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Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History Hardcover – September 1, 1998
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The next nail in the wannabe column involved a clinical psychologist's Army husband who was having difficulty obtaining VA benefits. He was part of the forward recon team in Argentina. Because of his "spook" ops, he could not apply for VA benefits until President George W. was out of office. That should have been the alarm. Stranger than fiction. This wannabe's downfall came at the Marine Corps birthday ball when he told the story of having been rescued by a single Seal team member and being carried 20 clicks to safety. Pinned on his -- the wannabe's chest was a Silver Star along with other fruit salad.
"Stolen Valor," could not be truer. And I had the unfortunate chance to experience it.
Having been raised in a military family, I was always frustrated by the depiction of Vietnam vets in the media and culture. The people I saw on TV and in the papers were not the same ones that I had grown up with. My father, step-father, uncles, neighbors - they were not stressed out victims. They were professional soldiers who served their country with honor and pride.
Burkett does a fantastic job of debunking most of the myths surrounding service in Vietnam. He demonstrates how the anti-war crowd, liars and malingerers created and sustained an alternate reality of what happened. The war has been over for 30 years and yet the battle at home still continues. This book goes a long way toward setting the record straight.
Long and repetive at times, this is not light reading and will probably leave you angry at those who have pepetuated and profited from the myths. If you are interested in the Vietnam era, this book would be a great starting point. Burkett points out the flaws in many books and TV shows of the era (i.e. he researched quite a few of the people who provided "first hand" accounts and found they were frauds). Especially relevant if you follow the events in Iraq/Afganistan since the rhetoric against the war is exactly the same as what was used during the Vietnam era and it is coming from the same people and organizations.