Wounded Times

Where Veterans Get Their News

Monday, March 25, 2013

Groups on hunt for military minority fakers

How do average people do better than "professionals"? Because they work harder? Work longer hours? Sure, but this kind of work needs something more than that. To be this dedicated, you have to be this connected to what you are doing. For these groups, it is all about being part of the smallest group in this country. The military minority. Veterans are 7% of the population even though the burden for the security of the other 93% depended on them getting the job done, they are usually not thought of until November when Veterans Day rolls around or in May when thousands of them travel to Washington DC to honor the memory of the lives lost doing the jobs only they understand, Memorial Day.

Fake Warriors Project and Guardian of Valor will make sure that members of the 93% don't try to sneak into the military minority to gain for free what most of them never even ask for.

They get uncomfortable with too much attention but they grieve when their wounded are not cared for or about. They don't want to be worshiped but they don't want to be forgotten when they need jobs, help to heal of just someone to listen to them when they need to talk. 43% of the veterans needing help for PTSD do not seek it. We're working on that and trying to get them to understand that help from the VA is not a handout. They earned it with their service. They already paid for it well in advance. The fakers, well, they will never understand what being that unselfish really is.

Hunt for bogus war heroes uncovers thousands of hoaxers
By Bill Briggs
NBC News contributor

During the past decade, some 4,000 men have been exposed while posing as combat warriors to fool women, scam federal benefits and reap undeserved praise. But the latest fake veteran to be uncloaked and convicted will carry an unofficial military rank to prison: “Captain Obvious.”

Danny Crane, 32, earned that colorful moniker from the man — an actual wounded veteran — who used his two basement computers and a loose, national network of fellow amateur sleuths to unravel Crane’s lies and ultimately hand him to federal prosecutors. Crane, who lived in the Tampa area, was sentenced March 14 to one year and one day in federal prison.

“His uniform was all wrong. The discharge papers he posted online were wrong. His mannerisms were wrong. The only thing he had right were his tattoos. He was Captain Obvious,” said retired Army Staff Sgt. Fred Campbell, one of 10 veterans who operate a nonprofit, virtual detective agency called Guardian of Valor.
“But in our world, the Danny Crane case is not unusual,” said Mary Schantag, a Marine widow who lives in Missouri and operates the Fake Warriors Project. Since launching that veteran-vetting venture on a shoe-string budget in 1998, Schantag said her nonprofit group — along with partners at similar sites — has revealed more than 4,000 hoaxers who falsely claimed military service or battlefield glory. It’s unclear how many of those 4,000 frauds later were prosecuted. A VA spokesman said such cases are not tracked by the agency.
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