How Easy It Is To Have A Case of Stolen Valour aka Walter Mitty

So, I am an Army Brat, my father served in One Commando, the Rhodesian Light Infantry from 1967 to 1980, so basically joined the Rhodesian Army during peace time, the Rhodesian Bush War came along and as a professional soldier he did what professional soldiers are supposed to do, serve their country and as an army is the backbone of defence for any nation my father did his job. He was actually a part of the elite Fire Force of the Rhodesian Light Infantry, a fact that I am extremely proud of.

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My Dad getting ready for deployment, note the muzzle of his FN bottom left of the photo.

As for myself I wanted to join the British Army as a Commonwealth Applicant, I was first and foremost proud of my military ties, in both the British Army and with my father. I had a regiment picked out and I chose the Battalion I wanted to join. I was intending on following in my fathers footsteps and my Great Grandfather who was from Wales in Brecon and was too a professional soldier in the British Army and had fought in the Second Anglo-Boer War and then on the Somme in World War One and as such also wanted a career in the infantry and so I chose none other than the most senior English line infantry regiment, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, second battalion (2PWRR)  which is a light infantry battalion (I had no desire to be armoured infantry (1PWRR)). Throughout the years I had decided I wanted a career in the British Army I was (and am still) fighting a battle which prevented me from joining up and living my chosen career in life – it had been what I dreamt of as a child and somewhere along the line had got lost and it was only into my early thirties had I decided it was what I really wanted, although in my mid twenties I attended an Army Presentation at Aldershot ACIO in 2006 but that stalled as I had a bureaucratic issue that prevented me from joining but I never gave up my fight until it was time to hit the reality of the situation, especially now that I am almost two years short of forty, where on earth does the time go?

Now as a result of all of this, my family ties to the British Army and my fathers service with the Rhodesian Light Infantry I have a deep respect and appreciation for our armed forces; the British, Americans, New Zealanders and Australians have all paid a spectacular price for the world we live in, in both world wars, but to name some others thereafter and more recently Iraq and Afghanistan. They, including other forces who played a part in Afghanistan; like the Polish, Latvian, Ukranian, Lithuanian and French forces but to name a few others who were part of the ISAF mission that I hold a deep amount of respect and appreciation for them and their service and so I believe that all of us must not show a lack of respect, but unfortunately, many do, which is a pity.

So, anyway, this evening I’m combing through Amazon, not particularly looking at anything to buy but seeing whats on the market in terms of military memorabilia, clothing etc. And I came across medals of which has spurred me to write this blog. For a while now the Brits and Americans have been suffering with whats dubbed here in the UK “Walter Mitty” or in US Legal avenues Stolen Valor” (valour in English, English) – I will post a few YouTube clips as I go through my blog – in fact, one which I found containing some Royal Marines confronted a “Walt” at a parade in London at Westminster.

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Now, okay, fair enough, I appreciate that these are WW2 medals but the Walt types have shown that they either don’t care or think that serving personnel are stupid enough to not be able to see through their absolute rubbish.

I find it absolutely disgraceful that these types be allowed to carry on like this, it is totally and utterly disrespectful to those that have fought and died and lost friends and family in the heat of battle and serving their country that these people be allowed to continue to do this.

But also, it is so very easy to commit these acts through Amazon and Ebay, and also at Army Surplus Stores, one can easily buy all the kit, berets and cap badges included and be able to walk out and put their kit on and claim they are a part of the forces, it is that easy. I personally believe there needs to be a law on committing this vile and disrespectful act, as the Americans, Canadians and Australians have done, but not only this – I think that it needs to be law that if you wish to purchase items of uniform you must produce proof of identification that are with any of the said arms, whether cadets or full service and it should be outlawed on Amazon that you are to sell items of military uniform. It would be an unfortunate step to take as a lot of military kit is way better than civilian kit and it would put a lot of companies out of business; but it would be one of those cases where the fools have made it worse for everyone else.

For now, I must depart, it is late here, enjoy the vids. There are many others, mostly from the US but these should be enough for your entertainment.

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Guy Taylor

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