By Brett Gillin
It was a story that set many hearts soaring yesterday. Star running back of the Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams reached out to a veteran and gave up his business class ticket so he could sit in comfort. Williams tweeted out a photo of the man, who was wearing a United States Marine dress uniform, along with his ticket saying “I always give up my seat to military if my seat is better! I truly appreciate our troops #flyingtherightway.” Unfortunately, once that photo hit Twitter, quite a few angry responses started flying.
This post on the Guardian of Valor website, which is dedicated to ousting those who fake military service or pose as veterans in public places, spells out that they believe that the man in question is, in fact, an imposter. They explain that they’ve received a huge number of emails and posts shouting about a few major inconsistencies and red flags in the Marine’s dress.
Guardian of Valor states the following facts, as gathered by their readers:
1. A Marine never wears a cover indoors unless he is armed.
2. A Marine would never be at the airport in Dress Blue “A”, he wouldn’t be wearing his cover while seated indoors, and he wouldn’t be wearing a shooting badge on the right side of said uniform.
3. He is in Dress Blue Alpha uniform and it is not authorized for leave or liberty.
4. He is wearing a rifle badge on his right breast pocket, you do not wear shooting badges in the Dress Blue “A” uniform you wear it with the B uniform and it goes on your left breast pocket.
They also point out that this is not the first time they’ve seen this man. Back on July 1st, a photograph of a man, who appears to be the same man Williams gave his seat to, was taken at an airport in the Philippines. In this picture, however, the Marine is not wearing the Silver Star that he’s wearing in the photograph taken by Williams.
According to the report, a Marine approached the man to confront him about the inconsistencies in his uniform while in that airport. Guardian of Valor says they spoke with the Marine who questioned the man in the photograph, stating “I approached and conversed with him. I am a real Marine and could tell this guy obviously was not. I proceeded to lecture him in front of the entire airport for disrespecting true patriots. He said he did 30 years and deserved to wear it. I then dug further into his story and he could provide no details.”
Opinions vary, with many people crying “FAKE” and quite a few explaining that the man may be old, a bit senile, and may just have forgotten the finer points of his Marine dress-training. Although the evidence is strong that this man is a fake, it certainly does not take away from the great act that Williams thought he was performing, and we applaud him either way.