Wedding Woes

Dad lied about being a war hero

Dear Prudence,
My stepfather died in January and I considered him more of a dad than my biological father, who left more than 30 years ago. While helping Mom sort through paperwork, we noticed that we could not find the appropriate documentation for his military service—we wanted it to secure a service plaque that you see on grave markers. My stepfather fought in Vietnam and been wounded there. I contacted Veterans Affairs, the school he said he attended on the G.I. Bill, and enlisted the assistance of our U.S. senator’s office, all to no avail. My stepbrother, his biological son, also did research at the National Archives. We both discovered that while our father was in in the reserves, it appears that he never served in Vietnam. Of course, I feel that it is in extraordinarily bad taste to lie about this. However, I choose to continue to think about my dad in a positive light as he accomplished much in life and saw to his responsibilities, including taking care of my mom, me, and my brother (who has special needs). I gently told my mom about what my stepbrother and I discovered. She said she is going back to the VA to have them try another search. I think it’s normal that she would want to exhaust every resource in her quest to prove his story. But I’m afraid that she’s ultimately going to have come to terms with the fact that he told people a whopper. Do you think that I should sit down with Mom to tell her to face facts or let her continue on an apparent wild goose chase and reach the realization in her own time?

—A Conflicted Stepson

Re: Dad lied about being a war hero

  • Yes, it shouldn't be that hard to find out if a person has served in the military. Me thinks dad lied, and they need to forgive him and move on.

  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited June 2014
    Even if his service was domestic, he's still a hero because his efforts at home enabled those on the front lines to be there. It's unfortunate that he gave people the impression he was deployed but try to forgive him. Assuming your mom has authority as his Executrix under the will she can contact the VA & get a copy of his DD214 -- the official name for his discharge papers. That will tell you everything you need to know about his service.
  • MNNEBrideMNNEBride Midwest member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Mrs.Conn, you always have so many personal problems on Thursdays!
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