CLEs are “continuing legal education” credits we are required to obtain in order to keep our license to torture the VA. As for the song, I sure ain’t planning on walking or paddling to DC or Orlando. That’s for gyrines, groundpounders and squids. No sir. I was born into the Air Force. My dad was a full bird Colonel in Korea when I happened in ’51. I learned how to fly a Cessna 140 sitting in my daddy’s lap when I was ten. None of that rotary wing shit either. 

CLEs are measured in hours so it takes a while to earn them. Three days of it and you’re good to go for another two years but VA law doesn’t cease and desist in those two years so you need to attend more frequently in order to keep your game up. Which is why I go twice a year to keep the brain muscle working. Well, that and to break bread with old, dear friends and my sensei who introduced me to the VA poker game.

As luck would have it, the BVA Gatekeeper over at 425 ‘I’ Street scheduled a hearing for April 19th for one of my troops. I’ve been waiting for this one since April 18th, 2019. Mr. Thomas Williams, in charge of BVA central office hearings, probably had no idea the NOVA conferences were beginning the next day in Orlando. How cool is that? My client gets a free half-trip ticket to DC.  I expect Thomas is going to be seeing me more and more frequently. My greenhouse hearing has finally popped up for June so I’ll be busy racking up my frequent filer miles.

The fall conferences are scheduled for Fort Worth this October. I’m looking forward to that. I don’t know what it is about Texas but I have more Vets from there than anywhere else in the country. I love to finally meet some of them and shake their hand.  On top of it, I’m planning on hunting feral pigs south of there when the conference is over. There’s an outfit with full auto 16s and choppers who’ll give all you Air Cav troops the thrill of your lives again. Too bad they’re not using Hueys. It ain’t cheap and they use mini-choppers that look vaguely like loaches. But for a few thousand more, they’ll set you up with a pig mounted on a pintle and 2,000 rds of 7.62. I hope they figured out the trick with the peach can under the infeed.

My (now) P&T Silver Star Lurp Ed, who drowns me in questionable humor, sent me this link with tons of great statistics and actual valid numbers concerning the Southeast Asia boundary misunderstanding of the sixties.


According to our government, 2,709,918 Americans served in uniform incountry in Vietnam.  This required actually wiggling your toes in that skanky red clay for 24 hours or more. If you thought Georgia had a lot of red clay, you ain’t seen shit. Imagine a whole peninsula made out of it. In monsoon, you grew 2 inches taller with it always stuck to your boots and you blew out red snot throughout the dry season from all the dust. I’m not sure how they’ll incorporate all the squids into the above number who joined after they added the Blue Water folks after Procopio. Shoot, maybe the 2.7 mil above included them. Seems I always recalled it was 2.3 million all these years. And please, no offense to you folks who only served out there within the 12-mile limit, but it was a slightly more emergent event when Captain Charles dropped in to pay his respects at 0200 when you were snoozing.

 One statistic, with allegedly valid numbers, was the 1990 census answers on how many of us were still alive-1,713,823 souls. I hight one. What’s incongruous are the numbers of Vets (denizens of VFW bars, no doubt) who disremember where they were between 1961 and 1975-nine million, four hundred ninety two thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight of you to be exact. That’s a little more than a rounding  error even if you were to round it off. It gets worse. The 2000 census had even more liars. That Census count ten years later reflected the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country had grown to 13,853,027. Relying on this later number means 80% (4 out of 5) of them (11,143,109) are liars. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

9,492,958 (1995)

-2,709,918 (1975)


6,783,040 =Veterans actually pulling your leg about serving there (in 1995). If this were true, America would have experienced a decrease in births for the same decades. We talk of Stolen Valor often but this gives it a whole new depth and breadth. Nobody, in their wildest dreams or nightmares, could suffer a year’s schizophrenic delusion or coma and wake up convinced they had endured 365 wakeups. That’s what DD 214s are for. They also show your medals that prove these things. Granted, some of us have to go get a DD 215 to correct the errors but no one can obtain a new one with medals they didn’t earn.

So, now that you know that 6.78 million of your fellow Veterans ((11,143,109 in 2000 and growing) are liars, aren’t you going to feel stupid gladhanding all these guys with black motorcycle vests emblazoned with all manner of patches attesting to their faithful service in places such as Cu Chi or Phan Rang? Wouldn’t you feel more comfortable asking to see their 214s? As President Reagan said, “Trust. But Verify.”  Write down Qui Nhon or Quang Tri and ask them how they pronounce it. It’s a great way to separate the ribbon clerks from the poker players.

What I find interesting-perhaps pathetic- is why a real Veteran who served in Germany or never even left the States would feel the need to embellish his record. Isn’t it enough to just have served? I sure feel that serving in any capacity is one hell of a way of showing your commitment to patriotism regardless of where you did KP or picked up cigarette butts. I’ve represented Veterans who only served 43 days and have the same respect for them as any LRP -or one in a ‘Studies and Observation Group’.

Think about what I’m saying here. According to the government and USAA insurance actuarial tables, there were only 750,000- give or take 10 K- even still alive back in 2008 when I first started investigating the actual number who served.  Given I’ve buried (figuratively) about 25 of my own clients, not including my father, I’d have to surmise that number has shrunk dramatically rather than grown.

 Every year across our fruited plains, they have Veterans Day parades and they trot out some old boy who served in WWII or Korea. Those guys are veritable antiques and most are driving a wheelchair. I even remember a guy in Albany Georgia in 1954 who claimed to be a Confederate War Vet. He’d joined when he was 14. Seems that would have made him 103 at a minimum. Granted, they’re rarer than hen’s teeth. So, by the same token, by now-2023- that 750,000 number must have really decreased.  I’d be surprised if it exceeded half that number today. Agent Orange is a very harsh taskmaster.


So, all you real Vietnam Vets-and you know inside who you are- ought to begin asking some hard questions about all this. For those of you who belong to Veterans Service Organizations, I suggest a review of your membership if you really want accurate statistics. Don’t depend on a show of hands. I’ve been seeing some reports of Post Commanders up in New Jersey being outed as not even being in the military whatsoever. The days of taking a fellow’s word about his bona fides is sadly a thing of the past.

I reckon by 2050 or so, there are going to be 16 million who served incountry and boy howdy keep your eyes peeled for the number of troops who single-handedly took out a whole battalion of Al Quaeda Taliban in Iraqistan with only one magazine in their SAW -but the govt. lost their records and they never got their medals. Tall tales are like weeds if you let them fester. The good news is that if this keeps up, they’ll never run short of Vietnam Vets for Veterans Day Parades. Sadly, you’ll never see me in one. I’m not a parade kind of guy. I’m plenty proud just to be an American citizen.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that. See you in Orlando next week.


About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in Food for thought, Stolen Valor, Veterans Law and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. After the Evac in 75 I ended up in Southeast Asia. In the late seventies virtually every American I met was a Viet Nam vet. They’d all been to ” ‘Naam “. The longer you let them talk, the quicker you pick (virtually all of them) as phonies. The two actual vets I knew were both SOG, one from CCN the other from Central, and didn’t know each other at the time. Both now gone. I was given a SOG t-shirt from one of the annual SF gatherings, but not being SOG I can’t wear it. A great keepsake though.

  2. Peace Time Marine says:

    I am a relatively younger marine 55 and I was at bar (USMC Birthday) there was an older fellow there who was a Vietnam pretender. It was really sad. He had his ribbons out of order and rank upside down (Sgt). All 5 of us younger marines (50s) noticed this and it really saddened us. No one shouted him down but we all noticed immediately and asked him a few more questions. It was clear that he knew less about Vietnam then he knew about the marine corps itself. Finally my buddy asked him why he would make up such a story. He left and we never saw him again. Very awkward to even see it play out. I am proud as hell for having served in the USMC and just grateful that I never had to go into combat. Thank you for those of you who did.

  3. R A Chapman says:

    I was flying somewhere a few years ago and started talking to a disabled vet with a service dog. The dumb fucker had the balls to tell a Marine he was a “Corporal Captain” in the Marine Corps. It took all my discipline to walk away. The dumb fucker had the balls to tell me a stupid ass story about being injured in Iraq and needing a service dog… I don’t understand why anyone would fake being a vet! But if they do they should have their nuts cut off! That is a real disgrace to all my friends/brothers who did not come home!
    Semper Fucking Fi!

  4. jamescripps says:

    Go get em Alex. Thanks for saying the things that need to be said where others just won’t.

    I am one of those stateside/Germany type vets and I did my part. I don’t need to help anyone else carry their load or share in their Valor. However, I am aware of those of whom you spotlight.

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