On March 21st, Donald Trump pulled Air Force veteran, Alicia Watkins, out of the crowd during a campaign event in Washington D.C. and offered her a job on the spot.
The recent media attention has put Alicia Watkins in the public’s eye – causing some to scrutinize her combat claims as well as her claims of receiving certain military awards.
There is no doubt that Alicia Watkins served in the Air Force and deployed overseas but new information questions the accuracy of statements she has made to the public on multiple occasions.
Watkins, who claims to be a 9/11 survivor and suffering from severe combat injuries, has appeared on multiple TV programs, such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Say Yes to the Dress” to talk about her struggle after being injured from an I.E.D attack in Afghanistan.
During Watkins’ multiple TV appearances she said her homelessness and financial downfall were because of her various combat-connected disabilities, including traumatic brain injury, a spinal cord injury and post-traumatic stress.
According to her DD-214 (military discharge form), there is no evidence to support Watkins claims of being attacked or injured by the enemy in Afghanistan.
Watkins was seen in a 2010 video wearing a Purple Heart – the medal given to service members who are injured in combat – but according to statements provided to the Air Force Times by Mike Dickerson (a spokesman for the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio), she never received the medal.
In 2014, Watkins also claimed to have served in Iraq but her service record has determined that was a lie. She told a WJLA-TV reporter that she “experienced IEDs, suicide bombers” and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to her service record, Watkins deployed to Qatar – a non-combat zone – in 2003 and to Afghanistan in 2006.
Her DD-214 lists her receiving eight awards – none for combat or combat injuries –in total: the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Organizational Award, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award, the Air Force Noncommissioned Officer Professional Military Education Graduate Ribbon and the Air Force Training Ribbon.
Alicia Watkins has declined to speak to the media about the discrepancy between her service record and her claims of being injured in combat.
Editor’s note: It was originally reported that Mike Dickerson released Alicia Watkin’s DD-214 to the Air Force Times but he actually only released information about her awards and decorations. Releasing a DD-214 in its entirety is a violation of the Privacy Act.
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