Stolen Valor and Some Jackass From Rhode Island

It isn't easy to prove that someone has attempted to steal valor and claim medals and military experience that they did not earn. You actually have to check into their military records and then wait to see the results.

In the case of Daniel Gordon, yes, he did serve in the Marine Corps. He is a Marine. But he has made a claim that his military records simply do not support. He claims he was injured in the leg by shrapnel outside of Baghdad in 1991:

Eight miles south of Baghdad?


The Iraqi city of Nasiriyah was the furthest known point of penetration into Iraq during the Gulf War, and it is well south of Baghdad. I'm sure that reconnaissance units went further; I'm sure that there were other moves further north. But all the way to Baghdad? We sent a Marine aviation mechanic all the way to the suburbs of Baghdad? Did he have machine gun belts crossed over his chest and a broken Ka-bar in his mouth?

This is where the bullshit detector goes off. Here's a politician claiming to be a war hero. And he got hit? But there's no mention of him actually serving in the Gulf War, no mention of the Purple Heart that he should have been awarded? No record of the unit citation medal that his unit would have received had he served there?


Well, alright then. If he says these things (but can't prove it because his mementos and keepsakes were destroyed in a house fire), I guess we should take his word for it. There is the tricky matter of him now being accused of defrauding the Veteran's Administration over benefits (because every good Republican drinks from that teat when they can pause in their continuing condemnation of any and all who do exactly the same thing). I suppose we cannot just let that go.

Should we accept the fact that he asserts one thing while his military records say something else? Or maybe we should just find one living soul who served in the Gulf War with him to back him up. Just one. Then maybe I would believe him.

Here's what I think happened, and, of course, my opinion isn't worth much.

Gordon is small-time. This fact has hit him in the face every day of his adult life. One day, while either drunk or bragging, he invented this story about being wounded south of Baghdad. Eight miles, son! (note that he probably meant kilometers because that would mean he got close enough to strangle Saddam himself except for the son of a bitch battalion commander who ordered them to let the bastard go, but oh well) Eight miles! Except no sizable force of aviation mechanics penetrated that far in February, 1991. Gordon probably conflated the Marine fight into central Iraq from the Iraq War of 2003 with the one he wasn't in and made up some story about stabbing a Republican Guard in the throat so that his Republican Guard buddy could tell him where they buried the secret plans for the counterattack that got him this other medal that's classified and he can't talk about it.

Remember when beer goggles merely got you laid? Well, beer goggles helps with war stories, too.