Why legit Veterans can turn my stomach and a smugnorance gives me gas.

| July 9, 2019 | 107 Comments

I toiled with how to approach this particular case for some time now.  Almost no day goes by that we don’t get contacted to confirm the service of a veteran.

This case was made impossibly complicated by veterans that should have known better in the first place.   We spent far too much time verifying what should have been done by these veterans and a Veteran organization long ago.

If an award is not in your official records, don’t make claim to it.

If an award is supposed to be in your records, get off your ass and file a DD-215 and have them corrected or don’t make claim to it.

If you run a Veteran Organization, require an SF-180 to verify member service.

If you run a Veteran Organization and you fail to meet the minimum due diligence of verifying your members … do not become SMUGNORANT when others have to do your job.

Do not get all piously arrogant and threaten to contact the National Personnel Records Center to find out how we got one of your members records when you should have contacted them long ago to verify those records in the first place.

One more bit of advice for those holding an office of some bloviated importance in an organization, at least have the courtesy to say Thank You when we have to clean up your mess.

BACKGROUND

James Edward Weathers comes to us from Sierra Vista, Arizona but is originally from Arkansas. He frequently goes by “Eddie.” Weathers is 49 years old as of July 2019.

Weathers is the Commander of Chapter 572 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in Sierra Vista, Arizona and has been for several years.

James ‘Eddie’ Weathers – MOPH Chapter 572

The following story was submitted to us but we do not think this account of what happened is in dispute:

On *May 23rd 2019, Mr. Weathers and a crew were manning a MOPH table and collecting donations outside Fry’s Supermarket in Sierra Vista, AZ.

* Mr. Weathers claims that the date is May 24th 2019. We don’t think the date matters to a large degree, nor is it in dispute, but we note the difference.

Mr. Donald Childs, also a veteran, approached the table and asked or was told by Mr. Weathers that Mr. Weathers had four (4) Purple Hearts. Mr. Childs was taken aback and exclaimed that it was a lot and that he’d like to see Mr. Weathers’ DD-214.

The rest is a little unclear, but there was some angst between the two men and this anger led to a physical altercation.

It has been reported that Mr. Childs was wearing a Silver Star medal, three (3) Bronze Star Medals w/”V”s and two (2) Purple Hearts as opposed to a single Purple Heart with an oak leaf cluster that also symbolizes two (2) Purple Hearts.

It should be emphasized that Mr. Childs was not and never was the subject of our investigation.

Don Childs – Silver Star

Don Childs – Medals

The men were separated and Fry’s store manager is aware of the incident but nobody believes that the police got involved.

Mr. Weathers made people aware of the incident and Mr. Childs contacted Military Phony.

ARIZONA STATE ADJUTANT

We are unsure how this came about, nor do we know who contacted him first, but the Adjutant, Department of Arizona, Military Order of the Purple Heart – Mr. Larry Leighton – was contacted about an alleged Stolen Valor complaint.

Larry Leighton

Emails starting going around and we spoke with Mr. Leighton directly.

As we understand it, there was a DD-214 that was provided to Mr. Leighton, then to Mr. Childs, and subsequently to us that stated that Mr. Weathers did indeed have FOUR Purple Hearts recorded on a DD-214.

Awards Section of DD-214 – From Mr. Childs

Although this was useful information, it did not put the matter to rest. As investigators, we have to establish a clean chain-of-custody to acquire what we term “official military records.” This particular document had passed through several people’s hands and there was no guarantee of its authenticity. This is a matter of practice and good policy and we do this in all cases from informants unknown to us.

Mr. Leighton pointed out that it was stamped by the Cochise County Courthouse (Bottom of page 2) and that should speak for it being official.

Stamp / Date of submission by Cochise County Courthouse

This document copy was faded and scratchy, but the date appeared to be May (05) of 2012. Can’t quite make out the exact day.

We may have caused some confusion by use of the term “official military documents” and we went on to explain that by “official” we mean directly from the National Archives with no intermediate handling of it.

. . . . .

ACTIONS CONDUCTED BY MILITARY PHONIES

Mr. Weathers’ military records were ordered through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Prior to his service in the US Army, he had served in the US Marine Corps.

. . . . .

FOIA RESULTS – SELECTED

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MANPOWER DATA CENTER (DoDMDC / SCRA)

This database did not show Weathers’ service in the United States Marine Corps. While it is generally reliable, results can only offer confirmation in the positive. This means that if there is a positive result, great. If there is no result, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t serve. This data is used as a pointer to establish the range of service dates, to help in deciding which government organization would hold a members records.

DoD Manpower Data Center results – 1988-92 (Labeled) US Army Service

The above result is incorrect. This was the period in which Weathers was in the Marine Corps vs. the Army. This database apparently does not do too well with individuals that have served in different services, although strangely enough it got the dates right.

DoD Manpower Data Center results – 1993-2012 US Army Service

Again, not elegant but the DoDMDC does provide a rough order of magnitude and gives a quick look at when the individual may have served.

NATIONAL PERSONNEL RECORDS CENTER (NPRC)

These are clipped and condensed information from the Award section of the NA FORM 13164, which is a NPRC Summary Sheet. As a general rule, the NPRC does not provide a redacted DD-214, although on rare occassions they do. Instead, they provide a Summary Sheet that has information transcribed from various parts of the military record, but primarily from the DD-214. The red is our annotations, and the information has been tucked tighter to save space in its presentation, but is unaltered.

Awards Sections from US Army & USMC Summary Sheets

Since the Summary Sheet lists two (2) Purple Hearts, we tried to account for a highly unlikely event of transcriber error so asked the NPRC what it states for the Purple Heart award in the DD-214 Awards section. We compared them top/bottom and annotated in red.

Comparison of DD-214 awards through Mr. Weathers/Mr. Leighton/Mr. Childs and awards through DD-214 supplied by NPRC

The ‘Decorations & Awards’ section was virtually identical right down to the slashes, line breaks, spacing, and character flaws – all except the ‘2ND’ vs. ‘4TH’ award of the Purple Heart. This is even more pronounced when one is templated over the other. Slight variance due to rotational difference.

SECTION 13 – Two Documents Templated on top of each other

The above image was annotated in red but here is the original document supplied by NPRC from a request focused on the number of Purple Heart awards.

NPRC response to an accurate recording of Purple Heart Awards

FOIA RESULTS – COMPLETE

FOIA results from NPRC

Here is Weathers’ Combat Action Ribbon (CAR) from Operation Desert Storm.

Weathers – Combat Action Ribbon – USMC

As with the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center, the results of the USMC CAR / HSM database is not 100% reliable. In this case it is for Weathers’ CAR.

. . . . .

DISCUSSION and SUMMARY

PHOTOS AND ARTICLES

Although now a moot point for reasons we will explain very soon, we tried to pinpoint when there were claims of four Purple Hearts.

Mr. Weathers, by nature of his generous work with the community of Sierra Vista AZ has been featured in the local newspapers.

This article/photo, with a digital photo placed beside it for clarity, shows then SFC Weathers with a Purple Heart and one oak leaf cluster – which designates two Purple Heart awards. This is dated 21 November 2010.

Arizona Daily News – November 21, 2010

Weathers’ got out of the Army on 17 May 2012.

And his assigments from 21 November 2010 (article/photo) to 17 May 2012 seem to indicate that he was in CONUS (Continential United States vs. OCONUS which is Outside the Continential United States). His assignments show that he was stationed at “USA GARRISON FT HUACHU” from April 21, 2010 (20100421) until April 18, 2011 (20110418) when he was then stationed at “WT CO A WARRIORS FT AZ” where his duty title was designated to be “WARRIOR IN TRANSITION.”

FOIA Results – Assignments

The date of end of service is official, but usually a member gets “terminal leave” and is allowed to use up any leave that they have not used. This may explain a date on the Cochise County Courthouse stamp that appears to be 07 May 2012 or some early date in May prior to Weathers’ official release date. The exact day is hard to read.

The point here is that it would be near impossible to earn a Purple Heart at these CONUS duty stations unless there was a terrorist attack on base. Purple Hearts were awarded for the Fort Hood Texas and Chattanooga Tennessee Reserve Center shootings. That said, there would be a possibility of two previous Purple Heart awards catching up to him.

Then, there are several photos of Mr. Weathers that clearly show him wearing a Purple Heart with a single Oak Leaf Cluster which designates two awards.

This article, dated August 2017 also shows the Purple Heart medal with one Oak Leaf cluster.

https://www.myheraldreview.com/news/in-their-honor/article_c535c244-7fcc-11e7-857c-0f5c0ac566a3.html

MOPH CHAPTER 572 WEBSITE

On their “Speak Your Mind / Email Us” section of the MOPH Chapter 572 website, you can fill out the form but the CAPCHA graphic is broken at the bottom so one can never send it.
http://www.moph572.org/Comment_Query.php

CHAPTER 572 JUDGE ADVOCATE and SENIOR VICE COMMANDER

An email was sent to all officers, but specifically to their Judge Advocate who is listed as James Hebert.

Mr. Hebert,
I am looking to get confirmation on something.
I have heard that the Commander of MOPH Ch. 572, James “Eddie” Weathers, has been awarded 4 (four) Purple Heart medals for wounds in combat.
Can you or anyone at your organization confirm that is indeed the case?
Thank you.

This was Mr. Hebert’s reply…

Joseph Hebert: “That is indeed true.  Commander Weather’s is a 4 time purple heart recipient.”

Thinking we have found someone non-partial, and if not an attorney was at least functioning as one… we provided evidence of the four vs. two Purple Heart question. We thought, but later realized we thought incorrectly, that Mr. Hebert would be someone that could do some kind of internal review or investigation. We were wrong. Hours later he seemed to backtrack…

Sir,

I am not in a position to state on the record the military career or decoration of another soldier. Entrance into the Military Order of the Purple only requires the recipient be awarded the Purple Heart on one occasion for lifetime membership. Not every time a soldier is wounded in combat zone, do they receive the Purple Heart. Mr. Weathers and Mr. Childs had an altercation at a grocery store in the greater Sierra Vista AZ area and I believe this entire matter is an attempt to smear another’s service record in the public eye. Mr. Weathers has never made a public appearance wearing more than “2” Purple Heart medals or stated on the record anything other than that. What two soldiers say to one another in the heat of the moment or under stress, may differ when cooler heads prevail in recollection. Mr. Weathers serves in a capacity as the Commander of the Carrol M. Fyffe Memorial Chapter 572 here in Sierra Vista, AZ and has never brought discredit or provided anything but the utmost best in his leadership of the local Order. Also I wonder what agenda this is pursuing, as he has not claimed an award that is not listed on either DD-214 in question and he has never misrepresented himself, the United States Military, or the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

V/R,

Joseph Hebert

So, that brought that to a close quickly, but it also confirmed that people that are around Mr. Weathers are under the impression that he has four Purple Hearts. However, now distinctions are being made about what constitutes the award of the Purple Heart.

We asked Mr. Hebert if he was an attorney in his position as Judge Advocate, or if he felt any obligation to determine if a DD-214 had been submitted for membership that may have an incorrect number of Purple Hearts on it. He said that the Judge Advocate position is an old one that he held and he now holds the title of Sr Senior Vice Commander of Chapter 572. Yet, he is currently listed as the Judge Advocate:

As well as being listed as the Chapter 572 Adjutant…

The reason for pointing this out is that it seemed that Joseph Hebert was the correct individual to go through with our questions.

We again asked Mr. Hebert if he was an attorney in his position as Judge Advocate, or if he felt any obligation to determine if a DD-214 had been submitted for membership that may have an incorrect number of Purple Hearts on it? This was his response…

Joseph Hebert: I am done talking with you. I request that you no longer contact me regarding this manner.

Emails sent to the MOPH Chapter 572 officers bounce as undeliverable, including the SrVCmdr@moph572.org which presumably is that of Mr. Hebert in his new role. We may have either been blocked or it is broken just as their feedback page is. We also get a bounce/undeliverable message with the Commander@moph572.org and don’t know why that is.

EDDIE WEATHERS

To his credit, Eddie Weathers got back with us. We will not post the conversation for sake of length and out of respect. We will paraphrase these conversations with some quotes at the risk of getting them wrong, but we have the original correspondence should there be any dispute about our characterization.

When we first attempted to contact Mr. Weathers late June 2019, Mr. Larry Leighton relayed to us that Mr. Weathers was out of town until July 3rd and would respond as well as provide a clearer copy of the DD-214.

We waited until beyond July 4th as to not bother Mr. Weathers on a holiday, especially the 4th of July.

We sent another email on Friday 5th July. Mr. Weathers responded but stated that he needed another 3 or 4 days to address this issue.

We replied saying respectfully that we wanted to know how many Purple Heart medals he was awarded. We said that a simple keystroke of “4” or “2” was sufficient and we could not fully understand how 3 days was the time needed to provide an answer to this question.

Mr. Weathers responded again and explained that the answer would not be captured in a single keystroke. He went on to explain the difference, in his words, of “earned” vs. “awarded.” For this I will quote him.

As to your question of what I ‘claim:’ Throughout my career that I blessed to serve this great Nation, I have only worn or claimed what I felt I had earned vs. been awarded.
I ‘earned’ two Purple Hearts, but was also wounded on two other occasions. And (using the dates you provided earlier) I was wounded in an IED strike on JULY (not June) 26, 2006 in which I ‘earned’ the legit award of a Purple Heart Medal, and again later on September 15-16, 2006 by direct fire (GSW) and RPG shrapnel.
So, in essence to your ‘simple key stroke’ answer. Throughout my career from 1987 to 2012, I was ‘wounded’ (with multiple wounds each time) on four different occasions and I EARNED two Purple Heart Medals.

NOTE: We explained that the dates we provided for his two awarded Purple Hearts were obtained from an article in the Sierra Vista Herald dated August 17, 2017.We simply went by what was printed.

Clip from Sierra Vista Herald stating Mr. Weathers’ date he was wounded

We replied and said although we understand and can appreciate his characterization of “earned” vs. “awarded” – his very organization would deny membership if someone applied with no supportive documentation but “felt” strongly that they “earned” a Purple Heart.

SIDENOTE: The “KMA Purple Heart”

During these discussions we mentioned stories we have heard from other individuals. There is the one angle where many veterans claim that “I was going to get the Purple Heart but I told them to shove it up their ass” or the “Kiss My Ass (KMA) Purple Heart” variation of this same story. They will usually go on to state a noble reason why they refused a Purple Heart and it is usually because their buddies were more severely wounded and even killed.

If this indeed happened, then it is our opinion that they got the value from their nobility at that moment in time so why speak about it 20-50 years later? It seems like it is a way to say that they rate the Purple Heart but it was never awarded and therefore does not show up on their records. This is not noble. If one did not want it, why do they feel the need to talk about it beyond the date they allegedly refused the award?

The “KMA Purple Heart” story does not apply to Mr. Weathers other than the similar notion that one has a story to explain an undocumented Purple Heart vs. having it officially recorded in their military records.

Doug Sterner, who wrote a book called “Restoring Valor: One Couple’s Mission to Expose Fraudulent War Heroes and Protect America’s Military Awards System” is now spending his time recording valor medals for Military Times says that “medals are meant to bestowed, not taken.”

There was some more back and forth but in the end Mr. Weathers said he wanted to discuss this matter with his wife and after that discussion he would be writing up a statement that he would distribute to everybody.

We did not get the clearer version of the DD-214 provided to Mr. Larry Leighton, but we did not press further. We sensed that Mr. Weathers was being frank about the situation and recognized the need to address it formally.

DONATIONS

We want to state in the way of full disclosure that Don Childs donated money to Military Phony. Although we appreciate donations, they are not necessary when we work a case. It has no bearing on whether we publish a case or not. Often, we do not publish if the facts take us to that place. This was explained to Mr. Childs and he said that his purpose was due to him being mindful and appreciative of the amount of research that we were doing and the time that we spent on the case.

We do require donations for the military verification efforts that we do. This involves family members wanting service verification for a loved one that has passed on or for building shadow boxes for a display. These are things that we do not publish. We inform people that they can order records themselves for free, but if they wish us to order them we try and add value by making specific requests for exact documents as well as provide brief interpretations of the records since the abreviations and cryptic nature of “clerk-speak” can prove daunting.

The stolen valor cases that we work and publish are considered valuable to the public and we would never charge for.

DON CHILDS

Don Childs is an interesting individual and his situation warranted diving further into due to Mr. Weathers asking about the Silver Star he was wearing in May 2019.

Don Childs on far right. Not sure of date or medals.

Childs is easily found on the internet and books due to his participation in the Battle of Duc Lap in Vietnam. This was an intense and horrendous battle and if you are not familiar with it, it is worth reading about.

Childs’ story appeared in the book “Unlikely Warriors” by authors Lonnie M. Long  and Gary B. Blackburn. In this book, a photo appeared on page 280 that was captioned as Don Childs being awarded the Silver Star for the battle. Childs is the tall man being awarded the medal in the photo.

But, this photo was discovered in a book by James L. Gilbert titled “The Most Secret War – Army Signals Intelligence in Vietnam” which is out of print and the reason it is listed on Amazon for over $900. It is archived on line so you don’t have to pay the $900+.
https://archive.org/details/mostsecretwararm00fort

This photo incorrectly labels Childs as Hall, but also claims it is a Bronze Star Medal that is being awarded. Does the inaccurate label in the photo discount it all the way around?

The authors of “Unlikely Warriors” were tracked down and asked about this photo. They then asked Don Childs for his permission to address questions about their book and the photos. Don agreed.

Also, Don Childs did not have a Silver Star in his official military records.

NPRC FOIA Results – Summary Sheet – Don Childs
NPRC FOIA Results – Assignments – Don Childs

We are still waiting to hear back from the authors about the Silver Star ceremony photo but Don gave an explanation as to why the Silver Star did not appear in his records.

To paraphrase, the award was in December 1968 and he got out in September 1968. He did not care that much about it appearing in his records so never pursued getting it corrected. He offered these documents to us:

The following two newspaper accounts are consistent with his claim that the award caught up to him later, but did not catch up to his military records.

The actual Silver Star citation was destroyed in a house fire, but clips of it can be read in the Tucson Daily Citizen article above.

At this point it all became a little confusing to us what direction we were taking. Don Childs was never the subject of any investigation, but we felt the overall story of one highly decorated veteran challenging another highly decorated veteran would prove to be interesting. That is the only reason we were pursing it.

We’ll leave it right there as far as Mr. Childs, but would like to see him get his official record corrected if he is going to wear the Silver Star pinned to his clothing. We will even help him fill out the necessary paperwork.

The bottom line for Mr. Childs is: he has not been and is not being accused of Stolen Valor. Although ultimately it will prove difficult to determine, the facts point to him appearing to rate all of the medals he claims, including the Silver Star.

INACCURACIES AND BLAME

To return to the original premise of this article – it is challenging to get useful evidence about one’s military claims. This involves establishing a clean chain of custody and lots of research… bucu.

We don’t know if there is a smoking gun as far as evidence is concerned, but there is plenty of blame to go around.

We’ll start with ourselves…

Military Phony — In an email, we mentioned to Mr. Childs on a preliminary sweep that we did not see military service in the Marine Corps for Mr. Weathers. This is because the DoD Manpower Database mislabled his Marine Corps service as Army. Although a true statement i.e. that we did not see any Marine Corps service – this was never intended to go out since it is predecisional discovery. This got back to Mr. Weathers and we explained it was never meant for the public and was not an accusation, but a statement of fact. Later, the NPRC results confirmed his military service with the Marine Corps. We need to be careful with what we say to people in private discussions, as they may leak out and have unintended consequences. Mr. Weathers seemed to accept our explanation.

Mr. Childs — We consider ourselves professionals in the field of stolen valor. As such, we do not advocate calling someone out without all the facts. However, these are situations where military experiences and claims are very personal with many having lost buddies in war. That underscores our point, however – passion may not be the best guide and can have a situation quickly elevate out of hand. In the end it appears Mr. Childs’ hunch was probably correct about the amount of Purple Hearts, but assumptions are not the best guide.

Also, Mr. Childs has provided us proof that he is making steps toward correcting his military records to accurately account for the Silver Star award.

Mr. Weathers — There is some official paperwork inconsistency that probably needs cleared up. Mr. Weathers has promised to address all of this in a formal way soon. At the end of this when the fog is lifted – according to statements by Mr. Larry Leighton there apparently exists a DD-214 in the Cochise County Courthouse that says that Mr. Weathers has 4 awards of the Purple Heart. This is a federal document and if there was any alteration to it, that needs to be investigated and light brought to it. As a MOPH Chapter Commander, Weathers would seem obligated to either lead or appoint someone independently to look into this in order to align himself with the National MOPH organization. From the National MOPH website:

[NOTE: After this was posted, Mr. Weathers later claimed that the DD-214 at the Cochise County Courthouse was not altered and correctly lists two (2) awards of the Purple Heart. Mr. Weathers futher claims that a DD-214 was altered for the single purpose of supplying it to Mr. Childs with a designation of four (4) awards in order to settle their dispute about the number of Purple Hearts awarded.]

Then, to those individuals that disputed the authenticity of the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), we would encourage anyone to obtain records directly to establish a clean chain of custody. The National MOPH endorses the NPRC for all applications.

Everyone – Please do not claim medals that you either did not earn or are not supported in your official military records. There will be embarrasment over this if someone challenges you or reports you.

SUMMARY

We very rarely do commentary beyond presenting the facts of a case. In this case, because it is unique, we wish to provide an op-ed summary.

The non-veteran general public may not really fully understand this back and forth over what some have asked “what’s the big deal over a little bit of metal and cloth?”

They may not understand that this is how we veterans behave in a world that no longer sees rank on someone’s sleeve. This immediacy is now gone for those of us that left the service. Instead, we tend to exchange small bits of our history in order to establish rank or acceptance – who had it bad, who had it worse. Jungle warfare is different than desert warfare, and both are different that urban fighting. Who was a POG (People Other than Grunts) and who was in “the suck.”

At the end of our discovery process, these men – Mr. Childs and Mr. Weathers – were both highly distinguished combat veterans and deserving of our respect.

If you have not read about the battle of Duc Lap in Vietnam it is something you should set aside time to read. The amount of casualties sustained was horrendous. Back then, one could say you at least you knew your enemy was. Dealing with IEDs takes its toll on your psyche, so even riding along a highway is not without its peril. I could go on…

These men should be remembered for their sacrifice and heroics on battlefields in a faraway land and not for some confrontation in front of a Fry’s supermarket – with no disrespect meant to Fry’s.

Call me an idealist – but perhaps some business in the Sierra Vista area will sponsor a lunch for the both of these gentlemen and give them each a plus one. This would allow them to spend a few minutes around each other and talk a little bit. Maybe they will find out they are more alike than different.

What I find interesting is when they talk about the bond from combat, the “Band of Brothers” effect, it is not immediate and is probably specific to whom one served with.

If civilians still have a difficult time understanding what all the fuss is about, please try and appreciate that the experiences that each of these men had were uniquely special to them and cannot be expressed adequately by a medal on their chest.

They each have suffered great loss. They recall men they served with that never had a full life, perhaps never got married or had children.

We probably wouldn’t have normally published this case, because we felt that there were enough minor flaws in the evidence to go around. Then again, there were enough questions that it warranted bringing some light onto it.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. It is our hope that some good will come of all of this.

In the end, we felt it was a good case to illustrate the complexities that go into verifying someone’s military service.

. . . . .

PHOTOS

. . . . .

SOCIAL MEDIA

(MOPH – CH 572) FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/MOPH572/

 

 

Category: Dumbass Bullshit

Comments (107)

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    • SFC D says:

      Saw that in the Herald this morning, made for interesting pre-work reading. You’re now a local celebrity, Dave! Great work.

    • MoreRightRudder says:

      Wow, I know Larry Leighton personally. I have met Mr. Weathers before at the MOPH Shooting Competition but never knew about a debate of how many PHs he had or anything. Nice enough guy. I mean, if you have 2 PHs why do you NEED to tell people you have 4. Ridiculous.

  1. Outcast says:

    Dave Hardin, any time you want you can check my records and you will find the same that I found when I requested mine. 2-DD-214’s and lots of info for first enlistment and very little of second. I went through my paperwork that I have had here for many years and found several schools not listed, very little other training or other paperwork related to second enlistment. Yes we copied a lot of what I have and sent it to them as well as showing some were misspelling as to last name on some but still same ID no’s and SSN. Am not holding my breath as to any corrections or replies as has been several months since was sent.

    • Hondo says:

      Out of curiosity, where did you send the request for corrections?

      If memory serves, once an individual is no longer serving any request for correction to their records should go through one of the Boards for Correction of Military Records (BMCRs). They’re pretty good about considering such requests and directing that legitimate changes be made.

      One point: based on a few recent redacted decisions I’ve read, you may need copies of award orders now to get missing awards added vice simply the award certificates, at least for the Army’s BCMR. Apparently they finally got the word that award certificates can be faked; at least in theory, orders can be cross-referenced against other official records to determine whether they’re valid.

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      Seems to me each time I reenlisted I was given the draft DD Form 214 for the preceding four years to review for accuracy before it was finalized. Did you not receive the same courtesy or just didn’t care enough at the time to point out the mistakes.

      • cc senor says:

        Sometimes you just want to get out of Dodge and devil take the hindmost. in Jun ’68 all I wanted was to leave Ft Meade and get back to RVN and wouldn’t re-enlist unless I had PCS orders to that effect.

        Well, I re-enlisted and during out processing my re-enlistment papers got removed and set aside. You don’t need these, they told me. And so I left, hoping no one noticed my reporting date at Oakland was six days after my ETS.

        Fate smiled and I got back to the Big Red One. A couple of months later I got an urgent call to report to the division re-enlistment office, where I was told I wasn’t supposed to be in RVN.

        Luckily, division finance was next door and I told him to go check the voucher for my re-enlistment bonus. That calmed a lot of feathers and I was allowed to go back to work.

        My records now have a certificate in lieu of a DD 214 covering the period of my second enlistment (Jun 65 to Jun 68).

      • Peter the Bubblehead says:

        The only DD-214 I ever saw was the one prepared upon my separation at 10 years, and that was prepared with me sitting right next to the Personnelman to make sure what was being typed was accurate. Never had one when I re-enlisted.
        I served in the USN, so maybe they do it differently than the USA?

  2. STGCS Ret says:

    Holy Cow – Dave- I had no idea the amount of research, time, and energy that goes into these investigations. I go to the VA and I see all these guys and most of them claim to be special in some way. Even though my inner voice is screaming bullshit I try to find a way to disengage in any of these conversations and move on. I recently met a guy and at first I was buying the I was a Seal story he had a bunch of the things I look for in a conversation as correct but then he had to throw in the Seal team 6 crap and my inner voice started screaming at me. I ended the conversation and moved on. I don’t know how to call anyone out on these things and so I don’t it does frustrate me to no end though and now I see the picture that you go through on these investigations just blows me away. Thank you for what you do….

    • Hondo says:

      To be fair, I’m guessing this one was a bit more involved than most. (smile)

      But yeah: doing the job right often requires some serious effort and cross-checking.

    • Peter the Bubblehead says:

      I often find myself doing something similar.
      As a US Submarine Veteran in an area closely related to USS Thresher (particularly as the caretaker of the USS Thresher Memorial Parade Float) I am often approached by people who claim they knew (or were related to) someone lost aboard Thresher or were supposed to be aboard Thresher and assignments changed last moment, etc. I swear, if everyone who has approached me over the years were telling the truth, Thresher would have had a crew of nearly 500 and at least another 100 shipyard technicians aboard when it was lost at sea!
      Then, on top of that, all the people who claim they served in submarines in general, but whose memories are so bad they cannot recall the name or hull number of their qual boat!
      But I usually just change the subject and quickly disengage. It’s not worth causing a dispute.

      • NHSparky says:

        Living near PNSY, you get a few.

        One guy tried telling me he was on my first boat in Groton in the 70’s. Problem was, my boat was commissioned in 1983, transited the Panama Canal in 1984, and was hopeported almost the entire time in Pearl.

        My “oolie”? Asked him how many 4MCs the boat had. I got a puzzled look and a, “Uh, four?” That ended the conversation rather quickly.

        Thankfully you don’t run into many phony submariners or nukes.

  3. USMC Steve says:

    My question for shit agitator Childs, not knowing him, is why was he displaying an expert infantry badge versus a combat infantry badge, and why did he have two purple hearts displayed incorrectly. Not correct. Someone could easily have thought him to be a poser because he displayed the wrong shit and did it incorrectly. Before you hammer someone else you might want to have your shit squared away.

    • Daisy Cutter says:

      This is the unfortunate truth – there are no regulations for wearing medals on civilian attire. Perhaps Mr. Childs felt it was more pronounced to wear two PHs vs a single medal with one OLC.

      From everything I read, I believe he was awarded the Silver Star, two BSMs w/V, and two PHs.

      In the end, I agree with you. It is hard to make an argument that people should look past the thorns to see the rose. Recognize that the thorns get in the way of seeing the rose so don’t get upset if people read it incorrectly.

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      Steve, got to remember not all who served were/are professional soldiers who understand the rules. The older they (we) get our values change and we want people to know about our military accomplishments. Particularly in light of the US being at war for the last 20 years. He probably also did not have someone to take him aside and explain the difference.

    • SFC D says:

      I know more than a few 11B’s that hold their EIB in higher regard than their CIB. Maybe this is the case with Mr. Childs?

      • Interested says:

        That is true, however (and I not sure of current refs) but as of 2010, AR-670-1 clearly states that you are awarded more than one Group One Badge (CIB 3rd thru CIB 1st award, EIB, CAB) you are required to wear the highest badge within that category. e. g. A soldier has been awarded both the EIB and CIB2nd Award. And this came from a personal experience. In this particular instance the NCO truly felt he didn’t earn his first CIB as awarded, but definitely earned and then some for his CIB 2nd Award. Regs (at the time) clearly stated that only one (1) badge from Group One can be worn at one time and it must be the senior badge of that group. As in this case, this NCO didn’t feel like he had truly earned the first CIB, but because he had also been awarded the CIB 2nd award, he was required to wear the CIB 2nd award as it was the senior badge awarded within his Group One Badges. I’m not sure of the regulations from 1968, but in 2010 there was no choice. I know many Soldiers who were EIB holders and ended up being awarded a CAB because they were not serving as Infantrymen while in combat (meaning they were either assigned to aviation as additional door gunners, or assigned other duties) and would refuse to wear the CAB, but wore their EIB. Until the BDG CSM started jacking guys up once the Brigade reassembled.

      • timactual says:

        That may be true, but is the EIB or CIB awarded to non-infantry personnel? There’s no sign of an 11XX or 18XX MOS. And I note he was discharged as a “CPL”. Curious.

  4. 91A1P says:

    You don’t file a “DD-215” .. you get a DD-215 is response to a favorable finding from an organization like the the Board of Correction of Military Records or a Discharge Review Board. The form is either a DOD-149 (there is another form for those under 15 years from discharge). But don’t hold your breath if you were in the Army. The Army BCMR has not issued a decision in two years according to the web-site … https://boards.law.af.mil/ARMYboards.htm

  5. Anonymous says:

    What the heck, over? Why do these guys have to lie about anything?

  6. Claw says:

    Master records manipulator. One has to dive into the full NPRC results to see it. First job in the Army after being a Mortarman in the Marines was as a SIDPERS Clerk. He spent 10 years at Campbell with duty titles such as Excess personnel, Ammo NCO, NCO Academy Instructor, and Division Headquarters Company “Duty Soldier”.

    Don’t know how to explain the two CIBs and a CAB. I know I’ve been out of the Army for a long time, but I don’t think there ever was/is any system set up to convert a Navy/Marine Combat Action Ribbon to an Army Combat Infantrymans Badge. Could be wrong, though.

    Just one man’s humble opinion./s

    • Hondo says:

      You appear to be correct, Claw. See Q2 here:

      https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Combat%20Infantry%20Badge%20CIB

      That does cause me to question Weathers’ 2nd award of the CIB. Since Army policy is that you cannot convert a USMC CAR to a US Army CIB, I’d love to know where the first CIB came from. To have two CIBs, he’d need qualifying combat service as an Army Infantryman serving in an Army Infantry unit of Brigade size or smaller prior to April 1994. Based on the FOIA reply linked above, it appears all of his Army service was during or after 1997.

      FWIW: the Army doesn’t allow conversion of the CAR to the CAB, either. Instead, someone awarded a CAR during prior service with the USN/USMC/USCG remains eligible to wear the CAR on their ribbon rack. See the last entry in the following webpage:

      https://www.hrc.army.mil/content/Combat%20Action%20Badge%20CAB

      As I see it, one CIB and one CAB could be legit, both being earned while he was assigned to the 101st at Campbell. The CIB would have been earned between September 2001 and Dec 2003, inclusive; the CAB would have to have been earned while deployed after he became an intel analyst in Feb 2004.

      • RGR 4-78 says:

        So, you are saying, 1 CAR, 1 CIB and 1 CAB.
        Sounds like a George Thorogood song. 🙂

        You did good Dave Hardin, this had to have been a morass to navigate.

      • Mike W. says:

        LONG post to get through but I IMMEDIATELY was questioning 2 awards of the CIB.
        First Gulf War was NOT in the Army. Scratch that. 1997 in the Army – until 9/11 I don’t believe there was an eligible operation to be awarded the CIB. War on Terrorism- one only no matter how many times deployed.
        Not sure how this all ends….
        Mike W.
        Wolfhounds !

      • Claw says:

        Figured it out (at least in my mind) how it came about that Weathers got two CIBs. All it took was reading the Wiki entry on 2/187 IN, in particular the section where the entry said that some 2/187 troops redeploying to Fort Campbell from Operation Desert Focus (during the same time frame in 1997 that Weathers was working in the 2/187 S-1 Shop as a Personnel/Admin/SIDPERS Clerk) were awarded the AFEM/CIB/AAM/Army Superior Unit Award.

        I’ll let the readers of this comment draw their own conclusions.

        • PTBH says:

          This is an interesting discussion about the CIB.

          Please see my post as a new thread to allow for the supportive images to display properly.

          I do not take a position on this, but hopefully, Weathers’ actual claims about the CIB will help.

  7. Comm Center Rat says:

    So Weathers “earned” 2 PH but “awarded” himself 4 PH?

    In 1 yr 18 days of jungle warfare in VN former SP5 Childs’ earned the SS, BS w/ “V” (2), ARCOM w/ “V” (2), and PH (2). Childs probably could’ve and should’ve called out Weathers’ embellishment in a more dignified and private manner. However, kudos to Childs for bringing Weathers’ falsification to light and hastening his resignation as an MOPH chapter commander.

  8. Ret_25X says:

    When it comes to awards, decorations, etc….

    Deserve has nothing to do with it.

    Anyone who has been in the military should understand that central truth.

    What you may have “earned” in your mind means nothing to the big green machine.

    • USMC Steve says:

      True dat. If he got hit four times, and only turned in for two of them, he gets two Hearts. That is how many he has. Doesn’t matter how many times you get dinged, it only counts how many times Doc does the paperwork for ya. This dude gets two.

    • Peter the Bubblehead says:

      You are correct.
      Based on ever-changing award criteria, I should have “earned” two more NAMs than I actually wear. But because the pendulum swung to the stingy side (they were giving them away like candy one year, then hording them like gold the next) right before I was in a position where others were given them, I was only awarded one.
      I have been asked why I only have one NAM based on all the other awards I display, and my answer has always been, “Timing.”

    • timactual says:

      If he can’t produce medical records to back up those two additional “earned” PH then I call BS. If you didn’t need medical treatment then you didn’t “earn” a PH. Hell’s bells, even I (and a few thousand others) “earned” two or three additional PHs if you count boo-boos not requiring medical treatment.

  9. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Sadly the reality of how the public sees all this is spot on, most don’t give a shit. They see two guys who were veterans arguing in front of a supermarket over which guy is lying about his service…then it turns out both guys served with distinction and with an honorable discharge.

    The public then asks, what the fuck is wrong with these guys? Aren’t they all on the same team or not? Because the public doesn’t know what veterans know, and the public doesn’t want to know and doesn’t even care to know.

    Why does that matter? Because a public confrontation like that just reinforces the notion there’s something wrong with veterans because they will argue over something that doesn’t even matter to the public.

    When we complain about the Hollywood meme that vets are all filled with anger just waiting to go off, it’s behavior like this in a public parking lot that does little to dispel the notion that vets are just crazy fuckers who are unable to control their emotions after they are discharged. And you can bet your ass the paper and the public were told two veterans had an altercation in public over who had the bigger dick and who was lying.

    I’m not excusing the falsehoods, nor am I suggesting nothing be done. But this page and others have frequently warned about public confrontations. This is a great reason why, mostly because all it really does is reinforce negative perceptions of all who served.

    Just my two cents, probably not popular, possibly irrelevant but there it is.

    • USMC Steve says:

      Fully agree. That is one of many reasons I generally don’t bother with the Great Unwashed any more than I have to. A good many of them have no idea there is anyone but them on the planet, and have little appreciation for what has been done for them. In the end though, I don’t really need or expect their appreciation or acknowledgement. I did what I did and I am good with that, warts and all.

      I never call someone out in that manner, because it is an asshole way to do it, and I MIGHT just be wrong.

    • SFC D says:

      VOV, I agree 100%, but at the same time, I kinda wish I had been at Fry’s to see this. Hypocritical of me? Absolutely. Sometimes it’s fun to watch two dumbasses go at it.

    • Hate_me says:

      I sometimes wear a gym shirt that reads “Krasnovia Veteran.” Twice, I’ve had young joes try to call me out on it because they’ve never heard of a war between the US and Krasnovia.

      I could have explained, but both times I just told them I was fighting for the PDRK at the time. One asked if I was a mercenary, and the other said, “Oh, cool. I’ve heard it’s beautiful, there.” Neither was combat arms, and, alas, neither had an SNCO within earshot.

      • Claw says:

        Since you brought up Krasnovia, I have a question. I had heard that you PDRK’ers got your thrice daily ration of Borscht and Vodka in freeze-dried packets instead of igloo coolers and mermites. Is that true? If so, how much water did it take to rehydrate, say, the supper ration?/smile

        • Hate_me says:

          I just drank beer, mostly. No need to rehydrate (supper, that is). Our “soviet” warfighting wasn’t the most authentic.

          Though I’ve heard that the Louisiana Maneuvers actually required their OPFOR to learn Esperanto… I would love to see that kind of commitment from our CTCs, today.

          • Claw says:

            The only reason I was asking was that, no matter which location we were fighting the latest campaign, whether it be below the light line of Cottonwood Junction, snuggled up next to the Purgatoire River down at Pinon Canyon or shoveling Whale Shit, you Krapnovians always seemed to be able to infiltrate our perimeter (under the cover of darkness) and drain our water buffaloes. Sneaky Basterds./smile

      • Roh-Dog says:

        What happens in the box SHOULD stay in the box.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not to mention good ol’ Atropia these days. (Nooo, not Atropia… )

      • Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

        Now this made me laugh…when people ask me why it was called the Cold War I say because much of it was spent in Fort Drum in winter…nothing like sleeping outside in January in the late 70s…fucking awesome memories of freezing all the time….and folks don’t understand why I prefer a sailboat in July on Long Island Sound to camping in the woods these days…

  10. AW1Ed says:

    If there’s a poster child for not accosting people in the street over potential Stolen Valor, this would be it.

  11. Ex-PH2 says:

    In regard to someone giving Dave Hardin a gassy stomach that results in unpleasant end products all around, a simple solution of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of cold water, stirred thoroughly, will relieve some of that distress. And, Dave, you can drink half of it and leave the rest for later.

    In regard to these two individuals doing a chest thumping episode with each other before Dave Hardin was involved in it, I read the same stuff on the Mil Phony site and got the impression, from all that was posted there, that it included some amount of jealousy by both parties – one more than the other – and one of the two has a need to be the center of attention.

    I like getting attention, too. We all do. Getting some praise for doing something, however minor, is a reward in itself, as is a simple “Thanks for doing that”.

    However, as we’ve seen with many of these people who claim something and then get their undies in a bunch when they are found out, the threat of losing the spot in the spotlight is worse than being told they have overdrawn their bank accounts.

  12. Morgan Blake says:

    I had carefully read and reread this case over on Military Phony since they posted it on Sunday.

    I do have a question about Larry Leighton, the Arizona State Adjutant MOPH – why does he get a pass?

    I think there was one of three things that are possible, none of which speak well of Larry. I use the term “possible” because these are just speculations, not accusations. But one of them has to be true.

    1) LARRY KNEW AND WAS IN ON IT – If Weathers, as he claimed, freely told everyone he knew that he had two documented Purple Hearts and two that he felt he was entitled to, Larry would have had to have known that the DD-214 was a fraud when he passed it to Don Childs. Not good. After all, Larry pushed the narrative that the DD-214 was authentic, and this would be a problem if he knew it was not.

    2) LARRY DIDN’T KNOW AND DIDN’T BOTHER TO CONFIRM – The slight possibility exists that Larry did not know Weathers but immediately took his side for some odd reason. He passed on a document that should have questions addressed as to assuring its accuracy. To say it was authentic merely because it had a courthouse stamp on it is not only irresponsible, it is silly.

    3) LARRY WAS DUPED AS WELL, BUT NO FOLLOWUP BY HIM – As I understand it, Larry Leighton has known Eddie Weathers for years. He most likely was under the understanding that Weathers had four Purple Hearts or he would have been suspicious of the DD-214. So when he passed it to Don Childs, he was an unknowing participant. Yet, after the fact and after Larry discovers that the DD-214 was fraudulent and he was recruited into the scam, Larry appears perfectly willing to give Mr. Weathers a pass and shrug his shoulders as if to say “Oh well. Boys will be boys.”

    I do not see Larry Leighton as a responsible arbitrator of honor and integrity.

    This entire thing turns my stomach. I can respect people that want to organize and meet, but there are other veterans that are just as deserving of respect that choose a different path and do not band together. So I don’t have any issue with people getting jackets and hats and adorn it with “rank” and bling, but when they start treating it like a clubhouse in the trees and pull the rope up for anyone else that hasn’t joined it gives me a sour taste in my mouth. I believe this goes on unchecked in many of these organizations.

  13. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    This has got to be one of the most comprehensive investigative reports I have seen posted on TAH. Outstanding.
    Mr. Larry Leighton is an idiot and indicative of someone who should not be holding office in a veterans organization, but then again, look at many of the other losers we frequently encounter. Just so all know, anyone can get any document “file” stamped in any courthouse in the country. All that means is the document was presented to that county clerk to become part of the county’s official record. It has absolutely no application to the authenticity of the document.

  14. 5th/77th FA says:

    Great Post Dave. Thanks for bringing this one over from MP. I, too, read this fustercluck over there during this weekend past. Another example of the ninjas of MP and their work that is seldom praised or acknowledged. It is good that MP follows the principles of two men I admire, “The Bear” ie…”Do the harder right thing”, and Bobby Lee (Marse Robert) “Do your Duty in all things…you can never do more…you should never do less.”

    I see what I think are phony baloneys constantly. Unless it is screaming fake out loud (One services jacket with someone else’s rank insignia ect) I just keep walking. Really don’t want to be in the spotlight or draw any attention to myself. Way yonder more phonies out there than legit Vets. I, too, was given a copy of my pre DD 214 to check for errors before the final was typed up. It looked right so I signed off on it. I don’t know of a single person that was not given the same opportunity to do this.

    Y’all keep up the good work. It is much appreciated by more people than you realize.

  15. So Childs acted like a child going after Weathers who seemed to weather the stormy onslaught. I was awarded the NDSM and the AFEM (Dom Rep.) No GCM since I was a Kiddie Cruiser with just 3 years on active duty. So my record is clean and have nothing to sweat.

  16. Sparks says:

    I don’t know about you all, but my head hurts like hell.

    • Roh-Dog says:

      Yep. I think the TL; DR should be something like “sometimes even real-deal, highly decorated Warriors get dumb with having a pecker measuring contest in which everyone loses.”

  17. Stacy0311 says:

    Y’all would have a field day going through my records.
    USMC
    National Guard.
    34 years and counting.
    6 DD214s so far.

    USMC only issues a final DD214, Army gives one after each enlistment. Guard gives a new DD214 after every post deployment REFRAD. And that’s caused some issues with the VA already.

    I’m even having a hard time keeping up with all of my records.

    Current project is scanning all paper records so I have digital copies. I’m 25% complete on box 1 of 3

    • USMC Steve says:

      Lookout, a grunt working electronic stuff. Nothing good can come from that.

    • SFC D says:

      DD-214 for each enlistment? I served 24 years active duty, no break in service, multiple re-enlistments, I got one (1) DD-214 upon retirement. Can someone clarify this?

      • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

        If you served 24 years on active duty (as opposed to in a Reserve component) and did not receive a DD Form 214 at the end of each enlistment, then someone f’d up royally. Recommend you contact your state department of veterans affairs and get it corrected immediately. Do not waste time with a veterans organization service rep. Better still, go to the retirement services office of the nearest military installation. The reason you need the four-year DD 214’s is to ensure every award, every key assignment and every course/school is accurately documented. You never know when you may need that stuff.

        • SFC D says:

          I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that the same mistake was made 4 times (4 re-enlistments).

        • Claw says:

          They used to do it that way, getting a DD214 at each re-enlistment. I came back on active duty as a prior service member in November 1977, re-upped in May 1981 and re-upped again in May 1987, but only ever received one each DD214 covering that entire 14 year period when I retired in December 1991.

          • Hondo says:

            Correct. I think the “end of enlistment” DD214s went the way of the dodo when enlisted VOLINDEF status at (if I recall correctly) the 10 year point came into being. I think that occurred somewhere in the early 1990s early/mid 1980s.

          • J.R. Johnson says:

            Claw, yeah I only saw a DD-214 when I switched from Enlisted to officer (not when I re-enlisted. So I have one short one, and one long one at the end.

            • PFM says:

              I believe the only way you get multiple 214s in the Guard or Reserve now is when you go from title 32 to title 10 and back for deployments – I have 2 from RA service in the 80s and 90s and 3 from vacation trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

              • SSG Kane says:

                That’s my experience as well.

                I have a DD-214’s from:

                AIT in 1992

                BCT in 2007

                AIT in 2008

                Iraq 2009 (14 months)

                Afghanistan 2011 (10 months)

                Horn of Africa 2013 (3 months)

                I do not have one from 2015 for the 3 months I was in Germany (Hohenfels), I think because they just kept giving me 29 day orders, so I was never mobilized and so they could screw me on BAH.

          • Claw says:

            Performed a small amount of research into DD214s and found the following:

            The July 1965 edition of a DD214 was titled: Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer or Discharge.

            The 1 Nov 1972 edition changed the title to Report of Separation From Active Duty.

            The 1 July 1979 edition changed the title to Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty.

            The 1 Nov 1988 edition only changed the format, not the title.

            Long story short, (and make up your own mind) I’m thinking that re-up DD214s “went the way of the dodo” even before the early/mid 1980’s./smile

        • USMC Steve says:

          Not necessarily, at least not for the USMC. We were getting DD214’s for each discharge, then they stopped doing that, and they would issue a DD214 at the end of your active service, that covered everything. What we were told was that was done to stop guys with bad paper from using a previous good DD214 to get jobs with and such. Don’t know if it was true. My bet is that it cut down on admin expenses.

        • Mike W. says:

          I started in April 1981 and was in until January 1995 with 3 re-enlistments and ONLY 1 DD-214.
          Just ONE.
          Never EVER given the chance for a DD-214 during re-enlistments.

      • Stacy0311 says:

        Yep. Going through the process with the VA right now. I didn’t get a DD214 when I shipped over in 87 and then again in 91. So they’re only crediting me with the final 4 years of active duty.
        “Um, excuse me. Do you not see the block that says “Previous Active Service”?
        Would you like me to provide you with the DD4 and orders? Because I still have them”

      • Anonymous says:

        Got one every time I left active duty for some reason. If there was no break (i.e., going MOB to COADOS or back, one set of orders to another, etc. at the same place) then no DD Form 214.

      • Donald Patrick says:

        Obtain copies of your Official Personnel records. It will take you a very long while to obtain them. At home, gather any order and certificate you still have.

        Review and compare them to your DD 214. If you find errors, submit a request to have your DD 214 corrected. Hopefully that may take care of any issue. Good luck.

        For sure you should have gotten a new DD 214 for each reenlistment or short reenlistment in the Army. … at least up through 1985. Each covering the period of just that service. Your final DD 214 should cover all your periods of service.

        Good luck

  18. Those of us with combat medals tend to smile when we see something grossly amiss. We know we were brave so we don’t have to blow an ass gasket. I’ve been tempted to. I went so far as to ask a Vet who looked like a Christmas Tree if I could take his picture. He became suspicious and asked if I was a Vet. I lied. Great picture. Shoot, I even thanked him for his service in RVN (based on his VCM/VSM). He didn’t even dial in on it.

  19. EricMack says:

    I joined the reserves, Medical Corps, during the first Gulf War. I did my 2 weeks a year, weekend a month after finishing residency.
    I was in for 15 years but never called up to active duty.
    I don’t claim to be a veteran, just an American willing to serve.
    Those that claim more than they earned are very dishonorable men. Thank you for a great article.

  20. Donald Patrick says:

    I guess PHs can be in the mind of the beholder. I once saw a Lieutenant receive medical treatment for tripping over a tent rope during a mortar attack at Cu Chi. He received a rope burn.

    Myself, after being slammed into the back of a bunker and after being asked if I needed medical help, I had thoughts of the lieutenant and declined. This should in no way appear to reflect on anyone who honorably received a PH.

    I believe false valor takes now a more sinister form than this article proves. Although a decoration should be considered very important, it is trumped by a willingness to be in harms way to start with.

    • rgr769 says:

      Wow. Everyone I saw get a PH was laying in a hospital bed, some missing limbs. One of the guys in Co. G/75th was shot in the leg and another in my first line company was shot in the foot. Neither were awarded a PH, but I think that was because the first was shot by one of his comrades in a non-LRRP op that was conceived by some REMF staff officers in Div. HQ. The second, shot himself in the foot. I also had an Army doc in the states write to me asking I approve a PH for a guy evaced to the States with a gunshot through his testicles. I refused the request because he was shot by a bunker guard in the junk while trying a night exfil through the bunker line with a buddy. They were trying to get to out of the Division base camp to go into downtown An Khe to visit the off-limits whorehouses.

  21. Donald Patrick says:

    Regarding the Board of corrections. Myself, a personnel supervisor and having had the opportunity to review my finally 214, failed to note discrepancies. My mind was on a different matter.

    After having been out of service for a number of years, realized the error of my ways. My requests for corrections took quite a few months. Each time they provided new changes and yet still failed to provide a proper amendment on two subsequent 215s. They actually discount information of two of my previous 214s. I learned a long time ago, not to beat a dead horse.

    I hope I don’t appear to be a disgruntled veteran. I’m not. I appreciated my opportunity to serve my country. 30 months in country. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  22. Donald Patrick says:

    I wouldn’t want to appear critical, but will. I believe this article provides fuel for those who oppose the values of American patriots. Not a good thing in my book.

    Especially during these times, as veterans, we need to be providing a solid front. There are many who would be quick to tear us and the nation down. They work at it very hard.

    If we want to go after those with stolen valor, go after the real undeserving. Myself, I feel empathy for them. It must be a terrible life not being happy with who you are.

    • Hondo says:

      So, essentially you’re saying that investigations should “play favorites”? That is, give “good guys” a pass on stolen valor, while hammering only the “dirtbags”? Perhaps that’s not your intended message – but that’s the message I’m getting from your comment.

      There’s an old military saying: one “awsh!t” wipes out a lot of “attaboys”. And IMO stolen valor, whether committed by a dirtbag or a decorated soldier, is indeed an “awsh!t”.

      • PTBH says:

        Many of these investigations never see the light of day because there is simply not enough solid evidence or it becomes plausible – but not provable – that all awards claimed may be legit.

        These are good things because there shouldn’t be pressure to publish something based in part on the time spent on it. This case was salvaged because there were some interesting lessons as well as being able to show some of the behind-the-scenes verification.

        The “I’m a SEAL -/- Your records don’t say that” cases are more of a slam dunk but in many cases the evidence that is able to be obtained has to be weighed against a lot of factors.

        Also, those of you that were in Vietnam, Beirut, ODS/S, Iraq and Afghanistan provide extremely valuable insight that could not be gained by weeks of research.

        • Hondo says:

          I thought it kinda went without saying that publication should be reserved for provable cases, PTBH – and that questionable cases should be dropped or held until more info allows a definitive answer. I wasn’t insinuating otherwise.

          Here, we have two guys with admirable military careers. One of them by his own admission stepped “over the line” and clearly claimed stuff he doesn’t officially rate, if perhaps only on one occasion; the other individual likely seems to be a case of where a final award didn’t make it into an ETSing soldier’s records. (Dave’s right, though. The second individual should go through the process to get that omission corrected if he’s going to continue to make the claim of having the award.)

          Back to the original point: if you’re going to “play favorites” when you have a clear case . . . where do you draw the line? Do you refrain from publishing stories like this one because they reflect badly on two individuals who have admirable military careers? Do you give a “good guy” who made a one-time mistake a pass? How about the “good guy” who only did it on a few occasions? Or who only claimed one unearned decoration vice a handfull?

          Where do you draw the line?

          Seems to me it’s kinda difficult to figure out where to place such a line; personally, I can’t see any particularly good place to put it. And the question’s hardly moot: as we’ve seen time and time again, there are loads of folks with admirable military careers who nonetheless want people to believe they’re the second coming of Audie Murphy – and then make claims that are later shown to be false.

          I don’t know the answers. But I do think that witholding cases because “this might reflect badly” or “he’s a good guy” would be a very bad idea.

  23. Skippy says:

    Oddly
    I was trapped at that WTU for a few months in 2010
    In fact one of my best friend was a platoon Sargent there in 2011
    I’m going to forward this article to him
    The WTU was located on the 1st floor of the 40th signal barracks
    The company office was at the MWR building right up the road

  24. Just Lurkin says:

    Has anyone pointed out that Leighton’s ribbons are out of order yet? I know it’s a side issue, but if the leader of an organization that has to do with military awards can’t get his own straight he can’t really be trusted to hold his members to a standard.

    • Hondo says:

      No – good catch. He appears to have his entire ribbon rack mirror-imaged (e.g., started with highest decoration at wearer’s left vice the viewer’s left).

      Also, to answer DH’s initial question about whether Leighton’s a lawyer: possible, but doubtful. He’s wearing Quartermaster Corps officer branch insginia in that official photo. Were he a lawyer, he’d very likely have been commissioned JAG (or branch transferred to JAG) vice serving in one of the other Army branches.

  25. MCPO USN says:

    Did anyone notice he has listed the National Defense Service Medal with TWO Bronze Stars? How does he qualify for three awards? Something seems funny here….

    • Hondo says:

      I’d guess that’s a transcription error. The extract above of his enlisted record brief detailing his awards and decorations says “NDSM 2”, indicating 2 awards. The same is also true for the extracted portion of what apparently was his retirement DD214 that’s presented above – it shows 2 awards of the NDSM as well.

      The NPRC clerk transcribing his awards and decorations likely mis-transcribed that as two bronze stars on the FOIA reply, not realizing that two stars would indicate 3 awards of the NDSM vice 2.

  26. PTBH says:

    Note on the CIB question:

    Eddie Weathers wrote to the MP investigator prior to anything being posted and he addressed the CIB. Since it was a private message, I will only paraphrase.

    Paraphrased language from Eddie Weathers’ email to us…

    In regard to his award of the first CIB after he joined the Army: Initially, Weathers claims he was awarded two (2) Combat Action Ribbons while serving as a Marine. One of which when he was detached under USASOUTH, specifically to 7 ID for security ops in Operation Just Cause ‘89. Weathers claims that when he joined the Army, those orders which contained the phrase “…in lieu of Combat Infantryman Badge…” (as he says that he suspects people are well aware), Weathers states that a Marine awarded a CIB is auto-converted to a CAR. When Weathers joined the Army, he claims he was automatically awarded a CIB and the first CAR was rescinded.

    He stated all this to make the point that sometimes there is confusion that goes along with prior service and then enlisting in another branch.

    He further went on to say that none of the CIB circumstances has any bearing on the inquiry at hand. He only included it as an example.

    In regard to Panama, this appeared in the Sierra Vista Herald on Jan 19, 2019, when discussing another veteran’s book on Vietnam.

    Article-Panama

    If you look over Weathers history of assignments, Weathers was assigned to the JOTC (Jungle Operations Training Center) at Fort Sherman, Panama. It may be likely he was pulled from the training to support Operation Just Cause, or relatively soon afterward.

    Jungle School Panama

    I’m not sure if this clears it all up or opens new doors, but just thought it would help to elaborate on questions being discussed.

    • Claw says:

      Bovine Fecal Matter Detector just got pegged out.

      The three weeks of JOTC school in Panama are not listed in chronological order.

      Orders with verbiage such as “in lieu of Combat Infantry Badge”, IMO, would have to be issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs himself, because that flies in the face of the award criteria in the old AR 672-5-1 and the newer AR 600-8-22 would have then been revised to allow conversion of a CAR to a CIB. Haven’t seen that revision happen yet.(See Hondo’s entry earlier in the thread)

      As I said before, Master Records Manipulator/Bling Chaser. If any Joe-Schmoe with a home computer and Power Point capability is willing to alter a DD214 to fit his needs,(and openly admits he committed a crime), they do not merit even one iota of respect.

    • Hondo says:

      I’ll take the “opens new doors” option. I have three problems with Weathers’ claims concerning the CAR/CIB issue.

      First: I don’t see anything on Weathers’ USMC FOIA reply decorations listing indicating he was ever awarded a 2nd CAR while in the USMC. If he received CARs in both Panama and the Gulf War, I’d expect that to be indicated on his USMC FOIA reply – e.g., “CAR (2nd Award)”. It isn’t.

      Second: if he was awarded 2 CARs while in the USMC but only one CAR was “converted”, the other CAR should be present on his Army FOIA reply and on his retirement DD214 (it’s still an authorized personal decoration, and it isn’t there). And it’s not that his USMC decorations didn’t transfer over – it appears all of his other USMC awards made it (see the ERB and DD214 extracts above).

      Third: as I noted earlier, Army policy does not currently allow conversion of the CAR to either the CAR or CAB. Although I’m not absolutely positive, I don’t think Army policy ever did authorize such a conversion. I’d have to see proof that such conversion was ever authorized under Army policy between 1997 and 2012 (between 2001 and 2012 for the CAB) and that the policy was later changed before I’d buy that.

      If I had to guess, I’d guess an Army personnel clerk erroneously converted Weathers’ CAR to a CIB at some time after he joined the Army. (“Hey, it’s the Marine equivalent of a CIB; just put it in as that.”) However, that doesn’t mean it’s legit – that simply makes in an uncorrected error in his records. Per Army policy, a USN/USMC/USCG CAR can’t be converted to either a CIB or a CAB; it remains a CAR, and the individual keeps wearing it.

      • Claw says:

        I’m going with the ” Weathers made the conversion himself” option. After all, his first duty position (that lasted six months) after coming into the Army was as a personnel clerk.

        I can see how that might have played out. New personnel being in-processed at Bn S-1 in August 1997. PSNCO asks, “Hey, can any one of you type? I’m looking for a PAC Clerk.” Weathers replies “I can type.” PSNCO says: “Good, you’re working for me now, I’m not gonna send you to a Rifle Company.”

        Seven months later, Weathers ships out to B Company, CIB orders and 201 file already updated.

        • rgr769 says:

          I have a friend who is an RVN vet of the 4th ID. Even though the Army spent quite a bit of money training him to be a Scout Dog Handler, he spent all of two weeks in the Division Scout Dog platoon because the Personnel POGs discovered he was a college grad and could type. He spent the next eleven and a half months of his tour as a Remington Raider. He never claimed a CIB, though he could have likely awarded himself one in his 201.

          • Claw says:

            Yes, Sir, seen the Infantryman being pulled to be a Remington Raider many times over the course of my career.

            But by the same token, here’s hoping that all this malarkey/supposed “confusion over CAR/CIB conversion” happened after he got promoted the last time and his records were clean when presented to either a local or centralized promotion board. As a long standing member of the NCO Brotherhood, I’d be hating it to find out that the scales were somehow tipped his way for promotions to E-5, E-6 or E-7 due to a Base Camp Badge.

  27. Claw says:

    DA Form 1594 initiated. First entry pertains to the statement “Mr. Weathers has promised to address all of this in a formal way soon.” Crickets Listening Post established as of this date/time. TA-312’s in place w/fresh BA-30s. Have assumed a wait and see posture.

    • PTBH says:

      I think this is what he was referring to – his resignation letter.

      James “Eddie” Weathers Resignation Letter:

      https://valorguardians.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/weathers-resignation.pdf

      • Claw says:

        Roger. Listening Post pulled and returned to Base Camp.

        • SFC D says:

          LP is still active at D’s Cantina. These two asshats are in my AO.

          • Claw says:

            Okay. Well, if you happen to run across one of these asshats at the Cantina, very, very politely ask him for a SSN redacted copy of the subsequent to 1997 DD215 that deleted one of the two Combat Action Ribbons supposedly listed on his 1992 discharge DD214./s That DD215 does not seem to have been included in the complete FOIA response to MP and would end all the “confusion” he referenced (without being prompted) about CARs/CIBs. And as we all know, any meticulous and conscientious NPRC Tech that extracted/transcribed the DD214 info would have included that DD215 into the results before sending it to the requester./smile

            • Hondo says:

              Seems to me that some consciencious USMC personnel clerk would also have updated his records so that those records included that 2nd CAR before his disccharge from the USMC. He wasn’t discharged from the USMC until over 17 months after the Gulf War shooting stopped.

            • rgr769 says:

              Having read the contemporaneous news articles, I must say that Childs appears to be a real deal combat hero, he seriously earned that Silver Star. Weathers IMHO is a badge hunter who spent most of his career as an intel POG. On the other hand, I don’t think either of them did themselves proud in their face-off. However, only Weathers is blaming his behavior and fakery on consumption of Class VI supplies.

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