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Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History Hardcover – September 1, 1998

4.5 out of 5 stars 301 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 692 pages
  • Publisher: Verity Press Publishing; 1 edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 096670360X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966703603
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was yanked out of the field in Vietnam to come home on emergency leave because Dad had a heart attack. I had on khaki uniform, jump boots and a Green Beret. A civilian drinking coffee beside me asked me where I was serving. When I replied "Vietnam" he turned and stared. "You guys are all screwed up," he said. Then he picked up his coffee and moved down the counter. He continued to shoot curious glances at me. Waiting for a flight I found that people would not make eye contact and kept their distance. What is going on here? I wondered, because I had been overseas for almost three years by that time.
In his amazing book, Stolen Valor, BG Burkett and co-author Glenn Whitley tell the story of what happened to those who served and, sadly, what continues to happen. Page after page, Burkett takes on every one of the myths, the exaggerations, the pretenders, the bogus vets and the entire cultural stereotype that has become the Vietnam Veteran.
I put off reading Stolen Valor for awhile because I thought that there would only be a story or two of a pretender in it. What a shock, even for someone who thought he was in the know, to see the prodigous work that Burkett and Whitley have amassed. Now I wish that I had read it immediately on release. I am certain that over the years I will refer back to it frequently. It is in the "keeper" section of my bookshelf.
One of the most useful results of this amazingly effective book is that for those who might have felt guilty about supporting our Vietnam veterans you also can hold your heads high knowing full well that you are not supporting the contrived 'baby killing, drug besotted, anti-social bum' that Hollywood and the anti-war left presented to you.
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Format: Hardcover
Every journalist, editor, and TV producer should read Stolen Valor. Hopefully that would keep them from interviewing and featuring the scruffy looking liars, fakers, and "wannabees" in camouflage fatigues covered with patches, pins, and unearned medals when they want to interview a Vietnam veteran.
Too many journalists pass on to their readers--and preserve for posterity--whatever lies they are told about secret missions behind enemy lines, American atrocities, amazing Rambo-type combat, and our nation's highest awards for valor which somehow were never recorded in the faker's official records. Are these journalists just naive or are they intentionally supporting an anti-Vietnam War, anti-military, and anti-American agenda?
Burkett and Whitley demonstrate how those opposed to the war (and the military and the government) are using the myth of vast numbers of Vietnam veterans being so psychologically scarred by the war that they are dysfunctional and the parallel myth of widespread American atrocities in Vietnam to validate their own political agendas.
The leaders of the American Legion, VFW, and other mainstream veterans' organizations would also do well to read this book. Many of them have been hoodwinked by fakers who gain positions of leadership and influence within veteran's organizations and become public spokesmen based on their impressive--but false--war records.
The machine copies of DD214 forms used by individuals to join veterans' organizations, obtain VA care, and convince skeptics cannot be accepted as valid proof of service because they can be forged with copy machines. Burkett and Whitley tell us the way to unmask the liars and frauds is to use a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of their DD214 directly from the National Records Center in St.
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Format: Hardcover
Several recent reviews have cast serious aspersions on Burkett's research and honor. That is ironic, given that "Stolen Valor" was given the Colby Award for Outstanding Military Book and that Burkett himself was presented with the U.S. Army's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, by former President George H.W. Bush on December 1, 2003. Such recognition is hardly indicative of poor scholarship!
The review by Shelby Stanton is particularly galling, since he knows that Burkett "has the goods" on him and is able to document where he was and what he did during Viet Nam (it was not the stuff of which movies are made!). I have not seen any evidence that Stanton, a lawyer, has brought suit against Burkett for libel. What Burkett said about Stanton in "Stolen Valor" is a matter of record. If I were Stanton, I would withdraw myself from public view, given how he appropriated reams of classified military documents and stored them in an unsecure location for several years. Only the fact that the documents were declassified AFTER Stanton purloined them kept him out of serious difficulty.
I would recommend to anyone interested in the Stanton case that they should read pages 435-443 of "Stolen Valor." Stanton stands condemned by his own words as much as by Burkett's.
Regarding reviewer Latham's comments about PTSD and the VA, a recent blind study conducted on 100 randomly selected records of "totally-disabled" Viet Nam vets reveals an interesting statistic--60% of those individuals were never in combat at all, and a significant number of them were never in Viet Nam.
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