Home News Fallujah Marine veteran beaten over mistaken case of stolen valor

Fallujah Marine veteran beaten over mistaken case of stolen valor


Michael Delfin stolen valor Marine veteran fought in Fallujah

A Marine veteran who fought in Fallujah was attacked by an airman who believed he was lying about serving in the Corps. It happened over the weekend at The Long Shot, an Arden-area bar, according to CBS Sacramento.

The Marine veteran, Michael Delfin says he tried to show the airman his ID, but he believed he was looking for a fight.

“I noticed a guy had a fade and he asked me if I was in the service and he said, ‘Yeah, I’m in the Air Force,’ and I said, ‘Oh I was in the Corps,’” he said.

The airman was looking for an active duty CAC card, but since Delfin was a veteran, he only had this VA card – he was accused of lying about serving on the spot.

“So, I asked him to read my ID, and he was like nahh stolen valor, stolen valor; this guy’s a fake,” he said. “He’s ignorant. He needs to learn how to read an ID, plain and simple,” he said. “When a vet tells you he’s a vet and he’s obviously wearing a fallen brothers bracelet doesn’t even recognize that.”

Things started turning ugly and the Delfin tried leaving, but was jumped in the parking lot by the airman and one of his friends.

“And before I knew it I couldn’t get off the ground. My leg gave out; it was kind of a blur,” Delfin said.

Michael Delfin stolen valor injury Marine veteran

Delfin’s tibia is broken, and his jaw might be too.

“I did over 12 years in the Marine Corps; I was a tracker and I was in combat in 2004 in Fallujah,” he said.

“Because everybody that’s in the service does their job, but when you go to combat it’s a different thing, so to claim on me I’m stolen valor, that’s a slap in every veteran’s face,” he said. “He needs to get caught. He needs to get made an example of, plain and simple.”

Sacramento Police have filed a report, Delfin has also heard from an Air Force investigator.

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  1. This is why I will never live in a city where I cannot carry my WEAPON. The Airman and his buddy should be court marshalled and tossed out of the USAF asap. Forfeiture of all pays, allowances, and benefits.


      • He didn’t get into a fight he assaulted a Marine Batman in the Air Force has no honor he needs to be court martialed and shot

      • A fight? A fight implies courage. Getting a buddy to help ensure your attack is successful isn’t a fight, it’s the action of a POS who has no business being in the military or outside of a jail cell. Luckily I don’t drink so I can carry virtually anywhere. Firearms tend to even the odds when outnumbered. Then we get to see their level of commitment….

        • (civilian – props to all you armed services folks, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE)

          Some time ago I actually got a chance to know Mr. Delfin over the course of several weeks. He’s as spirited as any Marine I’ve met, AND you couldn’t meet a nicer guy – meeting him was a big plus for me. Mike IS a formidable person, but even if he weren’t – even the least Marine is lethal. Those Airmen were lucky he chose to walk away.

          Marines who serve become the family of every other Marine. My observation is that their loyalty and care for one another is (more often than not) more intimate and enduring than the average person has with their own family. Vengeance is never a good solution, but dismissing the anger expressed by Marines in these comments as the ravings of mindless brutes who need to be managed by other Armed Forces is simply wrong. Leadership is life to every Marine and they all emulate that quality; moreover it’s a mistake to confuse being protective and angry with being stupid.

          These men and women genuinely hurt because one of their own got jumped – for no good reason. If you feel it’s your place to judge ALL Marines (I certainly can’t), I recommend tempering that judgement with compassion and understanding. They do deserve no less that much respect.

      • Never served. But, didn’t you all take the oath to uphold the Constitution? That means you don’t deny the rights of anyone. Laying hands on anyone did just that! That is a criminal act, likely fueled by alcohol. If people had any sense they would find a recreational intoxicant that did not cause them to lose good judgement and become violent! I don’t believe that Prohibition made any sense, either. But, someone needs to figure out how to educate these people that drinking is not for them, and at least half of our population!

      • Yes, they didn’t “just get into a fight” What they did was BEYOND conduct unbecoming. This was a vet, a fellow soldier, I don’t know what this idiots problem was, but he’s got no business being allowed to call himself a U. S. Airforce Member.

      • It wouldn’t be cold blood if here were assaulted. It would be in self defense. If someone were to try to “jump” me, I wouldn’t bother trying to play their game and fight. I’d shoot the assailant center body mass.

      • It’s self Defense when jumped by two others. They need to be made to pay for what they’ve done to another veteran. This is uncalled for even between the branches. We should be there for one another, not jumping to the conclusion that someone is a fake. Especially when your Chairforce.

        • Before anyone gets all butthurt, I’m only ribbing my brother and sisters in the AF. I have many friends who served there.

    • I was USAF from 90-97, and I agree 100% that these 2 airmen deserve courts martial ASAP. No excuse for assaulting anyone unless their life was at risk.

  2. typical air force puke. doesn’t knowing anything about combat sitting in your chair in AC back at the rear. who is he to question anybody combat vet?? what a POS

    • Mark, STFU….we wear the same flag….the airman was a POS…. but doesnt mean all airmen are. I know some stupid Marines, dumb as bricks…. guess that means you’re a fricken moron too huh. Grow up you ass, take the situation for what it was. Your comment was not service pride….it was service stupidity.

    • Thank you for generalizing every single air force person based on the actions of one. Until you are actually in the Air Force, shut your damn mouth and focus on the real issue here instead of slamming a fellow branch

  3. I’ve served with this badass…I wish they would release the airmans name so some trackers could get some vengeance!!! YATYAS!!!

  4. that is so wrong. I’m sorry this young vet was treated this way and I hope he will be okay and recover. as for the other guy they need to catch him and charge him with aggravated assault. that is no way to treat our vets.

  5. I am 100 percent, walk funny, actually walk like
    I am drunk…partial paralysis, have the DV plates, and still get harassed. I am too old to run and won’t take an ass whippin’… There are a lot who steal valor, but give someone a break and believe them until proven different. (Unless a fat body wears the CMH and every medal known) I ask the beggars what unit they were in (something you never forget) it is always top secret, and they can’ talk about it. I have the unfortunate reality of also having a 100% disabled son, a Retired Corporal with two university degrees. I put them in their place fast. CPT, IN, USA, Ret

    • Hey Robert, I will tell from my time in the Corps, I still have to look at my DD214, and unit stations, Yes my memory is not good, But I sure as hell know how to stop someone. 1967 – 1970 USMC SEMPER FI MARINES

    • Someone said he always asks the beggars what unit they were in. To be honest, I would give homeless vets money in a heartbeat. I’m not military and never was. so my question for military guys is, is there a definitive way to know if someone is lying about their service for a nonmilitary person? I hope you don’t this question disrespectful, it *absolutely* is not intended that way. G-d bless.

      • Hi David Berlin – if they are truly a veteran, they will most likely have a Veterans ID Card issued by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), a division of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Nearly all veterans have one. If someone doesn’t have this picture ID card, it is a safe bet that they are not a veteran.

        If someone tells you they are a veteran, but weren’t honorably discharged, then they aren’t a veteran. In our nation, we don’t give a veteran’s status to someone who is dishonorably discharged. For VA, there are only to recognized categories. Someone is either honorably discharged and considered a veteran, or they are not honorably discharged and therefore are not considered a veteran – regardless if they served in the military. If they did something to dishonor the service or our nation while in the service, they are stripped of veterans rights. It would have to be something pretty bad, so don’t let anyone fool you.

  6. Wow, an AF pogue calling someone out? If he was any kind of man he’d turn himself in at this point. I hope he gets his fucking ass beat half to death.

  7. I’m wondering whatever happened to this Marine’s hand to hand combat training…. IMHO,
    he should have been able to get in a couple of good payback licks

    • Not much MCMAP can do if you get jumped by a couple of cowards and they get a good sucker punch in. Face to face, the pog would have been lucky to land a hit.

    • Said his leg gave out so they may have taken out his knee from behind before he had a chance to do much else. Also you can never anticipate what somebody filled with liquid courage can do. Personally I got out of the Corps after 4 years of service and I have had surgery on both knees, I can understand not being able to fight back.

  8. Let’s not miss the point and let’s just say it was different { yes I know it was not }
    Let’s say it was stolen valor.
    That in NO WAY justifies the person lieing and claiming stolen valor to be attack and beat up. People doing that military or not, are taking the law into their own hands, acting as law and jury and judge and giving out punishment for acts they dislike. Taking the very constitutional rights away from the person they attack.
    It seems like the person doing the attack is stealing the “Nobel Valor” as it were of the people who serve in the legal system and work to up hold the rights of the citizen via the constitution and the rule of law.
    Which also is what people in the Military should be doing.
    If you attack or beat up someone who you think is doing “stolen valor” you are taking the law into your own hands, and that is criminal. And if your in the military and do not understand this, you are unfit for service in my view, and need to be retrained in constitutional principals, or remove from service.in fact you are worst that the person doing the stolen valor.
    You may not like what I say, but in American no person is above the rule of law and should be denied due process to another. Beating someone up does this no matter how much you want to be self righteous and rationalize it.

  9. Sad and disgusting. These airman should be arrested and charged by the state for assault and battery and serve time. Then handed over to the Air Force to face charges under the UCMJ and be run out of the military with a bad conduct discharge. How dare they? Airman are held to a higher standard than this type of crap.

    David (SrA USAF 722d SPS and 379th SPS veteran)

    • “Airman are held to to a higher standard…”? Get over yourself. Their are screw-ups and wacko’s in all branches of the services. Besides the guy was in the Air Force. How hard can that be,

      • “Besides the guy was in the Air Force. How hard can that be,..”
        I think you should take a look at how many Air Force casualties we’ve had during recent conflicts brother. Not to compare, but to acknowledge this fact. I wasn’t in the Air Force either. Just pointing that out. I think he specified that they’re held to a higher standard from his experience in and wasn’t taking a shot at any other branches. Stay safe.

      • The man was simply implying that his own pride in his Airforce should be shared by all in that service. I feel the same way when I see a Marine do disservice to ‘my Corps’. A natural assumption by any person that belongs to an organization they hold in esteem. Learn some manners before posting next time.

  10. F**k that!! Find that Air Farce and have 2 Marines get their run back for their brother. You hurt one you hurt all. To hell with what civies think. A wrong must be righted in house. No court martial no nothing. Our brother bled by the hands of some weenie. Let him bleed too.

    • That’s because after you’ve done your time you don’t get a CAC card unless retired or for some other reason and the branch still covers some benefits and even then it’s an old school looking card or you have your VA card.

      • The CAC (Common Access Card) is the white ID card with a “smart chip”. It is only given to active duty, reserve components and certain DOD civilian employees. Retirees are issued blue ID cards, just FYI. If this marine wasn’t a retiree, he would probably only have a VA card. Regardless, that air force guy had no business jumping the vet. Besides, an active duty member should know damn good and well that a vet or retiree would NOT have a CAC…smdh, what are they teaching kids these days?

  11. They should be kicked out of the AF, please don’t judge all Airman by this , I’m retiring soon with almost 30 yrs in the AF with 4 combat tours also remember please a lot of folks work together to keep planes in the air to protect our brothers in arms backs , please don’t judge a whole branch on one individual !

  12. I am truly embarrassed by the action of the two airmen. They need to be court-martialed and kicked out of the service. I hope the Marine gets better real soon. I’m a retired Vietnam Veteran with 2 tours to that jungle paradise. I’m also 100% disabled due to PTSD, Liver failure, Peripheral Neuropathy from Agent Orange, and spinal issues from being slammed to ground from explosions over there. I get looks from people when I park in a handicap slot but so far no one has questioned me. Maybe I’m just too imposing looking (LOL) but that can change almost instantly. Guess maybe it’s time for me to carry a copy of my DD-214, just in case because I only have 2 options. Beat the living snot out of anyone who questions me or show the 214.

    • Hey Biker, I always carry around my paperwork in my backpack because so many people request it. But hell it seems like I’m going to have to keep doing it for these kinds of fucktards out here. Crazy. Stay safe brother.

  13. The problem with this …is that the AF won’t do shit. They will coddle this asshole. I hope the Marines, vets and motorcycle enthusiasts, will find his ass and beat him down.

    • Oh .. Don’t be fooled.. you spread the word to all the Brotherhood and it won’t take long to find them and they won’t just beat him down we’ll give them what they are due.

  14. The very idea of why I might have to prove or disprove that I am a “warrior or whatever”, to anyone, completely baffles me. Sort of begs the question of “what kind of wacko feels it’s his duty to make sure no one out there is faking being a soldier.

  15. This takes the cake, took 2 Chair Force types to get a Marine from behind? Hopefully they will find them and bust their asses gor assulting a Veteran like that. Makes me wonder if they really were Chair Force because they didn’t know what a VA ID card was? Chair Force or not, they need their asses busted for assulting a Vet, the Marine needs to remember his training so he can kick ass if it ever happens again.

  16. This is really sad, I know it’s been said but once you retire from any service you get a United States Uniformed Services I.D. Card. Every archive should know this, whether from family, friends, or their individual units. It sickens me to think about how bad that this issue has gotten out of control to the point that people are willing to beat the crap out of someone, regardless of whether they can prove the “stolen Valor” accusation. Get it together brothers and sisters, we still have a job to do, serve and protect our nation, our home! SEMPER FIDELIS!

  17. Anybody else notice that this happened at a bar? A bar fight over something as stupid and meaningless as this, so called, stolen valor, thing?
    When I was in the service bar fights resolved around much more important and serious topics like,”Hey squid, ya spilled beer on me.” or “I say Texas is a way better state than Tennessee.” and of course “Hey asshole, did you just touch my woman?”

  18. I thank you all for your service; all branches. I have family in all branches. But as I see it, no matter what branch you are, at the end of the day, your All US MILITARY. You are all fighting in battle on the same side, and you all depend on each other, to fight the fight and do what must get done. What that Airman did, absolutely wrong, and he needs to answer for it it, to the right authorities. There have been troublemaker in all branches, but these few do not properly represent represent the rest of their branch in name. I stand strong for all mitary…the United states military. God bless you all, and don’t let these few bad examples ruin it for the rest who are not like them.

  19. I put 2.5 years in Nam in Brownwater Navy and it will be a cold day in HELL when I start carrying a DD214 for some piece of crap like these AF Boys.End of story!!!

  20. Typical air force p*ssys even when have the balls to attack you they need to out number and attack you from behind… only air force person I attack from behind is my wife in bed.

  21. Brothers and Sisters, if anyone has any ideas how to crowdsource this and use Social Media to find the attackers, lets put our heads together and get it done. Its been about 10 days since the assault and no arrest… not sure how these guys are running an investigation but just from the description alone I think it would be easy to do with the right resources and access LE/OSI would have.

    Here is a quote from Sgt Delfin’s wife:

    “I need help ID’ing these guys. We know the one is stationed at Travis AFB. He has a tattoo of a microphone and music notes on his forearm and on his right shoulder something that looked like a Grimm reaper. He is about 6’5″ dark hair. Either from Oregon or an Oregon Ducks fan judging by his clothes. The other guy worked for a painting company in the area. Want to say is was CS painting. No tattoos that I could see. They both like singing karaoke.”

    Anyone from the area or w/ social media connections in the area can easily push this out – someone knows this airman… For Gods sake he’s 6’5” w/ a tattoo of a microphone and music note on his forearm and stationed at Travis… it shouldn’t be that hard to find him, (especially by OSI as they would have access to records and the command at Travis). This guy (and his dirtbag pal) need to be held accountable. I’m sure there’s folks on this board who can easily push the message out via social media. I wish I could drop all my responsibilities and do this myself but I can’t – but WE can. If anyone can help crowdsourcing this to get this guy’s name and/or any relevant information to OSI and/or local police, please do so. This Brother and his family deserve justice and this Airman needs to go before a jury of his peers.


  22. Let’s see. alcohol was probably involved…. All nonsense, my dog is bigger than your dog,,, most of the true vets combat vets I know rarely talk about it…most of the braggers were behind the fence, not in harms way, not in the military or just feel inadequate for some reason//

  23. First thing I would like to say is Thank you and God bless each and everyone of you for serving our country. I am the mother of a veteran MARINE who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and I know how commeted to and how loyal he was to his fellow grunts. He probably feels the same way that most of you do. “This vet did not deserve what happened to him, the airmen were just 2 assholes ,drunk , and looking for a fight., and we need to GET EVEN and SHOW THEM A LESSON” I hope for his wife’s sake that you try to help identify the culprits but PLEASE let the authorities handle the rest. Please don’t cause MORE grief for your mom’s and dads by making them worry about you getting hurt or arrested. We parents worried each and every second while you boys were deployed and in harm’s way, the last thing we need to worry about is you getting hurt or in trouble while you are supposed to be safe stateside. Just promise THIS mom that you will think before you act. “THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT” LOVE YOU ALL!

  24. Is it just me or is it becoming a trend with these AD Airmen accusing veterans of stolen valor and attacking them? I know I’ve read at least 2 other cases in the past couple of months. Maybe commanders need to start adding this to their weekend safety briefs lol

  25. I see more and more of these young idiots attacking veteran’s just because they think that they know everything about the military. If they are in the military, then they need to be tried under UCMJ Art. 128 -Assault and Battery and face the maximum penalties- plain and simple and publish the results across all the branches so maybe these stupid fools might just think twice before they act.

  26. This is sickening and hopefully the guy is caught and booted from the military. There are more serious stolen Valor cases andif your not actively serving in the military you don’t have a military id. It’s not like this guy was dressed in uniform trying to get free handouts. I know of a stolen Valor case of a guy stating he served in the Navy only to find out he was in for one year and never deployed he is always throwing his military service out there for sympothy and what have you. I told this person to when I found out how it sickened me. I am a veteran and it was an insult to me that he was claiming this military service when he barely made it out of ait. I told him to stop or I would turn him in for stolen Valor because there are a stolen Valor laws don’t take it into your own hands that’s just stupid and you could be wrong.

  27. One side of the bar fight story and it doesn’t pass the sniff test but it would make sense if what precipitated the supposed ID card display was some kind of highly insulting bullshit coming from Delfin. Than it makes sense for angry Airman to wait for Deflin to leave so he can confront him outside and I’ll bet you it was mano e mano; Deflin might not wanted to admit that just one ‘chair force’ dude beat his ass.

  28. YAT YAS Sgt delphin. He was my crew chief in Amphibious Assault Schools Battalion! One of the finest United States Marines I’ve ever met. 3RD TRACKS FOR LIFE!

  29. They assault him and broke his leg because they had a doubt on him?… How far you have to go to prove someone what you are? Nobody has the right to question anyone if he’s not legally habilitated to do so. They should be treated like ordinary criminals.

  30. I was in the air force and had to put up with a bunch of these new generation idiots, no respect of rank, intelligence just mob mentality many of them bused out on article 15 for stupid behavior like this and worse, they deserve to be busted out pay forfeited and given to the vet they jumped for pain and suffering, then put them thru the corps boot camp, let the corps make it even

  31. What ever happened to ” Brothers in Arms ” its not a contest.. why would you attack someone… even if they were a fake .
    Every ones police … what a dickhead . Gives Air Force a bad name .


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