The Army Officer approached him, military ID in hand and asked if they could talk. He asked to see his military ID, whether he was active duty or retired and the man admitted to being a fake. His wife videoed the man at the airport who had just landed in Kansas City after taking a flight from Albuquerque.
KOB News talked with others in the area noticed the discrepancy in appearance. “Ortega said he noticed red flags immediately, saying “”The cover is the hat. If you’re wearing that indoors you’re either on duty or you have your cover off. You’ll have your hat off indoors in uniform,” Ortega said.
His service stripes were a dead giveaway, it would have been impossible to reach the rank he wore on his sleeve in the time he pretended to service. “His service stripes on his Marine Corps uniform – he had three service stripes, which means he served at least 12 years,” said Marine James Garcia. “There’s no way anyone could pick up E9 Master Gunnery Sergeant in 12 years. There’s just no way.”
Stolen Valor is insulting for those veterans who have served, especially those who have lost friends to war. “He’s just seeking attention,” said Ortega. “You know that uniform…turns a lot of eyes.” He continued, “It hurts because I saw so many of my buddies get killed in Vietnam, and they wore the uniform proudly and served their country proudly,” said Army Vietnam veteran Orlando Padilla.