There has been some question about the stature of the alleged "Vietnam Veteran" from the weekend. This guy dug up his service record. Or so he says; but he runs an outfit that looks legit to me. My old friend "Tiny" Robinson used to do the same thing many years ago, under the name of "AuthentiSEAL," and the guy's basic claims about how SEAL status can be checked sound all correct to me. He was also positively reviewed by The Washingtonian.

So my guess is that this DD-214 will check out.


Douglas2 said...

I'm not going to watch 8 minutes of video to see if he agrees with the Washington Post:

"Phillips served in the U.S. Marines from 1972 to 1976 but was never deployed to Vietnam" was the correction when reported by NRO:


Now in the Post it is:

"Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Native American activist Nathan Phillips fought in the Vietnam War. Phillips said he served in the U.S. Marines but was never deployed to Vietnam."

Grim said...

Oh, sorry. I should have summarized the findings.

Marine Corps Reserve. He was a rifleman -- for two days -- and otherwise an electrician and refrigerator repairman. AWOL several times. Discharged as a private after four. No overseas service.

Dad29 said...

E-3 after 4 years. Not good.

Dad29 said...

Correction: E-2 after 4 years. Not even mediocre.

Grim said...

By the way, the Marine Corps Reserve was not mobilized during Vietnam. It was possible for them to volunteer for Vietnam, but unless they did, joining the Reserves was one way to avoid being drafted in a way that might cause you to be deployed.

That's not true now. Especially the Army Reserve has had a heavy deployment schedule, as a lot of 'enabler' units have been folded into the Reserves. Some of these units were high demand units whose members were deployed over and over and over, especially Psychological Operations, Civil Affairs, and Combat Camera. Some COMCAM guys I knew in Iraq were telling me they were thinking of transferring to the Marine Corps at their next re-enlistment, so they might get some dwell time at home.

In 1972, though, joining the USMCR meant that you wouldn't be sent to Vietnam even if we changed course and recommitted to the war. Combat Marines had already been withdrawn in 1971, but a door that swings one way can sometimes swing the other way too; and the Army was still drafting, not withdrawing combat forces until 1973. Enlisting in the Reserves was one of the more reliable ways of avoiding being drafted and sent to Vietnam.

E Hines said...

What's a Viet Nam vet, though? I never was sent to Viet Nam; indeed, I went on active duty after that affair was thoroughly winding down--1973. But that was enough to get me the Alive in '75 medal, the National Defense Service Medal, awarded to all those on active duty "during" the Viet Nam conflict. No matter how trivial the "during."

It's not entirely wrong to say Philips was a Viet Nam War vet, even if he didn't go over and join the fight. And it would be a far cry from those who got their trash hauler aircraft to divert to overfly Viet Nam en route from here to there so the aircrews could claim combat flight pay.

The cynic in me suggests that the WaPo is making that correction to deflect criticism for its scurrilous distortion of the underlying event.

Eric Hines

Grim said...

I'd be more sympathetic if there weren't that video of him claiming to have been spit on 'after I came back.'


He was just in the habit of telling a story about himself that would get him respect. Doubtless it went on for many years, from way back when it was a lot harder to get caught.

I wonder if the Native Americans he associates with are having a tough conversation with him tonight. When I've been to Pow Wows, there are often special dances to honor veterans. His service claims aren't just claims to honor in front of you and me and the Washington Post, but to an honored warrior status within his own community. My guess is that he's going to have some tough questions to answer.