Robert “Mr. Bob” Walker – Official Records

| December 9, 2020

You may recall a recent post about Robert Walker, who was featured on the front of a magazine called the Chadds Ford JunXion, which is a local community magazine.

On the cover and in the writeup, claims were made about a Navy Cross, a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for combat actions in Vietnam.  Several of these awards were questioned, in addition to Walker wearing an officer’s uniform.

Since this magazine came out and MP & TAH posted about it, there were meetings that took place and military records supplied, both official and non-official – all in an effort to get to what’s accurate and what’s fiction.

To his credit, the editor of the magazine stepped forward and wanted to get to the ground truth and make any corrections if warranted.  Along with a member of the TAH community, who was asked to come along, a face to face meeting with Mr. Bob happened.

I can only paraphrase the conversation, supplied to us in notes, but two things emerged that caught my attention:

1) “MISSOURI FIRE” – Walker claims that his military records were affected by the “Missouri Fire” which we would take to mean the National Archives records fire of 1973.  However, NO … I repeat … NO Marine Corps records were affected and NO records from Vietnam were affected.

Read more about the 1973 NPRC fire at NPRC and Wikipedia.

NOTE: Although a small few Navy and Marine Corps records were checked out and in the vicinity of the fire, “the present policy of NPRC is to state that there were no Navy and Marine Corps records destroyed in the fire and to treat these records as records that had been lost in ordinary circumstances.”

2) ENTITLEMENT – In regard to the Silver Star, Walker claims his actions on the day of question were worthy of and rated the Silver Star vs. the Bronze Star with V.

Well, with that said I can only offer up the following meme:

If it is not in your records, the military did not feel you rated that award.  If your platoon mates felt that you did then there are proper channels to get signoff and approval and have the award upgraded and entered into your records *officially*.  Otherwise, it is just a story.

A common story is what I call the “Kiss My Ass Purple Heart.”  This is where somebody claims they were awarded a Purple Heart but told the military to “Shove it – Kiss my Ass” seemingly because others were killed or wounded more severely.  A noble story, if true.  I point out that the value of that Purple Heart was cashed in at the moment of refusal and for the reasons given, if the story is true.  To tell the story over and over years later is not honorable, in my opinion.  It is really saying “I rate one, but here is why it is not in my records.”

Mr. Bob supplied his records to the editor of the magazine, who graciously supplied it to one of our own, who then supplied it to us.  Keep in mind, these records came directly from Walker so there was not a clean chain of custody.

. . . . .

MILITARY RECORDS SUPPLIED BY ROBERT WALKER

Robert Walker supplied DD-214

 

Robert Walker supplied Bronze Star citation

. . . . .

MILITARY RECORDS SUPPLIED BY NPRC

The following records came *directly* from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), therefore represent a clean chain of custody.  The NPRC is the official government organization that maintains historical records of military service.

FOIA Results – NPRC – Robert Walker – Summary Sheet

 

FOIA Results – NPRC – Robert Walker – Assignments #1

 

FOIA Results – NPRC – Robert Walker – Assignments #2

. . . . .

SUMMARY

Still no Navy Cross or Silver Star. There is a discrepancy for the Purple Heart in that the DD-214 that Walker supplied states that there are two secondary awards noted by two stars. On the summary sheet from NPRC, which is transcribed from the DD-214, it has one star vs. two.

Mr. Bob claimed that he was going to pull some awards out of his display case.  Ah, where to start?

Bob appears to have a military career most would be proud of.  Scratching my head as to why he would embellish anything.  There was no need.

What about the school children?  What were they told?

And as the movie title suggests – What about Bob?

Category: Marine Corps Poser, Navy Cross, Purple Heart, Silver Star, Stolen Valor, Valor Vultures, Viet Nam, Vietnam

Comments (45)

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  1. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    Just WTF made him want to embellish with a record like that?

    • penguinman00 says:

      No kidding. A lance coolie with BS w/V? That in and of itself is impressive.

      Some people just don’t make any damn sense.

      • Mason says:

        And a NAVCOM w/ V!

      • SgtM says:

        My last company commander was a Lance Coolie when he received a Silver Star. Paul Smith. Charged a machine gun nest, he told us because they were killing his buddies and he got mad. My last Sgt Maj was a MOH holder. I walked among hero’s as a young Marine.

  2. Mustang Major says:

    Where did the MSM come from?

    • MarineDad61 says:

      Mustang Major,
      Bob’s DD-214 shows a “Meritorious Mast”
      which is an excellent atta-boy certificate
      for a job well done (somewhere),
      but a Meritorious Mast is certainly no Meritorious Service Medal.

  3. YNCS(Ret) says:

    Vietnamese Service Medal with 1 Silver Star — maybe that’s what makes him think he’s “entitled” to the Silver Star.

    • 26Limabeans says:

      Ah yes, the old VSM bronze and silver service stars.
      Somehow they become the Silver Star Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.
      Easy mistake to make. Happens all the time.

  4. AW1Ed says:

    Sad. Worse, a shame. Square that away, Marine. He knows better.

  5. SgtM says:

    If all he told anyone was he had a CAR, 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with Valor device. That would get immediate respect from any service member. He had to go and mess that all up.

  6. KoB says:

    Welp, as we said in the thread, very Honorable Service Shat upon by embellishing. And you can’t blame “an old man”, “forgetfulness”, “this is what I shoulda got.” Looks like he’s had that DD 214 around for a good while. Haven’t looked at mine in a good while but I know where it is and pretty much everything that is on it. Particularly awards, schools, and places I was assigned.

    Pity is right, pity that he did it, that is…no pity and ZERO phuques to give for him.

  7. Chris Melvin says:

    If nothing else he can say his discharge paperwork was signed by a future Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James L Jones.

  8. USAFRetired says:

    CAR, Bronze Star with V, and Purple Heart, in a first hitch. That’s a damn impressive record.

    • rgr1480 says:

      And a Navy Commendation Medal with a Combat V. Those are the equivalent to a Bronze Star Medal, right???

  9. NHSparky says:

    Exactly.

    No need to embellish with a record like that.

    So why is he claiming a commission as well?

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      Maybe in addition to feeling like his actions were worthy of a Silver Star, perhaps he felt like he also rated a battlefield commission?

    • MarineDad61 says:

      NHSparky,
      Bob never claimed a commission.
      It was explained on Page 1,
      that the circle of folks around Bob scrounged the 2LT uniform,
      and put Bob’s shadow box medals on it.

      • Paul says:

        Bob should have objected to wearing an officer’s uniform given that they are different, or at the very least, he should have taken the rank off. The “I wore this officer’s uniform with lieutenant rank because my friends gave it to me with my medals on it” excuse doesn’t fly. He knew better and he wore it anyway.

  10. Zorn says:

    How many times have we heard “My records were destroyed in the fire”? At least they should look that up first and understand exactly which records were destroyed (mostly by water and not fire). Perhaps if he was in World War I, it would be plausible. But if not that, it’s the old “It’s classified”. Both are truly red flags.

    Nice job, Steve.

    Name edited to protect PII.
    AW1

  11. David says:

    I remember that fire, being a Midwest denizen at the time. My Dad’s records from WWII were lost, but he retained a copy of pretty much every piece of paper he ever received. When his retirement was supposed to start he submitted it to DA and got it all sorted out pretty easily.

  12. STGCS SW/AW Retired says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with me part of me finds it entertaining to see these embellishers outed but with this guy its just plain sad he had a hell of a first tour no reason to embellish at all – scratching bald head 🙂

  13. Claw says:

    Re: The number of Purple Hearts:

    Mr. Bob’s Record of Assignments shows that he went to Sick Bay on the following dates:

    04 Jul 68 (4 days)
    11 Sep 68 (2 days)
    20 Sep 68 (18 days)
    25 Nov 68 (25 days)

    Your call on which times it was for wounds.

  14. BruteLarson says:

    While this is absolutely no excuse for doing what he seems to have done; I might have an explanation as to how it possibly seemed like a good idea to him.

    First, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being a school custodian. NOT! A! THING! It is an honest job that is necessary and honorable.

    Kids can be snots. Adults can be snots, especially when they don’t seem to advance past the kid stage as do many of today’s educators.

    No college degree? You ain’t nothin’ to a lot of these people. It is malignant elitism on display at it’s worst.

    Paradoxically, I do have an advanced degree, and I have little respect for THEM. The more credentials I read after a name roughly translates to more IQ points deducted by me until they prove otherwise. I have instant respect for people who do the harder jobs for less money and no glory. A tool and die maker, or a master machinist, a skilled carpenter or mason are things that instantly impress me. I know those four examples DO in fact make good money.

    Maybe Mr. Bob embellished his already very honorable service record to impress these same snotty people when they may or may not have looked down on him for his custodial profession? I’m just throwing it out there.

    I really wish he hadn’t done that. Anyone who matters would have nothing but the utmost respect for him. I wish he’d given that a thought.

    It’s just a theory.

    • Paul says:

      Yeah, no. I get what you’re saying and I mean this with respect, but in your version, dealing with snots and having some insecurity and/or a chip on his shoulder does not justify stolen valor or impersonating an officer. You might write off all of that education, but it does matter. A doctor is a doctor for a reason, and similarly, marine corps officers earn their rank. Pretending to be a lieutenant with all these extra stolen awards just because people are snotty and mean is the exact type of participation trophy mentality that we mock millennial snowflakes for having. This man has an incredible legit/real record. He ruined it and tarnished everyone else’s service by embellishing and making things up that he did not earn. There is no excuse for this. Full stop.

      • BruteLarson says:

        Respectfully back(seriously), I didn’t say it was excused. In my first line I typed that it was not. It was just a theory as to what may have happened in that particular environment with those particular sorts of educated people.

        I don’t think what I think about STEM or military people. Only education. I respect doctors and engineers and all the other STEM degrees. I have one. It’s in a drawer. It will always BE in a drawer. My trophies from a sport, and military things are out and up for my memories.

        Again, it was just a theory. No offense to anyone but the people who have screwed a good many of our young people up was intended.

        I should have included military officers and higher NCO’s in that list of people I have a lot of respect for at face value.

        I think in the first article about him the publisher of the mag stated that the officer uniform was all they had. He should not have donned it.

        • Paul says:

          That’s fair, and the respect here is mutual (also serious). I appreciate your point of view and I don’t disagree with some of the things you’ve said. I guess what I take issue with is the danger that can come with enabling or emboldening insecure people who already have a chip on their shoulder by saying that “this happened for this reason” and “it is bad but it’s understandable”. Not saying you said this exactly, but it can be implied or construed that way.

          After my last comment I did read that they gave him the officer uniform. To be clear, if he had taken the rank off, this would leave a bad taste in my mouth but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about his intent here. However, this isn’t a civilian who never served who (or whose friends) played mix and match at the local Salvation Army/Goodwill in order to give him a good photo op. This is a former Marine with a distinguished Vietnam War record. He absolutely knew better and he wore an officer’s uniform with officer’s rank anyway, in addition to the award issues. I guess that’s what I take issue with. This bothers me so much more precisely because this guy truly was a legitimate hot shit war veteran who knew better and he did this anyway.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Or maybe someone built him the box that did not understand his awards documents. Thinking the Vietnamese Service Medal with 1 Silver Star, was suppose to have a Comma between it…cause you know Commas save lives!. Maybe someone said he earned the Silver Star, but it was only approved for a Bronze Star with V device.
      Not saying he did not cause all of this himself, by only wearing what he earned…just giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. He did after all earn those two Valor awards, and two purple hearts.

  15. Paul says:

    In addition to the lack of a SS, still doesn’t explain why he’s wearing an officer’s uniform/rank. I guess someone with so little time in, a high school education and no record of attending OCS could still get a battlefield commission as a 2LT, but clearly there is no record of this, so I guess he just felt the need to play dress up or liked the way officer uniforms looked more.

    This kills me. This guy had an incredibly honorable service record with Vietnam service and a BSM. His real/legit record is significantly more prestigious than mine. Yet, he still felt the need to fake things. I don’t get it.

    • USAFRetired says:

      We ought to send this guy one of those T-shirts that says. I DON’T HAVE A PHD BUT I DO HAVE A DD214. A pretty damn impressive one at that. (without embellishing)

  16. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Jeezuz… why in the fuck did he have to embellish? UFB!

  17. SSG Whiskey Tango (ret). says:

    His bullshit not withstanding, I am still impressed by him and would buy him a beer. His two years and legit service alone are worth that.

    • sbalm says:

      This case was messy and complicated in terms of the ethics.

      Still, we see it as our job to shine the light on embellishment, no matter how uncomfortable it is.

  18. tshe says:

    Something lost in all this discussion is the issue of the Marine Corps matching money that he sent home to his parents.

    Nobody else recalls such a program.

  19. MarineDad61 says:

    A few minutes on a website ribbon & medal seller,
    and their handy ribbon rack builder page,
    and I produced THIS…..

    Bob Walker’s CORRECT display of earned medals and devices.
    2 of his magic shadow box of 8 are gone.
    Correct devices added, that Bob didn’t receive, buy, or display.
    More than impressive (enough) at face value.

    Thanks to the admins, for making this comment possible.

    Medals

  20. Bronze Star with V device, 2 Purple Hearts, Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, and Vietnam been there medals. A fantastic accomplishment being in Vietnam one month and 18 months in the Marines. No need to lie about anything. This guy has brought dishonor on all his accomplishments to the point that nobody will believe anything he says because of his lies.

    Name edited to protect PII.
    AW1