Stolen Valor Is a Crime [OPINION]
Retired Navy SEAL Don Shipley is spending his retirement defending Americans from another danger: the danger of people who pretend to be heroes.
Today I spoke with Don Shipley from his home in Maryland. He spent 24 years in the Navy, and most of those years as a SEAL. He went all over the globe with SEAL Team 1 and SEAL Team 2 whenever he was called. He has jumped out of planes, slid down ropes to burning ships, and he has been decorated for his bravery and skill in the face of danger.
Shipley has been to lots of funerals for fellow SEALs who will never come home. He has been there when the SEAL Team commander puts the dead diver's last medal on a now fatherless son.
This isn't a game for Shipley. But unfortunately, it is a game--a sick game--for the tens of thousands of creeps who publicly claim they are Navy SEALs and reap the benefits of the valor they have stolen.
Do you know a person who is claiming to be a Navy SEAL? Do they like to tell stories about murder and rape and all kinds of war crimes they committed as a SEAL in foreign countries? You should reach out to Don Shipley and have him do an investigation.
Some of these clowns are harmless blowhards looking for a free drink. However, others are evil criminals using the stolen valor as a way to build trust and to open up people, mostly women, to far more horrible crimes.
Claiming credit for unearned military achievements is a crime in Massachusetts, and it is a federal crime. It is also an indication of a deep psychological problem.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.