Vietnam veteran humiliated and assaulted by active-duty Marines

66-year-old Jack Hughes was returning home from a Veterans Day event in St Louis, when he was assaulted by a group of Marines upon landing at Charlotte Douglas Int’l Airport on Sunday.

Hughes says a man started walking towards him yelling: “Your ribbons are crooked … you’re a phony.” He called him a fraud and accused him of impersonating a veteran, while taking a swipe at his Purple Hearts  — which Hughes received from battle in Vietnam.

The Vietnam vet showed local news media a picture of an officer presenting one of the medals to him in a hospital bed, as well as the telegrams informing his parents he’d been wounded in battle.

Still visibly shaken from the incident, Hughes said one of the men ripped the buttons right off his jacket. The attack on his credibility was expected in the 60’s when he  recalls returning home from war and people throwing rotten eggs at his uniform.

But that was then. “I can’t believe one veteran would do that to someone else,” Hughes said about the recent incident at the airport. They were recording the whole thing while taunting him in front of a crowd of people.

In tears he re-lived the encounter during an interview with WSOC-TV and said he showed the men everything he had in his possession at the time– to prove that he was not a fraud.

He showed the group his VA health care card but apparently that wasn’t enough to convince them. While police finally intervened and made the group apologize to Hughes – he says that’s not enough.  He  doesn’t want this to happen to another veteran.

What they did was considered simple assault, a misdemeanor, and police did not make any arrests.

If you wish to email Jack to show your support he can be reached at

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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