You might be tempted to look at the photo above and think..."that's a lot of medals". You'd be right, except all of them are fake.
Perhaps an outrageous example of what's called "Stolen Valor", but nevertheless there are many among us, veterans and not, that exagerrate their service or pretend to be something they are not.
I regret that it has come to my attention that an old friend of mine is under investigation for this activity....and indeed has a hearing scheduled for this coming week. I've probably at least mentioned him once or twice here. Here he is, just moments after the explosions at the Boston Marathon, 2013. (In uniform)
It is unfortunate - I always felt he did good work through Scouting. He ran an honor detail, and was heavily involved on the medical front, serving as the health and safety officer on a number of camping events for the Council. He ran a Venturing Crew, and even raised an Eagle. But all the good things he did are now in doubt, and even his medical certifications and security clearances are under question as well. As another doctor friend of mine commented; "I debated tourniquets with him when we were both Health and Safety at camp. Why would he do this?"
Stolen Valor cheapens everyone involved with the military, and it damages reputations and lives. I regret that I am now a victim. Years ago, my Cub Pack was duped by a fake Marine
in the Toys for Tots program. This one is hitting much closer to home.
Another friend in Scouting has characterized this gentleman as "...a good guy with a big heart. just dumb." I have to disagree - Once or even twice is just dumb. It's unfortunate that the long-term pattern shows malicious intent in my opinion.
The first point of the Scout Law is "A Scout is Trustworthy". Once that trust is breached, there is no going back.