Local veterans angry over stolen valor video


A viral video showing a Philadelphia man accused of impersonating an Army Ranger left a sour taste in the mouth of some Region 8 veterans.

The man was approached by a veteran who is also a Purple Heart recipient.

From that point he can be heard pointing out several discrepancies in the man's uniform and his story about his alleged training and job. Right now, the man has not been charged with a crime.

Many veterans and even the family members of Region 8 veterans said what that man did was disrespectful.

Jeff Morris of Bono has a family history of military members that includes his great-grandfather who fought in World War Two and is a Purple Heart recipient.

“That's terribly offensive because we have people who go and leave their families and die on the battlefield everyday to fight for our freedom," Morris said. "Then you have someone who has the audacity to impersonate one just to get a deal.”

Tim McCoy is an Iraq war veteran who is now an Arkansas State University student.

He recounted his own experiences while he was deployed and described losing some of his friends there, and even a moment he was close to losing his own life.

He said he understands why someone may want to look like a soldier, but to do it for personal gain is wrong.

“If they're doing it for financial gain that is illegal, I think they should pay a fine or go to jail,” McCoy said.

Kelly McCoy works as a services specialist at the ASU Beck Pride Center and is also a veteran.

She said she wishes more people would respect the uniform.

“These men and women sacrifice their lives, we wouldn't have what we have today," she said. "They're fighting for our freedom.”

Copyright 2014 KAIT. All rights reserved.