He said that he just threw his uniform, documents, IDs, etc. into said locker, slammed it shut and stormed out.  Like, WTF?  That's not how this works…  That's not how any of this fucking works.
 
After I'd called him on his shit, he stopped coming around all of the regular places that I generally see him on an almost daily basis.  I guess, having had his ass busted, he decided to stay clear going forward.

A picklie (PPCLI) buddy of mine was in town, staying at the Salvation Army while passing through.  He told me about the Iraq war hero.  Given that he was staying there, and bunked with the guy, he asked me to come along one night and talk to him.  So, I did.  The guy was standing outside one night, having a smoke, when I was dropping my buddy off.  We got out and he introduced me to the guy, making a point to point out my veteran (poppy) plates to the guy.
 
I don't think it was even 30 seconds of the guy having opened his mouth, but he was already telling me about how his buddy died in his arms in Iraq.  He told me that they'd been fragged, his buddy died in his arms from the resultant wounds, and he himself now has a plate in his skull from a huge-ass gaping hole that was opened up by said frag grenade.  Wow, man; Rambo's got nothing on this fucking dude.
 
Breaking this down, Barney-style…

  1. They come under fire.
  2. A fragmentation grenade explodes in their immediate vicinity.
  3. His buddy is mortally wounded; dying in his arms.
  4. While consoling his dying buddy, he's got a gaping hole in his skull with brain-matter exposed, but is still coherent enough to tend to his dying friend.
  5. He receives surgery, somewhere at some point, and a plate is put into his head.
  6. As a result of his injuries, he'd released as being unfit for service.
Amazed by this, I ask him why he's in the Salvation Army…  Is he not in receipt of a long-term pension?  He tells me that he got nothing when they released him.  I asked him who he'd spoken with at VAC…  He just gave me a blank stare and asked me what the VAC is.  Like, WTF?  Fucking cadets and weekend warriors know what Veterans Affairs Canada is.  How the fuck does a regular force super hero not know of them?  When I'd asked him that, he simply told me that nobody ever told him anything about Veterans Affairs and that he'd never heard of VAC before that day.  He then, rather promptly, went inside and I never saw nor heard from him again.

 
Categories:  Law  
Tags:  Opinionated, The Stupid

 
Syndicated to:

 
References:

  1. It's Stolen and I Know It
    by RangerUp Published: 
    Referenced: 
  2. Phony Navy SEALs Verifications
    by Don Shipley Referenced: 
  3. Stolen Valour Canada
    by Innominate Referenced: 
  4. The Strange Case of Franck Gervais: Impersonating a Soldier
    by Michael Spratt Published: 
    Referenced: 

 

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Creative Commons Licence :: BY-NC-SA James W.D. Stewart by James Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Based on a work at https://github.com/jwds1978/jwds1978.github.io.