Friday, June 29, 2012

29 JUN 12

Hot ...
It's 12:30 and 92 degrees on my back deck.
The ballyhooed heat wave has begun.
Gonna concentrate on indoor chores this day.
Central air is going strong.
Thank the gods.

There's a lot of ranting on the web about the Supreme Court decision concerning the Stolen Valor Act.
It was struck down as not conforming with the First Amendment - Freedom of Speech.
Seems that being a poseur is a constitutional right. (???)

My voice was among the first shocked complainers.
I was pissed!
I've since cooled down some. The law is being looked at by congress again. They'll try to write a resolution that better defines the actual crime, one that can't be used to quash honest protest.

I've known but three poseurs in my lifetime.
I cannot adequately describe the contempt with which I view their deceptions.

The first was a businessman up in Concord, NH.
He claimed to have been a (What else?) Green Beret, operating in Vietnam's I Corps area.
This one day, I was sitting at the bar with two other (true) Vietnam vets ... one had been a draftee 11B20 grunt and the other had been an entomology specialist with a USAF Prime BEEF Team. The poseur walked over and sat with us ... coiffed hair, polished nails, a golf tan, thousand-dollar suit ... the other two knew him already. He started in telling war stories ... stories of blood, stories of courage ...  
Victor Charley's hot spilt blood ... and ... His Own indomitable courage.
                                    (Oh my!)
This was the first time I'd met the guy and he was already over the top. When he mentioned visiting the MACV compound at Hue, I casually asked if he knew a fellow who'd been stationed there during the same time frame. He suddenly became interested in the time of day ... (Was late, was late for a very important date.) ... he had to be somewhere. The poseur's sudden need to be elsewhere got us to thinking and talking ... finally (Duh!), we figured out that the blowhard was just that ... a lying blowhard.  When we compared notes, he had shown no concept of army procedures ... his was a comic-book understanding of things military. (Think Sergeant Rock.)

(By the way ... the entomologist, named Bobby, had been with a team trapped on a Central Highland hilltop; fogged in, they spent a week repelling the VC trying to overrun them. He saw more actual combat than many a grunt ... and he was just a Zoomie bug killer. Prime BEEF Teams were engineer units that were dropped into the jungle to clear and construct rough-terrain airfields or landing zones. Bobby didn't tell me of his combat experience until months later. We were sitting on his back deck, drinking beer, after having had dinner. His wife was putting his kids to bed and we were just smoking and shooting the bull. When he spoke of his little "adventure," he wasn't bragging, he was just speaking of something that occurred way back when ... in a land far away.
I've never doubted that he was telling me the truth.)

The next poseur had a bunch of us fooled for a very long time. He was an expert machinist and claimed to have been a USMC GySgt in Vietnam. He always wore the green USMC cover, with rank pinned to it. He knew his munitions and weapons. There was no obvious reason to doubt him. He helped a civilian couple run a small, highly respected, military museum in Ridgefield, CT. (Ridgefield Museum of Military Artifacts, Inc.) The museum was known to the Pentagon and had been awarded several small treasures ... one such was an actual 14" shell from the USS Arizona. On trips to Ft. Drum, NY, the poseur gave advice to Army Reserve Armor units. He was that good! The Marine Corps League approached the poseur at every parade and asked why he wasn't a member. After years of asking, somebody checked ... and found that the poseur had never been in the service. He was a mere wannabe ... kept out for a physical disqualifier. He was a nice enough guy. I liked him. But his lies hurt everyone and caused the museum to return every artifact in it's collection and close it's doors.

Third poseur ran a small business in this town. He claimed to have been a door gunner on a US Navy chopper. Here's the rub ... when I asked him where he'd been stationed in Vietnam, which unit he'd been with, he became vague ... said that he couldn't remember the unit's designation since he flew all over the place in that "God-damned country." Here's the thing ... nobody ever FORGETS which units they'd been assigned to in combat ... NEVER. Though I have no definitive proof, it's my opinion that the guy was just another wannabe vet.

There is no shame in being an ordinary, honest, solid citizen.

Be what you are!


PS: There, actually, is one more poseur that I forgot about. I knew him while in Berlin ... but he was so ridiculous that I'm not even gonna relate any of his tales.
(Apparently, he'd learned his soldiering by watching episodes of M*A*S*H on AFN TV.)

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