The review by Shelby Stanton is particularly galling, since he knows that Burkett "has the goods" on him and is able to document where he was and what he did during Viet Nam (it was not the stuff of which movies are made!). I have not seen any evidence that Stanton, a lawyer, has brought suit against Burkett for libel. What Burkett said about Stanton in "Stolen Valor" is a matter of record. If I were Stanton, I would withdraw myself from public view, given how he appropriated reams of classified military documents and stored them in an unsecure location for several years. Only the fact that the documents were declassified AFTER Stanton purloined them kept him out of serious difficulty.
I would recommend to anyone interested in the Stanton case that they should read pages 435-443 of "Stolen Valor." Stanton stands condemned by his own words as much as by Burkett's.
Regarding reviewer Latham's comments about PTSD and the VA, a recent blind study conducted on 100 randomly selected records of "totally-disabled" Viet Nam vets reveals an interesting statistic--60% of those individuals were never in combat at all, and a significant number of them were never in Viet Nam. The Department of Veterans Affairs is sitting on a scandal of monumental proportions, a scandal that should earn an enterprising reporter a Pulitzer Prize, such are its ramifications.
Burkett is my hero, as he is for thousands of other Viet Nam veterans and lovers of honesty. "Stolen Valor" should be read by anyone with a desire to know how the courage of true heroes is besmirched every time some "wannabe" lies about what he did in the war.
As a retired Navy SEAL officer who has spent countless hours exposing phony SEALs, I am indebted to Burkett for what he does to keep the phonies in the spotlight.
Keep it up, my friend!
Too many journalists pass on to their readers--and preserve for posterity--whatever lies they are told about secret missions behind enemy lines, American atrocities, amazing Rambo-type combat, and our nation's highest awards for valor which somehow were never recorded in the faker's official records. Are these journalists just naive or are they intentionally supporting an anti-Vietnam War, anti-military, and anti-American agenda?
Burkett and Whitley demonstrate how those opposed to the war (and the military and the government) are using the myth of vast numbers of Vietnam veterans being so psychologically scarred by the war that they are dysfunctional and the parallel myth of widespread American atrocities in Vietnam to validate their own political agendas.
The leaders of the American Legion, VFW, and other mainstream veterans' organizations would also do well to read this book. Many of them have been hoodwinked by fakers who gain positions of leadership and influence within veteran's organizations and become public spokesmen based on their impressive--but false--war records.
The machine copies of DD214 forms used by individuals to join veterans' organizations, obtain VA care, and convince skeptics cannot be accepted as valid proof of service because they can be forged with copy machines. Burkett and Whitley tell us the way to unmask the liars and frauds is to use a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain a copy of their DD214 directly from the National Records Center in St. Louis, MO.
I've encountered some of these phonies myself and my theory is that the longer and dirtier their hair and beards are, the more they look like street people, the more medals, badges, patches, pins, and other gewgaws they are wearing, the more likely they are to be impostors.
It's not difficult for a real veteran to see the inconsistencies in their claims but journalists and the public who have never served are easily fooled into believing these bums are typical of Vietnam vets. That's why "Stolen Valor" is an appropriate title for this book. They are besmirching the reputation of all of us who served honorably and are proud of it.