A trio of Stolen Valor phonies

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A trio of Stolen Valor phonies

Back in November there was a sting operation run by the Texas Rangers (law enforcement, not the AL Baseball Team) that worked like a champ:

Police set up a sting operation Saturday to award a man they say was falsely claiming to be an active-duty Navy SEAL with a "firearm of appreciation" before arresting him on charges of impersonating a ranking officer.

Weatherford-Parker County special investigators worked with the Texas Rangers to arrest Carlos Felipe Luna-Gonzalez, 29, three days before Veterans Day.

Gonzalez has posted photos on social media wearing a Navy dress uniform while dining at a local coffee shop. The uniform had a Lieutenant Junior Grade Rank, displayed a Navy SEAL Trident, Jump Wings, and other various awards.

The 29-year-old had also told local law enforcement officials he was stationed at Naval Air Station Carswell as he awaited a medical discharge for injuries he claimed he suffered in Africa on a Navy SEAL operation.

After they arrested Carlos, he predictably posted bail, and then promptly ran away to Puerto Rico.  

But Texas isn't happy with that, and they plan on getting him:

Sheriff Fowler asked Puerto Rico police for help. Monday night, he got word they had his man.

"They wanted to know if we would extradite. They wanted to know in 10 minutes. They got their answer in eight," Fowler grinned. "He couldn't even shine the SEALs' boots, as far as I'm concerned."

Fowler's service included duty aboard two aircraft carriers....

Sheriff Fowler said Gonzalez did serve a brief stint in the Navy, and received a general discharge.

The sheriff said he heard from a lot of vets who were especially angry about the SEAL trident and Purple Heart on the uniform.

The theft charge was only a misdemeanor. Jumping bond on the misdemeanor is a felony.

"I'm going to bring him back — one way or the other," Sheriff Fowler said. "He picked the wrong county, I'll tell you that."

The video is pretty awesome:

And another case made me even madder, because this guy is actually a Command Sergeant Major, currently serving in the US Army.  These next two come from Jonn Lilyea:



Another active duty member of the military, Command Sergeant Major Perry T. MacNeill of the Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, has been sentenced for wearing unauthorized insignia, decoration, badge, ribbon, device or lapel button, in violation of Article 134, Uniform Code of Military Justice, and of one specification of making a false official statement, in violation of Article 107 of the code. The Senior NonCommissioned Officer was sentenced to receive a letter of reprimand, reduction to the E-7 pay grade (sergeant first class) and forfeitures of $500 per month for 10 months. From Guardian of Valor;

According to the charges he wore both the Ranger Tab and the Pathfinder Badge wrongfully and without authority on multiple occasions: on or between March 4, 2011, and Feb. 28, 2014. It also says he submitted an official record to the Centralized Selection List Board for the fiscal year Active Component and U.S. Army Reserve Active Guard Reserve Brigade/Battalion Command Sergeant Major and Key Billet Sergeant Major Board, a falsified enlisted record brief stating he had graduated from Ranger School in 1994.

According to his bio, he had two Bronze Star Medals (for Merit), five Meritorious Service Medals, four ARCOMs and six Army Achievement Medals and a member of the Order of Saint Barbara, but I guess that wasn't good enough. The rest of your career will rightfully suck, SFC.

And lastly there's this clown:

Hugh Clarence Johnson

There's this fellow in Washington State, who goes by a number of names, but his real name is Hugh Clarence Johnson. Some of his "also known as" monikers are; Hubert Clarence Johnson aka Hugh Clearence Johnson aka Hugh Clarence Johnson aka Hugh Johnson aka Hugh Jonson aka Clarence H. Jonson aka C H Johnson aka Hugo C. Johnson. He was arrested a few months ago for practicing holistic medicine without a license, according to the Whidbey Island, Washington News-Times;

Former Navy physician C. Hugh Jonson was arrested Wednesday by Oak Harbor police. Another provider at the holistic medicine clinic, Arely Jimenez-Beckius, was also arrested for practicing medicine without a license Feb. 16. [...] Jonson also said he was a prisoner of war during Vietnam, a Green Beret, and had received both the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Silver Star.

Well, he's been known in the stolen valor community for quite some time. The old POW Network had this to say about him;

Claims POW, Claims Army SF, Claims Navy Capt, Claims 2 DFC*, Claims MD, Claims psychologist, Claims law degree, Claims law enforcement officer Kimberling County NC. He also has claimed to have been in Baghdad during the first gulf war and through the auspices of the CIA was personally tracking the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein. He claimed to know exactly where he was at all times (with the exception of Saturdays and Sundays). He also claims that sometime in the 60's he was on a secret mission to extract a German scientist from China. He said this scientist had been kidnapped by the Chinese for his nuclear technology and his job was to get him out and whisk him to an undisclosed island somewhere in the Pacific, which he did without any problem.... of course.

The Whidbey News-Timesdid their own research on him;

Under a slightly different spelling, Hugh Clarence Johnson was convicted of multiple felonies in 1995 in Sonoma County Superior Court, Calif. Those crimes were associated with practicing medicine without a license, according to court documents and news reports. Oak Harbor Police Detective Mike Bailey confirmed that the Hugh Clarence Johnson convicted in California is the same man who was arrested in Oak Harbor. Johnson was charged with 47 felonies in Sonoma County, “including fraud, forgery and possession firearms,” according to 1995 reports published in the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif.

The News-Times also notes that there is a C. Hugh Johnsonwho is listed as a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross for service in Vietnam in 1968, but it's not this guy;

Hugh Clarence Johnson FOIA Hugh Clarence Johnson Assignments Hugh Clarence Johnson Quals

I'll bet that Good Conduct Medal was the focus of his entire career. He couldn't have earned the DFC because he wasn't even in the Navy at the time that the other Mr. Johnson earned the medal. He has a criminal record that goes back to 1975 - mostly for pretending to be something that he's not. Notice in the picture, that he decided he deserved the Navy Cross, too.

Hugh Clarence Johnson1
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It just brings this full circle to an awesome and respected Naval man; Admiral Jeremy Boorda was cited to be wearing a decoration that he wasn't awarded and then committed suicide in 1996.

The only way to keep the "civilian" wannabes from acquiring uniforms, ribbons and medals - all discharging veterans must turn in their uniforms and businesses can not sell ribbons and medals to customers without a real DD214. The DD214's should be watermarked like our money to prevent the illegal reproduction of someone else's. Common sense people...I forgot - we are the land of the "greed" and the home of the slave (that is another debating topic for another time - right my brothers and sisters of the Middle Class!)

Great that they caught these Impersonators. Looks like they put more time in on catching these guys than on the trader Bowe Bergdahl.

The "traitor" Bergdahl consumed far more hours than any of the above. Only one of the above consumed hours from the "they" to whom you refer. The others were civilian authorities. In Bergdahl's case, I believe it is unfortunate that we got him back. Our country would have been better served if we had left him to rot in custody of the Haqqani network.

Firing Squad too good for him - he should die by lethal injection.

The GALL of these Low self esteem individuals wearing uniforms, medals & awards in the hope that someone somewhere will worship them and praise him like his parents forgot to do way back when, is NO EXCUSE! Good Honest Men & Women served, fought died and sacrificed some gave their ALL, and to have these scumbags dishonor them should in itself be a FELONY including Jail Time (Hard Labor)

And to think of all the time while in the service I spent trying to impersonate being a civilian!! That was back in the era of Nam when it just wasn't too cool to be in the military. I usually always wore "civies" for commercial flights because of the bad looks and actions the uniform received in airports. What a difference society can make. I'm glad to see the change in society, but it's just too darn bad these impersonators are't hit with a much more severe penalty...maybe make them think twice about it.

I spent 1965 in Saigon with the U.S. Army Security Agency (ASA) and all we wore was civilian clothes.
Never got out of that town, never even saw the jungle (except from the air) and we were billeted in a hotel. Things really weren't too bad there in '65 (they did blow up the hotel 6 months after I left) and I had a cushy job and knew it.
I have great respect for the guys that slogged in the mud, trekked through the jungle, defended remote camps, ran the "swift boats" and got "up close and personal" with the VC.
I don't pretend to be a Recon sniper or Green Beret. I had my job and did it and don't need to enhance my duties. I feel sorry for those people who need to pretend to be something they are not in order to gain respect. Their lives must seem worthless to themselves and they use "stolen valor" to build it up to gain (false) respect.

I think these pathetic excuses for humans should be made to drink a tall, refreshing16 .oz glass of bull urine on the rocks, then put into a bull ring with said bull and watch the bull bring maximum smoke on their sorry a$$es.

There are 2 good books on fake warriors. They are, of course, Fake Warriors, and Fake Warriors 2 by Henry Mark Holzer and his wife, Erika.
A year in Korea and a Bronze Star cause me to be VERY upset when I read about all the phonies out there.

All these people should be put through the rigorous training and they will learn not to take these positions in vain. I am a retired Master Chief Petty Officer and I know what it takes to become a SEAL, not because I am one, but because I have seen how they train, in Dam Neck Virginia.
They get called in the middle of the night for a mission and they are not allowed to tell anyone where they are going, not even their wives. Anyway I just wanted to add my two cents on my feelings towards these "men"!

Like most all former Special Forces troopers, I'm constantly offended by pretenders, either wearing a beret or our patch or other insignias. I had an encounter at the Las Vegas VA Hospital with one who said he was with the 66th Special Forces, group of trained assassins and he was a sniper under treatment for shooting women and children. I said, "Snipers don't target women and children and Special Forces soldiers weren't trained to be snipers and any asshole can by a patch put it on a hat, asshole." If it had been anywhere beside the VA, I would've take his hat off and hoped he'd taken offense enough to take a swing.
I'm offering this on behalf of all the current and former SF troopers who've had similar experiences. Some of us lost teammates and still carry that with us. Phonies dishonoring them is, as far as I'm concerned, just one step up from being a pedophile or a rapist.

H. Lee Barnes, author of When We Walked Above the Clouds, the memoir of a former green beret.

H. Lee....

When I was being transferred from the 25th to the 101st (Camp Eagle I CORPS) I met a GB who had just finished a stretch as a sniper while with either the 4th ID or the 9th ID, I can never seem to remember which.

He had around 110 hits which at that time was considered to be a high number.

I was in touch with him off and on during the rest of the year I spent with the 101st and stayed friends with him later in the World.

He had other distinctive things going on about him, then and later but this is not the venue for that discussion.

Buzz me if you think you want to know more.

Best Regards,

RVN July '70 - Dec '71
2/77th FA ....25th ID
Eagle Dustoff ....101st Abn Div (Ambl)
507th Med Det (AA) Ft. Hood '72
126 Med Co. (AA) Los Alamitos Armed Forces Reserve Center '88

The starch uniform,baseball cap,spit shine boots was enough for me. SFC Cook,Walter U.S.retired.

Holy $#!%. CSM MacNeill, or SSG MacNeill as he was known in 1998 had a Pathfinder tab back then. Only one I ever saw in ADA. Only one I ever remember seeing not on some SF guys. Not a lot of advanced infantry guys at Ft. Carson back then. We all thought he got it at Ft. Benning. Pretty sure he's who I'm thinking of that was the Drug and Alcohol NCO at C 1/3 ADA before we split into Predator Troop 3RD ACR and C 1/44 ADA where I went.

Not that anyone privileged ever got away with anything or knew when the piss test was coming so knew to behave. That never happens. LOL Suck it SGT Mac! Nicest car in the battery. Scandalous.

Many many moons ago I was TDY at Ray Barracks in Friedberg, FRG. I remember going to the PX during payday activities to purchase the rank insignia of a Colonel; full-bird, O-6 type! Was I planning on wearing this on my uniform? Not a chance; I was an E-4 at the time! I just thought it would look "cool" on my headband, a biker style red bandana! To make a long story short; that evening I was prepared to hit the road for a night of fun and beer drinking when Top jacked me up before I could even get out of the barracks! He asked me, "Are you a Colonel now Specialist?" When I replied no, he simply said, "Then you know what to do next, right Soldier?" I quickly un-assed the shiny accoutrement from my civilian headgear and handed it to him straight away! He said, "Smart choice; now drive on specialist!" I said, “Yes Top!” and moved out like I had a purpose! I am willing to bet that if I were wearing it on my uniform his reaction would have been quite different! The First Sergeant’s pissed-off glare was all the block of instruction needed on Article 134, UCMJ – Wearing unauthorized insignia, decoration, badge, ribbon, device, or lapel button!

In the last 10 or 15 years I've noticed that a huge percentage of former military members claim to have been Seals, Rangers, Special Forces, Force Recon etc. Very few say they were simply a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. I have questioned a few of these and they know very little about the units they claim to have served in. I wonder what this says about our former military and our future military?

I was simply a plain Soldier!

A few years ago I was attending a class becuse of my job and one fellow, small of stature, declared that he was a forwme Navy Seal and had served in Viet nam. Everyone was fawning over him and he certainly loved the attention. During a break I engaged him in conversation. A few questions later, it was obvious that he was never even IN the Navy much less a Seal and about the only thing he knew about Viet Nam was the name of the country. It was really sad to realize that he had to fabricate this story and angering that he was pretending military service.
And, Edwin, I too have noticed a distinct lack of "regular" enlisted men. It seems like almost everyone I talk to that had service time was, as you say, in some "Special Ops" unit and no one (but me) it seems was a regular soldier...

see the attached

I can't understand why people can't just be satisfied with what they did and what they earned.
I was in for 20 years starting in aug 1960 and retired in april 1980. I got all the medals earned
by the units (ships/shore stations) that I was attached to and a couple of good conducts and
was more than satisfied with that and it was an honor to serve my country. I was attached to
Navsuppact Danang 1966-1967 living at Tien Sha but it was nothing to go around raving about
there were plenty of good men (boys) stationed there with me. I was the old man 22 yrs old.
I am just glad to see that the family units behind all our veterans are starting to get some

I remember on active duty hearing all sorts of stories from guys returning from Viet Name scaring the hell out of us waiting to ship out. Most were not true. I've also heard my share at local veterans groups that I know are not true. It's like "the fish the gat away". And then there are so many more people with no stories at all, and when they pass away we find what heroes they actually were. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

I have a burn scar skin graff on my right arm and right thigh. Happened when I was 6 months old. I served in RivRon15 in Nam. When I came back I was stationed in San Diego. I have some medals. When a newbie would see me in the shower they would ask about the scar. I would say " oh that! You don't recognize a flame thrower burn. Some other guy would chime in about the smell and they would get used to it. Their eyes would get huge and you could see them start swallowing fast. Then we would all start laughing and I would tell the truth.

My favorite saying is: Give the guilty bastards a fair trial, then hang them.

Something is mentally wrong with these individuals who were in the service or not. Here's one for the books. I was in a PTSD program in Coatesville PA in 1988, but before that my mother actually grabbed my ear and took me to the veterans center at Broad and Cherry Street in Philadelphia and wanted to know what was wrong with me, thank you mom, this veteran was authentic had us veterans believing he also was a Medal of Honor recipient. The oddity of it all is that he did actually received 2 Purple Hearts, 3 bronze Stars and 2 Silver Stars for his tours in Nam. One of the veterans in our program received this book, from his, of who received the Medal of Honor in all the wars and conflicts up to date. This veteran was not one. We were going to slice and dice him but he escorted out of the program and taken to some where else. What's mentally wrong with these individuals. Sure it makes me very angry I served and gave some but we know personally those that gave all. Those veterans are the ones who are mad.
Decorated Vietnam combat veteran
A1/12, 1stCAV (Airborne) Nam 1966
A1/503, 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP) Nam1967
A2/504, 82nd Airborne Division The World 1968-69
God Bless our men and woman in harms way

A "k" is missing from my comment. Setting the record straight.

I have a question for my fellow veterans. I'm a woman veteran and have been treated at times like I'm stealing valor or lying when I talk about my service in the Air Force. I don't make a habit of bragging about my medals or even talking about my service. For example, my husband, who is also a veteran, and I like to take advantage of the specials that many restaurants have on Veterans Day. Every year we go my husband is treated very well. On the other hand, I'm treated very poorly. I've decided from now on that I'd rather pay for my meal than be treated like I'm a liar. I've even shown the waiters my ID I got from the VA Hospital. Doesn't matter. Get treated like shit every time. Any ideas?

Carry your DD-214 and leave him a penny tip.

A Lee, the best you can do is try to set them straight. Don't let them intimidate you. My wife is a 21 year Air Force veteran and fights it all of the time. When she tried to join the VFW they referred her to the auxiliary. She was commander of our local American Legion post for two years and folks would call and ask for me, thinking I was the commander. Thank you for service.

I had a close friend who I had a great deal of respect for. We attended college together under the GI Bill and learned about each others militray experiences as if they were secrets. And in a way they were. He spent two tours in country and came home proud of his service but emotionally broken. We were told NOT to wear our dress green or fatigues to get home. Not because it was unpopular but because it wasn't safe. At school he wore his fatigues, boots and rank. But never spoke about the war or his experience. When asked about it he would change the subject. People thought he was wierd, a bit deranged or at least not all together. I knew differently. He was heavily decorated and his DD214 supported his awards, as did his scars. He showed up as a one man honor guard, dressed in his greens, bearing his awards, and infantry rope, he stood watch over a Vietnam Veteran who died from complications associated with agent orange. No one dare say anything to him. It wasn't sanctioned by the funeral home or family surely it must have been a local veteran organization. It wasn't. Asked why he was doing it, his response was simple, "No one else was. He deserves at least this because soon his time in Nam will be dust in someones memory." He was right. A Lee, he also noted that true, open respect and appreciation comes from Vets to Vets. If we are Brothers and sisters in uniform we need to hold true to the bond we declare exist. We ahve to stand up for ourselves and have each others interest as our own. Welcome home!

I did 12 years in the Army NG and Reserves, and never served with anyone claiming anything other than what they earned... That being said, while working in a civilian job in Virginia, I ran into a kid... Must have been barely 18 that was wearing a Seals ballcap... I just stopped what I was doing, pointed at his cap and said "really"???

This was in 1998, long before the very entertaining videos by Senior Chief Seal Don Shipley... It was just some kid trying to look cool, and for all I knew, he enlisted in the Navy and was waiting to go to Basic... I have no idea as I never saw him again...

I have heard some people say that imitation is flattery or some bullshit like that... Guess what??? Yep, all civilians with no idea

To A. Lee, the Female USAF Veteran. I thank you for your service to the United States of America. I come from a military family. My one uncle served in WWII as a B-24 Liberator waist gunner in the S. Pacific. He is 97 and still kicking. My other uncles served also but are deceased. When I see a veteran or someone posing as a veteran, I ask for if they remember their service number. That number is tattooed in memory. All but one proudly gave it aloud in unison with me. The one, well, he just walked away. He was a fake in fatigues (Camos). I always thank a veteran. We would not be here without them.
Keep your chin up and my wife and I would buy you dinner every time we saw you. We have done it for others. They have done it for me. God Bless you and God Bless America.
3561st Pilot Training Squadron, Webb AFB, Big Spring, Texas

Thanks for the comment Frank. I'm really proud to have served. I was at Clark AB in the Philippines when they evacuated us during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. I also served at Osan AB and McChord AFB. Have many great memories from the service. Guess I shouldn't let some prepubescent waiter, who wasn't even alive when I served, steal my thunder. Thanks again and God bless you too sir.

When I was in the service, 66-72, during the end of the time i was in they started going by their social security number. But, I have a serial number as well. And, your right it's burned into my memory. And, I'm now 67 years old.

I just retired from USAFR. ~27 years of service with a 13 year break in service. I'm Vietnam Era (Active Duty, '73 - '77) and have 3 NDR's. Have often felt guilty that I did not serve in combat. I was available, but was just not called. I would NEVER consider embellishing my service and am proud that I retired as CMSgt (E-9).

Nam vet 67-68 drove a deuce-half on Hwy 1 between Qui Nhon and Bong Son every couple of weeks carrying pallets of beer. Never got any medals for it but I know a lot of guys wanted to give me one. God bless all the real heros out there

When I was Asst. Confinement Officer at the Ft. Sill Stockade in the late 1960s, we had a prisoner who had worked his way up to Parolee status and therefore had the run of the stockade. He had been a company clerk in his unit, and, by taking the samples out of the appropriate ARs, wrote up his own citations for medals and rank promotions up to SFC. Like MASH's Radar O'Reilly, he would stick these docs under his CO's nose, get them signed and pass them up the line. After he got caught and put in our facility pending Court Martial, he probably could have gotten off fairly easy if he hadn't gone to his Court Martial wearing all the medals/ribbons, the SFC stripes, pegged his boots like Airborne, etc. Our Confinement Officer, CPT Bruce Tufts, said, unofficially and tongue-in-cheek of course, that if Bill ever started his own Army, he wanted to be a part of it! I wish I knew what happened to this outrageous con artist.

I think the persons claiming the medals and awards should be sent to the branch of service they claim to have served in and face a court-martial. I served on carriers when on sea duty in both the waters off Viet Nam and Lebanon when the marines landed there in 1982. Sure makes for some long days on the flight deck..

Australia can post a muster list of the people who served in Vietnam on line how come the USA can't? I was there didn't do anything much (was in the USMC air wing) but I can remember every place I was. I run into people who claim to be Veterans who couldn't tell me where they were stationed, which is BS. If you were there you remember exactly where you were no mater how hard or easy you had it..

I remember a Class A formation in which a young soldier had more medals than the rest of us put together. His Platoon Sgt and leader never thought to ask him about them. the General did, he asked the young troop, "how long have you been in the service?" the young soldier answered, "6 months sir!", The general then asked how is it you have so many medals and ribbons?" "I bought them at the Uniform Store, I think they look really cool." No letter of reprimand but the Platoon leaders down to Squad got a royal ass chewing he was just a kid doing a dumb thing we knew better.
These three losers are trying to profit from medals and ribbons they purposely lied about to steal honor, valor they are people trying to exploit that which they can not understand have not earned and it never stops with just the malice of the wearing and posturing of medals and ribbons.
One of the best SGMs I knew had our 214's at dining ins and would review our ribbons and heaven help the fool that didn't have documentation for everything on his uniform. It takes real pride to wear the uniform in a manner that conforms with what you have actually achieved. False pride will out.
i sure would not want the Texas Law enforcement on my tail. God bless them for doing the good work.

This is bad enough but we cant even convict a deserter who went over to the enemy and got real soldiers killed and what worse was the letting 5 Terrorists free and praise him in the Rose garden now that is a real crime wearing unearned medals is bad enough but this is a real crime !!!!!

EDward E. IAUN: what you said, just LOUDER. Am US Army Retired. Also a female.
Wish there was a medal for getting all the sh*t details and harassment trying to be forced out of the service because the old goats did not want any females in service other than on their knees or backs. I stayed in because my Dad was my hero and i wanted to be just like him, an ass-kicker. He served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I served Grenada and Desert Storm, happy I made it to retirement with Integrity intact, no high rank, but I earned every stripe with pride and not on my knees nor back. My Dad always said medals received the wrong way just did not matter after service, what matters most is that you like what you see in the mirror everyday for the rest of your life. I sleep easy too, knowing I made my Daddy proud.

I continue to believe that authorities should continue to go after and prosecute those who use stolen valor, by perjuring themselves , for financial or political gain. But for authorities to entrap this poor soul who had earlier been given a general discharge as being unfit for duty. Then after he fled to Puerto Rico, made the decision to extradite him back to Texas on this petty charge. I am surprised that District/City attorney would authorize the extradition. While I do not condone this man's actions in trying to "feel good", I believe that the sheriff over reacted. It reminds me of "COOL HAND LUKE".

Stolen Valor is not about mis-representation, nor rank nor medals. Stolen Valor is about identity theft, and lack of moral respect for those that served, in hostile states and those who did not. Every veteran, regardless of duty station, or MOS has made sacrifices, some more than others but none the less that service was provided under oath to defend and protect the interest of this country and its people. By wearing the uniform our service personnel are declaring a willingness to give some and if need be give all. And that is why as veterans we cannot tolerate or simply disregard Stolen Valor, we as vets have a morale obligation to defend what military service is about, and the cost it imposes not only on the Nation but also the price paid by families and friends. Stolen Valor degrades that service and the price paid for freedom and peace this land has come to enjoy and take for granite.

Have them pull buts for flamethrowers!

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.