“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, Purple Heart, Stolen Valor, Stolen Valor Act, Valor Vultures

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The Grunt

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… Read more »

Denyse Golden

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.


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.


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


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®™

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

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

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


[…] This Ain’t Hell: https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=108036 […]


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.


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.

Green Thumb

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


Maybe he was continuing his SF impersonation, since most Army SF types know SF soldiers don’t wear the Blue Rope of Doom.


Green Thumb,
I don’t recall ever seeing such a dust up and comment count as
Buck’s page on Military Phony.
That SGM(R) may live to regret his adamant grandstanding.

Green Thumb

I can see.


It also seems curious that his “wife” didn’t throw a CIB into the mix as well.

You would eusually expect one with a PH combat wounded.


Oh Oh.
The same day you commented above (5 days ago),
the wifey put up a new smiley lovey dovey couple Fakebook profile photo.
Yep, it’s a couple photo with Phony Buck.
All smiles.
Either she’s totally oblivious, or complicit.


Not if one is not infantry serving in an infantry slot. I am surprised he wasn’t rocking a CAB, though.