Black Friday shopping brings out the worst in people, but this may take the cake.
Army Sgt. Ryan Berk, 26, who served in Afghanistan in the 101st Airborne Division recently witnessed a man dressed in fatigues shopping in a Pennsylvania Mall. Berk, a Purple Heart recipient, instinctively knew something wasn’t right and confronted the man about mistakes on his uniform while filming the confrontation.
The man in the video, who has now been identified as Sean Yetman, was unable to answer the questions posed by Berk ultimately saying, “You got me, bud.”
Stolen Valor and Facebook
“Stolen valor at its finest. Why don’t you just admit that you’re a phony?” Berk says on the recording that has been viewed over three million times on the Facebook Page “Stolen Valor.” The Facebook page was designed strictly for the purpose of shining a bright light on all those who impersonate members of the military.
While Yetman did answer a few of Berk’s questions to his satisfaction, Berk still had trouble with his uniform.
“I noticed his combat infantryman’s badge, he had two stars above it, which would indicate that he served in three different wars which is almost physically impossible for his age,” Berk told Fox News.
“The only three-time earners would have had to serve in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, because nobody who earned one in Korea would have still been active for the desert wars,” Col. Richard Nurnberg, executive director of the National Infantry Association, told the Allentown Morning Call.
Wearing an army uniforn: A crime or not?
While certainly in poor taste, it is not illegal for a civilian to wear a military uniform. However, The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it a federal crime to receive any tangible benefits from misrepresenting yourself as a member of the armed services.
It’s not yet clear whether or not Yetman was simply a “wannabe” or if he was using the uniform to receive discounts on his Black Friday purchases. Either way, I’m quite comfortable calling him a scumbag and he has failed to answer the door of his home when local media got wind of the story nor answer phone calls from a number of news outlets.