This video was submitted to Popular Military by Bill (named changed), a U.S. Army Infantry Iraq war veteran. He explained to us that this was recorded when he went out to dinner on a double date with Josh, a Marine veteran who served in Afghanistan.
Bill, Josh, Bill’s girlfriend, and Josh’s wife were sitting outside on the patio of a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida when they noticed a man panhandling in a Marine Corps shirt and hat. Bill said that he told Josh, “What are the chances that this is a case of stolen valor?.. We have to find out.”
Bill ended up calling the panhandler over to their table and asked if he was a Marine and what his MOS was. The panhandler replied that he was “Black Ops.” Bill said as soon as he heard “Black Ops” he looked at Josh and Josh already had his phone out to record. This is when the video begins.
The supposed Marine veteran continued to say he was stationed in Kuwait in the mid-1980s and was responsible for instigating the Gulf War. Bill said he sensed the homeless panhandler was “full of sh*t” and decided to lead his story to see if he would agree with it. He asked him if he was part of the Black Ops team that tried to kill Sadamn Hussein before the first Gulf War. The panhandler did not offer up to much more information.
If the panhandler wanted to legitimize his “Black Ops” story in Kuwait he could have mentioned the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait in 1983 or the high jacking of Kuwait Airways flight 221 in 1984, but he did not.
At this point Bill asked the question that usually seals the fate for someone trying to steal valor. He asked “Do you have a VA card?” The panhandler replied, “I had one on me but someone stole my backpack.” In the video you can hear either Bill’s girlfriend or Josh’s wife reply “That’s convenient.”
At this point Bill ends the conversation, shakes the panhandlers hand and tells him “good luck.” Bill claims he did not want to call the guy out because he has seen a ton of stolen valor videos of veterans “losing their cool.”
Popular Military has not verified whether the panhandler is a Marine veteran or not, but we do know that special operations vets do not refer to themselves as ‘Black Ops’. If this man is a fake Marine and collecting money by convincing people he is a vet, he is breaking the law.