“Buck” Thrailkill – Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Desert Storm

| December 8, 2020

The folks at Military Phony send us their work on David Walkup Thrailkill, or better known as “Buck” as he likes to be called.  Buck comes to us from Fayetteville, North Carolina and is 57 years old at the time of this writing – December 2020.

We actually had military records on ol’ Buck for quite a while.  We were just waiting for him to provide a little bit more to send this case over the edge.  He didn’t disappoint, or he did, depending on how you look at it. Buck wore his military finest to a wedding.  On his uniform, he displayed a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the medals one would expect should someone have been in Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Buck also claims on his Rally Point profile that he was an “18E: Special Forces Communications Sergeant.”

Let’s see what his records say… So, NO Bronze Star, NO Purple Heart, NO ODS medals, and NO 18E MOS supported in ol’ Bucky’s official military records.  Someone has some ‘splainin’ to do.



Although Thrailkill’s military records support his claim of being retired, he served for 15 years and six months.  It could have been a medical retirement.


The 18E Special Forces MOS was not supported by Thrailkill’s military records.  Although he appeared to be in a support role, he was not 18E as he claimed.


The awards in the photo not found in Thrailkill’s official military records are the ones at the very top – Bronze Star, Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medal – as well as the ones at the bottom – the Saudi Arabian Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait and the Kuwait Liberation of Kuwait Medal. The two awards for the liberation of Kuwait that Thrailkill is wearing in the photographs suggest he was in ODS/S. He deployed to Panama in 1989 but had he also deployed to ODS/S he would have a second award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM).  However, Thrailkill neither wears two AFEMs in the photo nor are two AFEMs supported in his records.

We also could not find the Multi-National Forces and Observers (MFO) medal listed in Thrailkill’s military records, which is also on the bottom row of ribbons that he wears.


A claim of a Purple Heart medal is in direct violation of the federal Stolen Valor Act of 2013, especially if the claims were used for gain.  State laws may also apply.

Category: Army, Army Poser, Bronze Star, Gulf War, Kuwait, ODS, Purple Heart, Stolen Valor, Stolen Valor Act, Valor Vultures

Comments (225)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. The Grunt says:

    Just an FYI…whatever his logic in defending Buck the SGM is indeed a legit Tabbed SF SGM(R). This has been confirmed through a trusted source.

    Now onto a lengthy reply I also posted on MP. Maybe the SGM(R)will reply here if he reads this.

    Michael McGarvey please pull up a chair and pay attention to what I am about to say because I will only run this through one time.

    1) You come onto this blog site chest puffed out and ready to throw that E-9 rank around like we are supposed to care that you are a retired SGM. We don’t care so let me deflate that balloon for you now. Your rank and/or presumed authority means shit to those of us who help expose frauds of all ranks and branches.

    2) You hold up Buck’s error as if it were a 1 time mistake. It has been stated by you as well as Buck that the uniform was put together for his Dad’s funeral and it was not put together by him but rather a couple of friends and his wife. The problem with this, as has been pointed out several times to you as well as Buck, is that the pictures posted above are not from a funeral. They are from a wedding. So unless the funeral and wedding were the same day it means that Buck wore that uniform, with those unearned awards, at minimum twice and did not correct it.

    3) His Rallypoint profile, as shown above, has him as an 18E when in fact he never was. His Facebook profile is quite misleading with what he did in the Army as well. To the untrained civilian it reads as if he served in the 7th SFG(A) instead of the support unit as an untabbed SFG(A) soldier. It’s not a bad thing to have been in a support role with an SFG so there should be no need to make it appear otherwise.

    All of the above shows that Buck has been telling tall tales with people who might not otherwise know better. This may get turned over to the NCAG, the local DA or maybe the Charlotte FBI office. It all depends on the mood of the person handling this when that time comes. Buck is in violation the FEDERAL SVA by wearing the BS and PH. Don’t believe me check for yourself.

    Your pal Buck, as a former Senior NCO, is expected to live by a higher standard than the average enlisted soldier. First line in the NCO Creed is “No one is more Professional than I.” He should strive to maintain that standard even now in retirement. He fucking didn’t and chose to start a lie that eventually caught up with him.

    Now as for you Michael…

    Apparently you missed the part where we received Buck’s NPRC file which is the OFFICIAL records for one SFC Thrailkill. Those records show awards received, schools attended and other items deemed ok for public viewing as you probably already know. Nowhere in those records does it show the BS or PH, as well as the other medals, being awarded to Buck. Nowhere does it show Buck attending or graduating the SFQ. Yet despite all that you choose to accuse the Military Phonies Admins of not doing their due diligence. You can take that attitude and your haughty E-9 SGM bullshit and go fuck off in your corner of the world. This isn’t the 1st rodeo for this group and you aren’t the first person to be sent as cannon fodder to defend someone’s fairy tales. As an SGM you should be questioning Bucks fairy tales and why he was wearing unearned medals on his dress uniform. As the ranking NCO between the 2 of you you should have had a little campfire chat with him and explained that his bullshit needed to stop post haste. Instead you come here tail on fire ready to throw your weight around in order to protect your pathetic friend. I’ve known more than a few NCO’s in my career and the best ones would have been busting my ass even in retirement for fucking up as Buck did. Perhaps you forgot the NCO Creed. Well here’s a reminder for both you and that jacked up former SFC Buck.

    “I am proud of the Corps of noncommissioned officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the military service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself.”

    • Denyse Golden says:

      Who purchased the ribbons? That’s another question. All the “oh my friends and wife put my uniform together’ crap is for the birds. Did they also buy those ribbons? Shameful and the SGM is a piece of work… jeez.

      Name edited to protect PII.

  2. ninja says:

    Public Information.

    There is something confusing about his Father, George Marvin Thrailkill, who passed away in 2009.


    The footstone issued by the VA has his Father’s Rank as O4/Major.

    Yet, on the Headstone, his rank is given as O6/Colonel.

    His obituary has him as an O5/LTC:


    There is also a brick that Buck made for his Father that has his Father’s Rank as LTC/O5.

    Am going with the VA Footstone listing the Rank as O4/Major.

    Buck could have very well embellished his Father’s Military Service.

    So Sad.

    And always the question for embellishment…WHY?

    I have discovered that majority of those who embellish try to hide something about their military service, i.e. something went wrong and they embellish as a coverup.

    • Sandman says:

      One would think 11 years would be sufficient enough time to correct a hastily put together uniform before a wedding,,,just saying.

    • MarineDad61 says:

      Actually, it appears easy to explain.
      WWII O-4 Major, as shown on the US Gov’t marker.
      Mississippi Army National Guard O-6 Colonel, well after WWII.
      For all we know, he may have retired as a part time O-5 LTC,
      and Mississippi gave him an O-6 retirement (at age 60).

      We don’t call it “brevet” rank anymore,
      but this was common in the Civil War days,
      and a lot of State Militia and (later) National Guards
      ran around with a LOT of high (state) rank.
      It still goes on today.
      Many National Guard weekend warrior high rankers
      take a hit on the stripes or the bars
      when they (voluntarily) decide to try active duty.

      However, when units are activated, and called up,
      pretty much everyone keeps their rank during the activation.

      Think Jimmy Stewart, WWII O-6 Colonel,
      US Air Force Reserve O-7 BGen, many years later.

      • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

        One popular History Question is “What rank was George Custer the day he died?” to which the correct answer is “Lieutenant Colonel”. George Custer was known to history as a General because he was BREVETED to that rank and later returned to his former one.

        Custer wore an Arrow Shirt the day he died.

    • Green Thumb says:

      Most Old School posers shame their family from beyond the grave.

      New School posers such as “Buck” do not wait that long….

  3. Sandman says:

    Some basic math for the distraught uniform last minute put together excuse.

    Buck Sr. Died 2009

    Daughter’s Wedding 2013

    Step father died 2018

    4 years between 1st funeral and wedding and 5 years between wedding and 2nd funeral.

    So I’m assuming that Buck’s original excuse is based off of VA math.

  4. USMC REMF says:

    My Daddy died too but I never used that as as excuse to play dress up and wear medals I didn’t earn. Hey Buck, you and your gay mustache are famous now.

  5. Green Thumb says:

    Oddly enough, in Buck’s defense, if I were poser, I would have not shown up without a blue cord.