FOIA Request Update

| October 7, 2021

Thought I would give you all an update on the FOIA request situation after talking to the FOIA ninja.

We have been filing cases as they come in.  There is a lot of family military verification mixed in.  Lots have been coming back only to verify the person’s claims or there is too much ambiguity that exists and precludes a stolen valor posting.

Also, we just got back a FOIA request yesterday that was filed in Feb 2020 – yes, over 18 months ago!  It was a no records response and possibly burned up in the 1973 fire since it was someone that served in WWII.  Since no name was provided and the reference number was not recognized, we called and talked to the tech.

The question we finally got answered is related to the backlog of FOIAs.  Are they going to go first come-first served and go through the backlog, require all FOIAs submitted in the age of COVID to be resubmitted (over 100 for us) or are they going to give online submissions priority.  We have gotten results in a week with the online submission but that has slowed to a crawl now.  Perhaps they were encouraging online submissions and gave them priority?

The answer was it is a case by case basis, so it does sound like they are working through the backlog.  We get a FOIA result on average once every two weeks now.  However, many only confirm the claims and is not a case that we will publish… or, as I mentioned, renders the case ambiguous.  i.e. no record response when we are confident that the person served, lack of assignments, etc.

I don’t know what, if anything, can be concluded.  There does seem to be less cases of blatant claims on Facebook with photos of medals, etc.  Most seem to be word-of-mouth and have no other evidence of public claims.  We encourage affidavits but most informants want to remain anonymous and an affidavit may reveal their identity.

Dare I say it?  Maybe the work that this community does has affected the amount of people claiming Stolen Valor.  Bask in that satisfaction as we wait for another clear cut case.

Category: Stolen Valor, Stolen Valor Act

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Green Thumb

Thanks for the explanation.

And we can only hope we are making a difference.

ChipNASA

Well, we all know *you* are (making a difference) GT.
Can you imagine being properly identified as a Valor Thief and then showing up here or on MP and then having you comment on the matter?
The repercussions. Teh HORRORZ!!!

Because you are loved and appreciated GT I leave you this…
(It’s worth the CLICK…)
https://imgur.com/gU5L1Oy

MarineDad61

Green Thumb,
Good 1st.
They are… more than they know.
I see it in Pennsylvania,
not only in public,
but especially in and around the veterans orgs.
I have recent examples,
including a new org state level department official,
who changed his official online bio,
removing the word “combat”,
and covering his tracks with alternate verse.
Handled in house, before it was too late (exposed publicly).
At the time, visible on Google Cache afterwards for a few weeks.

VG nailed a Florida org (and phony) for failing at this.
[David D’Anunzio – Fake Navy SEAL
| July 2, 2021]
https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=115072

——

Steve Balm,
Thank you for the update.
Wishful thinking here..
the US Gov’t records office(s) should add more help,
either with temporary reassignments, or new hires.

26Limabeans

“Maybe the work that this community does has affected the amount of people claiming Stolen Valor”

Speaking of phonies…imagine the creeps that would still be rocking the lie
if Al Gore had not invented the internet for us. I guess it takes one to know one.

FuzeVT

Perhaps people are finally starting to see that in the information age it’s much more difficult to get away with that sort of thing. And yes, this site is deserving of some portion of credit for the decline in phonies.

Makes me wonder how pervasive phonying it up was in the past. It certainly would have been easier, but being a vet didn’t bring the accolades as much in the past. There certainly weren’t as many people who had been legit veterans in the 80s and 90s as there are now thanks to OIF and OEF. As a result, I imagine there was less places and events for people to fake being a part of. That certainly has changed. Now there are more places where someone could say they served, thousands and thousands who legitimately did to hide in and people tend to heap praise on military folks so the incentive is up. Fortunately, it’s harder to do.

Claw

Last widow: Helen Jackson, age 101, passed on 16 Dec 2020.

Jay

And the last Civil War pension was still being paid in 2020 as well: to Irene Tripplet, daughter of Mose Triplett passed away in June of 2020. She received 73.13 from the VA every month.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/06/10/irene-triplett-last-civil-war-pensioner-73-monthly-dies/5333830002/

rgr769

$73 was real money back in the 1870’s-1880’s. A Colt Single Action Army only cost $12.50. They now cost over $2K.

Jay

One would think “A Sign O’ the Times”…she would also be privy to that COLA increase. Guess not.

Jay

That’s crazy. I wonder if she DID get the COLA increases?

MarineDad61

Claw,
She was 17.
He was 93.
Also, she concealed the truth for about 80 years.

[News Obituaries
Helen Jackson (1919–2020),
last known widow of a Civil War veteran]
https://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/helen-jackson-1919-2020-last-known-widow-of-a-civil-war-veteran/

ChipNASA

OK,
Live and learn here.
This is an odd and fascinating store here.
I’ve never heard of this.
Worthy of a “huh, wow!”
😀

Claw

Yes, Sir. Wonderful story. Read about their no romancing involved marriage on several websites.

That 30 dollar a month pension was just his way of being able to pay her for the end of life care she provided.

David

“There certainly weren’t as many people who had been legit veterans in the 80s and 90s as there are now thanks to OIF and OEF.” Other than all those pesky WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam folks. I would bet cash green money that there were more vets as a percentage of the population in the ’80s than now, by a wide margin.

OWB

Glad you caught that. Missed it somehow and agree with you that there are not nearly as many veterans now as there were in the 70’s and 80’s. Back then it was difficult to find a workplace without vets. Now you can wander among the civilian population for days without running into a vet.

Not that it matters a whole lot in the grand scheme of things (maybe), but the youngsters need to understand this.

Mason

With only 1% of the populace entering the service the last couple of decades, veterans are going to be a much rarer sight in years to come.

Graybeard

If we can conclude that there are truly fewer cases of blatant SV, then we can be assured that Jon is smiling.

OWB

Two possibilities of how we/y’all are having a positive impact upon the numbers of idiot embellisher come to mind. First, the clowns may indeed be self limiting due to the negative exposure of so many of them in recent years. But, perhaps even more important is the education prosecutors are getting across the country. Many leo’s have been on our side all along, more than willing to charge embellishers. But many also have watched as prosecutors fail to take those charges seriously and often refuse to prosecute what to them is a victimless crime.

Kudos to everyone who has made a phone call , written a letter to a editor, helped to craft a new state law, or in so many other ways held people accountable for their misdeeds or failure to do their jobs. It has made a huge difference.

A Proud Infidel®™️

Could it be that SV Investigators have made a difference? I’d like to think so, and many Kudos to those who have spent time doing so!

Slow Joe

I would love to see the FOIA for Luis Elizondo, the dude that says UFOs are real and the Gruberment has evidence. He claims 20 years of service with the Army as a Counterintelligence Special Agent, which is a duty position, not an MOS.

MarineDad61

Slow Joe,
This is the Report Stolen Valor page at MP.
Easy to use.
I plop this URL link to posters in FakeBook SV groups,
who go to FaceBook to get answers.
I add the advice to collect everything they can
(texts, PMs, photos, vidoes, URLS to news stories, etc.),
and upload it to MP.
🙂
https://militaryphony.com/report-form/

SFC D

Some aspects of my job require me to interact with CI Special Agent trainees. Some the most arrogant, cocky pricks I’ve ever dealt with. Second only to CBP UAS operators.

Ret_25X

their arrogance is equaled only by their uselessness.

At least the CA community is less cocky, if not less useless.

Poetrooper

Let us not forget B.G. Burkett, who with his groundbreaking book, Stolen Valor, exposing phony Vietnam vets, originated the term, and really got the ball rolling:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._G._Burkett

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor

https://www.amazon.com/B-G-Burkett/e/B001K8MUUO/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

We might even call him the father of the SV movement. It was his seminal work that really focused the spotlight on all the phonies claiming Vietnam service, resulting in the first Stolen Valor legislation.

We all, but especially we Vietnam vets, owe Burkett a huge debt. Before he wrote the book, the phonies pretty much had free rein to deceive and defraud. Remember back in the 90’s when there were phony Vietnam vet panhandlers on most major intersections? Even the police gave them a pass much of the time because of misplaced sympathies.

Burkett was in failing health when I had occasion to speak with him several years ago, and I am frankly surprised to see that he is still alive.

OWB

Ditto your sentiments, Poe.

26Limabeans

“Remember back in the 90’s when there were phony Vietnam vet panhandlers on most major intersections”

90’s Poe? Lets go back to the 70’s when the last thing you wanted to
be was a Vietnam vet, phony or not. The 90’s was when we started getting
“sympathy praise” and it became cool. And uncomfortable to watch.

Nice to see a few Viet of the Nam guys hanging out here.
Well worth the price of admission.

Poetrooper

“The 90’s was when we started getting
‘sympathy praise’ and it became cool.”

And that is when the number of phonies began to mushroom, because it was “cool” and citizens became more generous. It was partly that proliferation and acceptance that led Burkett to write his book.

rgr769

Anyone here who has not read Burkett’s book needs to do so. It is quite eye opening. It exposes many well known persons he exposed as phonies. It also debunks the false narrative that Vietnam vets are drug using head cases who are losers; and that many are homeless. Vietnam vets in fact have more stable families, have lower unemployment rates; and have lower divorce rates.

rgr769

The research that went into his book is impressive. He footnotes every major fact. The phonies he exposed were irrefutable valor thieves. I have never heard of any of them successfully suing him for defamation, as truth is, as the law books say, “a complete defense.”

Poetrooper

…as truth is, as the law books say, “a complete defense.”

The precise reason Jean Fraud Kerry never sued the Swift Boat Vets as he so loudly and publicly vowed to do.

That and the fact that the discovery process would likely have revealed he had quietly received a less than honorable discharge from the Navy for his traitorous dealings with the North Vietnamese in Paris. A discharge that was later (and even more quietly) reclassified as honorable by Jimmy Carter soon after becoming president.

rgr769

Speaking of frauds, I just watched the two hour “Dateline” on one of our fave fake SEALs, Derek Alldred. The level of this con artist’s crimes is truly shocking. He scammed over sixteen women, using identity theft and credit card fraud to steal over a million dollars from them. He stole close to $400K from one of his last victims in Texas, rendering her completely financially broke. He raided her 401K and her daughter’s college fund. What sank him is that the above victim had a closet full of his uniforms and badges, plus photos of him wearing them. What really sank him was that he ordered an NCIS agent’s badge that was mailed to him. That victim had saved the USPS mailing package, so the federal prosecutor charged him with mail fraud in addition to all his other charges. That brought his crimes up to 24 years in the federal pen. They had so much evidence against him, he agreed to plead guilty. At his sentencing he thought he could con the judge by claiming he was the victim of jilted lovers, but about a dozen of his female victims testified in impact statements and totally sank him. He got the 24 years he so richly deserved. He will have to serve 18 years before he is eligible for parole. Alldred was lying and scamming for over 24 years, so his sentence is fitting. If you can stream it, watch the show; it is an epic of what an… Read more »

Sparks

For many years I have been proud to say I am a member of this site. Jonn started and maintained a great service to those of us who served honorably.

I hope the lack of phonies is a true reflection of the work of Jonn, and those now who have taken up his manlte, Burkett, the POW Network, Don Shipley and many others just to name a few.

In truth, there will always be phonies and embellishers but at least they may not be as public about it as they once were.

This has always been a great site to meet brothers and sisters in a common cause and share our thoughts. I look forward to many more years of TAH being alive and well.

KoB

^THIS^!

Dennis - not chevy

Do you remember how Jonn said the valor thieves take it to the grave. How right he was. I was recently at a funeral and every one was talking about how the decedent was a Korean War vet. I knew the man and I knew he was never in Korea. He served in the Korean War era and he did serve overseas. I told his admirers he had stepped on the folks such as the Chosin Few, the folks at Pusan, those at Inchon, etc. They could have said era and been excused; but no, they repeated his lies. It made me sick.

Mason

If he got a gravestone from the VA, if he served during “Korea Times” then he’ll get a headstone with “Korea” on it. That’ll only add to the confusion.

OWB

That depends upon what is requested, at least to some degree. The spousal unit and I both served during Viet Nam but that will be on neither of our headstones. Not will OIF. Persian Gulf is all either of us have.

Not sure what they put on the headstones of those serving between conflicts. Someone else here will tell us, without doubt.

Daisy Cutter

“Not sure what they put on the headstones of those serving between conflicts. Someone else here will tell us, without doubt.”

Those individuals are referred to as “tweeners.”

We few, we happy few…