Amazing how the media will just regurgitate anything from these Occupy protesters. I don’t doubt there are some veterans who might support the movement, but folks reporting these stories should do a little background checking before airing the claims of the so-called combat veterans.
Case in point this fellow from Occupy Buffalo, who claims he’s a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Everything I’ve told you is completely true; I’ve got nothing to hide,” Simmance said in one of three interviews.
People close to Simmance told The News they initially believed his claims of wartime deployments but they grew disenchanted when they discovered he was exaggerating his military service.
“I cannot confirm any of what he said,” Denise Simmance, his mother, told The News.
Simmance has been interviewed numerous times by local media outlets since join ing the Occupy Buffalo movement, where he has been a constant presence since the protesters began camping out in front of City Hall early last month.
* In an Oct. 23 interview with The News, Simmance identified himself as a former staff sergeant with the U.S. Army Special Forces who was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade while serving in Afghanistan.
* Eleven days earlier, his photo accompanied a News article about Occupy Buffalo, after Simmance told a staff photographer he was a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
* And an Oct. 11 story on Channel 4’s website refers to Simmance as an “Army Special Services” sergeant. Simmance told the TV station he saw combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza and he claimed he only has 10 years to live because of his injuries.
* Simmance was interviewed in The News for the first time in February 2008. He said then that he saw combat while serving with an international peacekeeping force in the Middle East in 2001, with no reference to Afghanistan or Iraq.
* In November 2008, in another News article, Simmance said he was taking up to four prescription drugs a day, and had seen four or five psychiatrists for his post-traumatic stress disorder.
After the most recent News article ran, two people who know Simmance contacted the newspaper to say he had exaggerated his Army service.
An Army public affairs officer told The News by email that records show Simmance served in the active-duty Army from Jan. 12, 1998 to Jan. 11, 2001.
Simmance left active-duty service with the rank of E4, or specialist, not staff sergeant, according to Army records, and he was stationed at Fort Lewis for the duration of his active-duty service.
His primary military occupation specialty, or MOS, in the Army was the infantry, according to the Army records, and his secondary MOS was mortar.
Simmance also did not earn any medals or awards that would indicate service in an overseas combat zone, Army records show.
When The News asked Simmance how to reconcile his statements with his Army record, he insisted the records are incomplete.
Read the rest. It sounds like this guy is suffering from mental illness and was being used by the Occupy frauds to help promote their cause.
H/T Jeff Emanuel.