Stolen Valor vs Borrowed Valor
In the Veteran world, nothing is worse than stolen valor. Stolen valor consists of pretenders, liars and frauds claiming military honors they didn't earn. Generally it starts out with a small claim to gain attraction for one reason or another. Some see a business opportunity that due to contacts that they have, they realize that with a small lie, it can lead to great successes. But that lie generally needs more lies in order to back up their original claim.
Most find military service as honorable. Why not trust a person to the fullest extent who has served their country so honorably? Why not trust a person who served overseas in combat and earned numerous awards and has trained in the most rigorous of schools? One lie of accomplishment leads to another. We know them as "posers." They are posing to be Veterans. The thing is, with technology today, they are always ultimately caught.
One of the most used techniques of posers is to contribute greatly to the Veteran community. Why? They know that they will eventually be caught. By contributing to the Veteran community it gains sympathy of all of those that they have donated to or attempted to provide leadership to. I have seen many posers that when they are caught, some people will defend them saying, "look at all that they have done for Veterans." Well, when their contributions also enriched their lives which was the sole purpose, we should never defend or accept these posers. Period.
There are those Veterans who may have served, but have never been to combat nor attended the schools that they promote whether through specifically saying it or they use product placement to make you believe that they attended the schools or deployed. A great example is those who may wear a hat with a Ranger tab but never attended Ranger School. Their excuse may be, "I support Rangers though I never attended the school." When a Veteran wears a hat with a tab, most would assume that they attended the school. Some may give speeches and place a mug with a Ranger scroll and Ranger tab prominently so that all those in attendance see it. They may have been involved with the Ranger Regiment, but they never attended Ranger school which gives them the ultimate credibility in the Ranger community especially. This is called "borrowed valor" and has been known to happen greatly in the Veteran community. This is also a despicable technique used that we should never accept in our community.
This also includes claiming combat when they never deployed overseas. This is a mixture of stolen valor and borrowed valor. Yes they served, but they never deployed to combat. There are groups that investigate these incidents. In fact they have a great success rate at busting out the posers. The Special Operations community is especially small and anyone who claims to be a Green Beret in Special Forces or as a Ranger will always be caught. When caught, they generally become infamous as everyone in the communities are informed of the posing and it spreads like wildfire on social media.
If you would like to know more about Stolen Valor or believe someone may claim to be a Veteran or is using borrowed valor, you can always contact StolenValor.com
. They can help investigate or lead you to the right places to verify information.
In the Puget Sound, we also have a tight Veteran community and if one is using stolen or borrowed valor, they will be caught.