How to be a good phony soldier

| February 9, 2014

Hack.Stone wrote in the comments how there should be a written document to explain to phonies how to act after they’ve been busted. So, I’ve taken it upon myself, as we gear up for our annual tournament of Stolen Valor, to explain that process to the uninitiated.

First, don’t deny military records. If the records say that you spent 6 weeks in service, don’t try to tell us otherwise. If we’re wrong, provide proof to the contrary. We’ve all been in the military, we’ve all got our DD214s and we know that you have to review your DD214, we know that if your records say you served for six weeks, you have to verify that. Prove us wrong.

Don’t tell us that you’re wearing something to “honor” your father, your brother, your neighbor’s parakeet. If you’re wearing a Ranger Tab, a CIB, an SF Tab, people who see you wearing it are going to believe that you’re saying that you earned it. There is no honor in wearing militaria that you didn’t earn. And your deceased father probably isn’t honored by his gay, hippie son wearing his medals at an anti-war protest.

We don’t believe that your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife hacked your Facebook account. You can always delete the offending photo out of your Wall. We know how that works. And usually, it’s your ex-girlfriend or your ex-wife who told us that you’re rockin’ the lie in the first place. And they probably provided us with your DD214.

You shouldn’t come on TAH and complain that people are picking on you. You wore your phony shit because of your ego. You sent it out to the world so far that we heard your lies, so we’re going to give you the fame that you craved when you put that shit on.

When we use your photos that you posted on Facebook, we’re not “stealing” your “copyrighted” material. There’s a thing in the law called “fair use”, according to FindLaw;

Under the Copyright Act, the fair use of copyrighted material without permission is allowed when used for the following purposes: Criticism, Comment, News reporting, Teaching, includes making copies for use in the classroom, Scholarship and research, Parody

So, you see, if you posted a picture of yourself on Facebook wearing a Medal of Honor, we have the right to use it to prove your false claims.

Even though what you’re doing is not illegal, it’s immoral. In their decision to overturn the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, the Supreme Court, in the case of US v. Alvarez (.pdf), gave us a warrant to hunt you down and bring you to the justice of public opinion when they wrote;

The Government …has not shown, and cannot show, why counterspeech, such as the ridicule respondent received online and in the press, would not suffice to achieve its interest.

Justice Kennedy continues in US v. Alvarez;

The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simpletruth.


Society has the right and civic duty to engage in open, dynamic, rational discourse.


The American people do not need the assistance of a government prosecution to express their high regard for the special place that military heroes hold in our tradition. Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication.

We’re not violating your first amendment protections, mostly because only the government can do that, since the Bill of Rights was written to protect us from the government, not from each other.

Don’t send your wife, girlfriend, partner to the blog to defend you. It only makes you look like the giant pussy you are, hiding behind those skirts of your love interest. In the end, we’re going to win, and you will have to explain to the person to whom you lied why you’re surrendering. And it makes them look gullible and stupid. It’s not their fight; it’s not their place to extract you from the morass that you’ve created for yourself.

We also know that your identity wasn’t stolen when we have pictures of you wearing a uniform, unless the identity thief also stole your face. If we check to see if you’ve filed a police report on the theft of your identity and you haven’t, it makes you look less than truthful.

Yes, we’ve had people dug up after they died because they lied about their service to get a spot in a veterans’ cemetery when they weren’t authorized. So the family’s last memory of their dearly departed was as a lying POS. We’ve also had headstones altered when their Stolen Valor made it to that venue. Come clean with your family before you pass.

Once you’re busted, you should stop pretending. Once you’re on our radar, we’re still watching, and when you put that shit back on your clothes, we’re going to catch you again, more quickly and then we have to go through all of that shit again. So just stop it. We can make arrangements with someone who lives near you willing to take possession of your phony finery to satisfy our own mistrust of your claims to stop being a lying POS.

If you’re emailing or commenting to threaten us with legal repercussions, you’ll be better off first getting a competent attorney of your own and being honest with them because you’re only going to be further humiliated if you do it in the public forum. To save you some typing, charging us with libel or slander is charging us with making false statements. So unless you’re prepared to prove that our statements about you are false in court, please refrain from using those terms.

Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code (47 USC § 230)  says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” This federal law preempts any state laws to the contrary: “[n]o cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.” The courts have repeatedly rejected attempts to limit the reach of Section 230 to “traditional” Internet service providers, instead, treating many diverse entities as “interactive computer service providers.”  The comments, posts written by guest bloggers, tips sent by email, and information provided to us through an RSS feed are all considered information provided by another content provider. We can not be held liable for defamatory statements contained therein.

You should also refrain from death and/or physical threats. We’ve watched as folks who made threats to us frog-marched out of the courtroom while we giggled uncontrollably.

We’re not ever taking down our posts about you unless you can prove that we made a mistake. We’re pretty good at identifying forged DD214s, too. Even if we were so inclined, there’s a thing called an “internet cache” over which we have no control. The post that we wrote about you will remain on the internet forever. So begging us to take it down would have no effect even if we felt mercy for you. But that’s not likely anyway. So don’t ask.

The best way to avoid the wrath of public opinion is to not start in the first place. We’re going to catch you eventually, so you’ll always be looking over your shoulder. If you served, be proud that you did what few Americans would, if you didn’t serve, but you want to wear that which others have given their lives and their youth to earn, go sign on the line. Three years of honorary military service is going to be a lot easier than hiding from the pitchfork brigade for a lifetime.

Category: Phony soldiers

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Jonn: awesome post. Deserves a spot on the menu bar at the top of the home page, right next to the “Military Records” link.

2/17 Air Cav

Yeah. Good idea. The stuff needs to be written up in regulatory format so that we can properly cite to it. It will be my project if it will be installed as you suggest.

OIF '06-'07-'08

Great post John, but like that is going to happen any time soon!


Well said Jonn, now if the poser’s can get it through their thick skulls as to what you just posted, the world would be such a happier place! But I seriously doubt it, cause you will always have that one POS who says to himself “they will never catch me”.


Durn, you’re good, JL.


Posers beware: Jonn is now retired and has a lot of time on his hands and D-Handle shovel with which he can dig in your shit.

Nice PSA Jonn.

Green Thumb

Posers also denounce the individual that called them out.

Just ask Matthew Beck. When challenged on his claims he states you were never in, never served, did not kill enough, peace time turd, etc.

Just saying.


Thanks Jonn. Well said. I wish all the posers could read this beforehand and not start down this road. Having passed that point, then first, just stop and start doing the right thing. Or second, take a hint, get a clue from this and then again, do what is right. Either way, just doing the right thing from this day forward goes a long way to the redemption of self respect and the respect of others. I can admire anyone who will stand tall and say “I was wrong, I lied, I got caught and now I have learned my lesson”…and then begin being an honorable person. How I wish they would see this and even now start doing the right thing in their lives. If all the posers were gone tomorrow, it would not hurt my feelings at all to see TAH shift to a sight devoting full time to honoring true veterans and heroes and keeping us up to date on the latest political news for veterans and retirees. Don’t think this will ever happen but…a guy can hope.

Sam Naomi

Make sure you leave my space open, I have a few more to add to our list of Phonys. Good job Jonn, lets keep it going.


You forgot to mention that when they post their threats, excuses and eventual admission of being a poser, SPELL CHECK is your friend! We find it rather amusing that when someone comes on the board disparaging us, letting us know how intellectually superior they are while spelling educated wrong, we are not intimidated. Yeah, I am talking to you Paulie Boy.


letting us know how intellectually superior they are while spelling educated wrong, we are not intimidated.

So true! All — if not, then 99.99% (unscientific survey)– of us have at minimum a high school education. Many have Baccalaureate Degrees, Master Degrees, Medical Degrees; I’ll bet a few have a PhD. Some are licensed nurses, lawyers, doctors, and scientists. Some still work in the government at upper civil service grades of GS-13 (Lt. Col level) through GS-15 (Colonel); two work for NASA. Others still work in their former field for Other Government Agencies. I have found the members of TAH to be highly educated and well-spoken; however, they are very capable of bringing the talk down to a level at which the offender can understand (however, proper grammar and punctuation will normally be used).

So, phony soldier or “enhanced” soldier, do not try to intimate that you have a better education than we.



Forgot to add ST (Scientific/Professional) and SES (Senior Executive Service) … I’ll bet some TAH members/readers are in these categories — which are flag officer equivalents.



Awesome Post Hack !! Best one ever. I will be using this link on a few of the news sites where we are keeping the heat on! Especially Church and Banks !!!


Well done, Hack. Hay! Does this mean I can’t pack my broom, flat shovel, mop and bucket around no more?


Thank you Jonn, Hack, and everyone else in the history of the world for making this the proudest…

Oh, wait. Wrong channel.

Great post, though, Jonn.


I think that the tourney should be conducted more like the Academy Awards instead of the NCAA brackets. We could have categories that would include Most Outragous Excuse, Largest Collection Of Sock Puppet Defenders, Most Extensive Criminal Record, Quickest Poser To Break 1000 Comments, and of course, Most Ridiculous Cease & Desist Order From An Attorney. For that last award, I would have to nominate the real estate lawyer. Getting a real estate lawyer to handle your beef with TAH is like calling a plumber for appendicitis.



taco bell

Jonn, Hope you don’t mind me posting this whole thing over at my site…this is just beautiful.

Combat Historian

Scumbag posers will never learn, but it would be nice if they did…

Green Thumb



Green Thumb


Best Threat of Bodily Harm, Most Money Stolen, Longest Employment Based On False Claims, Most Children Molested, Best False 201 File Tattoos…the list is endless.


And also, poseurs, please keep in mind these little tidbits as well:

Many of us here are veterans, including senior NCO’s and officers, and we represent all branches of service. If one of us doesn’t know whether something is BS or not, chances are pretty good someone else here does (right, Monkress?)

We network. People might not post here, but we have a net that is cast far and wide. Some of the communities you pretend to be a part of are incredibly small, and to claim to be part of them when you are not is simply not going to hold up under scrutiny.

We are everywhere. Again, your assumption that you are far away enough from the reach of those who would expose you is a tragically incorrect one. The media, while sometimes lazy, HATES to be played for fools. And the Internet, media, and all the tools you use to spread your false claims will be used to spread the truth. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and there are no places you can hide–none.

In short, there are two types of phonies: those who have been caught, and those who will be.

Mr Blue

A few other bits of advice that, personally, I kind of enjoy when some illegitimate spawn of a rat ignores. But, in a kind and merciful spirit, I offer this advice:

-Don’t write defenses of your actions while drunk. Despite what one’s booze addled brain is projecting, the demon rum is not making you more eloquent.

-Don’t make predictions of the imminent demise of this site. You look like even more of a loser when you promise something you can’t deliver.

-Writing out laughter is just lame. It makes you look like the creepy drunk old guy with no indoor volume.

-Sockpuppets stink.


Hear hear…*golf clap* .VERY well done.

Retired Master

Great advice to posers, should be posted prominatley (sp) on the site so posers and shit/douche bags are well aware of the wrath that stupidity can bring.


Wow! Great post, Jonn. Covers all the bases.
Bedwetters beware!

A Proud Infidel

DAMN good post, Jonn! I also vote for moving this to the top of the page!

Old Man

Comment: Re Jodi Rives Meier; teaching vets is hard Jonn Lilyea | March 15, 2014 | 314 Comments Everyone, not just you, are calling the institution, “Butte College” when it is “Butte Community College.” That is, at best, a school that offers an associate degree, perhaps less. The qualifications for a part time instructor are meager compared to a college or university. BTW, the ‘lady’s’ FB page does not seem to have all of her previous quotations on it any longer. That said, she would appear to be an activist for trans-gender issues but takes little responsibility for her veteran students that she has a great deal to say about without proofs.


Open fb to view image of Mr. Toney. This photo busts him. Tell me what is wrong with the photo? I see it. I know you will.

Amy Travaglini

Giggling uncontrollably at “We also know that your identity wasn’t stolen when we have pictures of you wearing a uniform, unless the identity thief also stole your face.” Somebody sole my face once. That fckn sucked. Wink, wink. You’re a good and noble man, Jonn Lilyea. Yessirree, good and noble.


>>You should also refrain from death and/or physical threats, too. I sleep with a .45 by my bed, I have another .45 in my workspace and I carry a .357 Magnum on my hip at all times.<<

I've never understood the thought process behind this.

A fake servicemember is going to physically threaten a REAL servicemember who might have seen combat, etc.

Logic is never their strong suit, is it?

Todd B Drachman

OK This is the first post i have done here…Been trolling this site for the past few months…awesome!!! I am prior Army 68-77 MOS 67N20…Vietnam 69-70 Tay Ninh USAF 83-86 C141 ground crew…USN 2001-2007 Rate:CE2 eabees….anyway… great job… was at Bragg 70 77 when i derosed from RVN was in C trp 1/17th Cav…i was a dummy shoulda stayed in for the whole shebang then…. Have Colon and prostate cancer getting treatment at the VA…Been in NC since 70 originally from Cos Cob CT Take care everyone…..


I know you say you have the right to post what you want,, but many, many truths have been posted on your site, that you won’t put on there, because it would cost you MONEY THROUGH DONATIONS!,, It is a PROVEN FACT, you have many problems about yourself, that you think gives YOU the right to destroy people on your website!,, we just want to give a WARNING TO YOU!,, God sees all, he see’s you and what you are doing, read your Bible, if you own one!,,You’re place in Hell is guaranteed! You’re website is just by what people put on it, fake pictures, fake lies, people that have a grudge about other people,because they are LOOSERS!,, using your website to DESTROY OTHER PEOPLE!,, Nothing you publish is FACT!,,enjoy HELL, that IS your destiny!

Green Thumb

Bob “The Maggot” Hay.



Oh, for Pete’s sake! I was going to create a completely different bad guy for my women’s SEAL Team to tackle, and let this jackass go, but by golly, Bobbydan Christina Hay, you have resurrected the evil cloned twin sister of my other villain.

You are dumber than a box of dried garden soil. Give it up and quite acting like a spoiled snotty little brat. At your age, that makes you an idiot.

3/17 Air Cav

Listen up Bumbling Bobbie! The proven fact you speak of is you being a lying, cheating, embellisher! Stay hiding behind that bible of yours Bobbie.

What was your service time again? Four/five weeks? Your a real piece of work! Dumbass!

AskFor Peace

So funny. A post about how hateful replies are always full of poor grammar and misspellings. As if to prove your point…and from a bible thumper no less.

Robert Gee

I am a Brit, ex squaddie too. I don’t claim much aside from 2 years in N Ireland. ’69 to ’72. Our Facebook page “Soldiers against Scammers” posts the most deserving nonces from time to time. Scammers come from everywhere. Thanks for the Copyright and Fair Use information as we get our share of rubbish sent to us. Just remember the ones who bleat loudest are pussies or lambs.
“if you didn’t serve, but you want to wear that which other have given their lives and their youth to earn, go sign on the line. Three years of honorary military service is going to be a lot easier than hiding from the pitchfork brigade for a lifetime.”
Some of them tried and lasted a few weeks but the military decided if you would want them by you anyway. Earning medals and badges is a lot tougher than buying them on Ebay.

Niall Marshall

In Canada, presenting yourself as an active or retired member of the armed forces IS a criminal act.

Pog Mo Thoin

This cat Jarrett Gimbl is as bad as it gets. I almost caved into his line of horsesh*t until a patron at a pub informed me of his scam here in Coral Springs Florida. He just wont quit…Good Job John, keep up the good work. Ill get with you in the near future when I grab more intel on this ass clown…


Keep up the great work you do John.
If it wasn’t for you I would have fallen prey to a guy saying he was Captain Robert Ramon Miller. You told me important things to watch out for and luckily I saved all these photos. One photo showed a retirement check but I caught the year 2011. And it said void after 90 days. Also his photos were all photoshopped. His certificate of retirement was fake too. He gets you on Skype so you can’t trace him. Smooth phony soldier out to rip ladies off!!!