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Edward D. Reuss
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Book Review and Excerpt from Stolen Valor

If you use any of the Internet search engines such as Yahoo.com or Google.com and enter the keywords "stolen valor", you will be rewarded with a large number of responses. The book "Stolen Valor" by B.G. Burkett, and Glenna Whitley should be required reading for all Americans.  Prior to reading the book, I contacted the authors and requested a review copy. I now feel a sense of shame for having done so.  I would gladly pay whatever price the publishers of this historical work would demand. After reading the book, I went to the site of Amazon.Com to read any comments and feedback from those who had read this book. I was again shocked to see that the book was no longer being marketed at Amazon.com. I posted the book on NY COP ONLINE MAGAZINE WWW.NYCOP.COM as the Book of the Month for the February, 2002 issue.  Since posting the book, it was gratifying to note that Amazon.com now has the book again available for sale from their site. I would hazard to guess that there are many that would like to see this book fade into oblivion.  Many well-known journalists and media giants have been fooled by the lies and deceit of those who have their own agenda to deprive those who served with honor in Vietnam of their place in history.

I do not know where to begin in any review of "Stolen Valor".  The entire book was a revelation and confirmation of truth. I used to say sarcastically during my career as a police officer that we lived in the "Age of Bull (expletive deleted).  It often seemed to me that the phonies, slackers and bull (expletive deleted) artists were always rewarded and recognized.  I know that this is not always the case, but to me, it seemed to be.

"Stolen Valor" exposes how the Vietnam Generation was robbed of its heroes and its history.
The authors use documentation to show how the fakers and phonies deceive the media and journalists and all of us. You will be armed with new knowledge of the motives of those who seek to profit by assuming false military records.  The authors go on to debunk much of the propaganda about Agent Orange and PostTraumatic Stress.

Here is an excerpt from "Stolen Valor":
"While it has become fashionable in some quarters to wear full-size medals on a fatigue jacket or a suit coat, active duty military officers wear miniature decorations and awards on their mess dress uniforms.  President Lyndon Johnson wore an enameled Silver Star Lapel Pin while in the White House.  How he "won" the Silver Star generated some controversy.
As a congressman during World War II, Johnson volunteered for the Navy and received a direct commission as an officer.  On a fact-finding tour in the Pacific, the congressman from Texas was sitting as a passenger in a transport plane when the aircraft was buzzed by a Japanese Zero.  The plane took no hits and doubt later surfaced that the Zero actually shot at the American aircraft. But Congressman Johnson, always looking for a political edge, pressured commanders to award him the Silver Star.  Johnson was the only one on board the aircraft that day to receive a valorous decoration.  LBJ's Silver Star was real, but the bravery was artificial.
I mention LBJ to show the distinction between sham medals and pretend bravery. Most people in the military know of soldiers who performed heroically but whose courage and sacrifice went unrecognized.  I remember as a child reading a story in Life Magazine in which a former Russian Officer, an advisor to the Chinese army during the Korean War, told how a single American GI stalled an entire division of Chinese troops chasing retreating Americans by covering a narrow mountain pass with devastating rifle fire.  Perched high on a ledge, the soldier was protected from the Chinese troops' return fire. Ultimately, the Chinese killed him by using artillery to blow down part of the ridge.  The unnamed soldier received no medals and died unrecognized by either side, but his actions probably saved thousands of American GIs. Whenever I visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, I think of him."

Stolen Valor, Chapter 15, pages 354-355

There are many kinds of courage. Physical courage is to be greatly admired. However, there is another type of courage that also needs to be admired. Moral courage seems to be a rare thing these days. The authors of "Stolen Valor" have shown such courage. To stand up for truth is never an easy task. Powerful forces in our society have a vested interest in suppressing the truth that these writers have brought to us. That courage needs to be fortified with the stout hearts of us all.  Read this book and spread the word.


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