Stolen Valour Canada received a number of inquiries based on photos of him wearing Canadian Medals and both Canadian and US parachutist insignia.
Through the use of open source research including websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, searchable data bases of medal recipients and extracts from online military documents in Canada, SVC has found Zedner has made the following claims.
*Joined the Army in 1968,
*He was as a “Gunnery Sergeant” in the US Army in Vietnam where he was wounded in action,
*Claims to have been an Infantryman with 1st Bn The RCR, his 11 years of service included a tour with the “Peace Corp” in Cyprus,
*Was a fully qualified parachutist and proudly wears Canadian and US jump wings along with military free fall / HALO wings,
*He appears to forgotten his Canadian Peace Keeping Service Medal which would logically accompany the UNFICYP Medal,
*There is no evidence of a Purple Heart Medal despite his public claims, and
*Zedner also wears he the ubiquitous Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal without being on the list of recipients (GG.ca)…
Prior to investing any research effort into what could become an unfounded wild goose chase, we contacted Mr Zedner, on 2 November 2017, in order to provide him with an opportunity to sort out the reported situation.
What we have learned:
*Zedner was in his school’s audio-visual club in 1968, making it quite difficult to be in the US Army as he has claimed!
*He is NOT a US Army combat wounded veteran,
*He never served in Vietnam,
He was an Infantryman in a Toronto based Royal Regiment of Canada in the 1970s,
*He was never trained as a parachutist on either side of the border,
*He has no entitlement to the Eight Pointed Star of The RCR,
*He has no lawful entitlement to the UNFICYP Medal nor the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Through an intermediary, ex Corporal / Mr Ashley William ZEDNER has now surrendered the medals and insignia that he wore without lawful authority (11 Jan 2018). The surrendered items include a maroon beret, RCR hat badge, US and Canadian parachutist wings, Military Free-fall / HALO wings and the UN Forces in Cyprus Medal.
Arrangements will be made to have the items disposed of in an appropriate manner.
He did not surrender the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
I was dragged into that war,” says Surrendi. “I wanted to express the kind of situation a person can get into. It was terrifying in some cases, to be quite blunt.”
The wife of author Robert Mason (he wrote the award-winning book “Chickenhawk” about his experiences in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot) sent us (TAH) a message on Facebook about this creep, Dennis Surrendi.
According to Ms. Mason, Surrendi lifted nearly all of Mr. Mason’s book and inserted it into his own book “Set Me Free”, so I went looking around the internet for him and I found this article in the Nanton News about the author and his book. Apparently, as with Waverly Reynar, Surrendi was kidnapped and forced into the Vietnam War. I didn’t know that kidnapping Canadians is a thing. Apparently, when the Marines aren’t doing it, the CIA picks up their slack.
Of course, Mr. Surrendi had a skill set that no American would have;
Little did Surrendi know that the CIA was profiling students, and Surrendi — with a varied background that includes playing professional hockey for three years with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks, is a neurosurgeon, has a masters of science in fish and wildlife management, a PhD in wildlife ecology and a PhD in human ecology — ranked high in the profiling, with his strengths in physics and chemistry.
“I fit into criteria for what they were seeking,” says Surrendi. “I got set up by the CIA through the University of Wisconsin, got drafted and couldn’t get out of it.”
Even though his name doesn’t appear on the rosters of the Red Wings or the Blackhawks, Surrendi swears that he played for them when he was 16, until he got tired of it and went to college at 19 years old, within a year or two, he was a neurosurgeon and he has several other degrees like two Master of Science degrees and two Ph.D. degrees in Wildlife Ecology and Human Population Dynamics and Ecology, you know, because neurosurgeon pay doesn’t go very far.
Anyway, the CIA kidnapped him and sent him to Vietnam to pilot helicopters against his will, because we can never have enough neurosurgeons flying our gunships.
“The army in the States in the mid ‘60s were developing the first high-technical assault helicopter and were looking for candidates to fly it,” Surrendi says. “They were looking for certain types of candidates.”
He served as a helicopter pilot with the 229 Assault Helicopter Battalion in the 1st Air Calvary for about a year and a half before being reassigned to the 49 Aviation Company, 12 Aviation Battalion, where he served more than six months.
During his last nine months in Vietnam, Surrendi flew a Cobra AH-1 assault helicopter, which required that he obtain top secret clearance.
During his service in Vietnam, Surrendi received two purple hearts, the Bronze Star and Silver Star for bravery, and became one of the most decorated non-Americans in the Vietnam War.
Robert Mason, “Chickenhawk”, was also in the 229th, see how coincidental that is? I can’t find the 49th Aviation Company, but Mason served in the 48th Aviation Company – he called it the 49th in his book and Surrendi fell for it.
Needless to say, Surrendi had to self-publish the book, because that’s how you publish a book that you lifted from a world-renown, award-winning book written by a real author.
From the NANTON NEWS 3 Jun3 2015
From the CALGARY SUN 3 June 2015
Mr Surrendi admitted that he was a poser and plagiarist to avoid any legal action, then he died…
With files from our US Friends and Partners at This Ain’t Hell
We were asked to review the claims made by “Chief Warrant Officer” Daniel Harold WHITESELL (DOB 2X/03/195x) of Windsor, Ontario.
Our review identified many inconsistencies in his presentation made to 600 school children at a Remembrance Day event @ Ecole Secondaire E. J. Lajeunesse in Windsor, On.
He claimed to be a veteran with 38 years of service. He spoke to the students saying that he was former Joint Task Force 2 special forces operator and had served in Afghanistan for eight years, Rwanda, Bosnia, as well as served a short 2-year stint in the navy.
He brought with him a framed photo of himself in uniform, surrounded by dozens of medals. He also presented some form of coin to show the entire school.
During his presentation, he spoke about how he had done awful things that he was not proud of.
At first he said that as special ops he could not speak about the things he had done, however later during the Q and A period one of the students asked him “what the hardest job he had done was?”
At this point he told us about how he was going after high ranking Taliban in small villages in Afghanistan. He said that his team would enter the villages in the middle of the night, and that if a teenager or child, the same age as the students he was speaking to had seen him, that he had to silence them by any means necessary to avoid giving up their position, Alluding to the fact that he had killed innocent children during his service.
This horrified many of the students…
His ridiculous claims combined with an image of him wearing a green beret and PPCLI “other ranks” hat-badge, gave us cause to question his entire military narrative.
Our team conducted a thorough review of all available records, this included websites, newspaper articles, photographic images, regimental tour books, and extracts from military documents in Canada in order to determine the legitimacy of his claims.
SV-C then reached out to the regimental and corps associations, their museums and other organizations in which WHITESELL has claimed to have served. The publicly accessible records, that we have had the opportunity to review, do not support his claims.
The absence of verifiable records alone does not conclusively prove that an individual is a fake or embellisher, it just indicates that there are no records…
Claiming to be a CWO/RSM with decades long service in the PPCLI!
Dude, do you know how few men have been given the honour and privilege to join that group?
Every Patricia Regimental Sergeant Major is known and you ain’t one of them!
What we do know.
Mr WHITESELL wasn’t an “operator” of any description, he was an Ordinary Seaman in the Naval Reserve and employed as a Supply Technician in HMCS Hunter in Windsor, Ontario. We have been told anecdotally that he sailed in a Porte Class training vessel on a Great Lakes deployment in the 1980s and, that he may have spent a short period in the Army Reserve.
Ordinary Seaman WHITESELL’s navy ride / sleek greyhound of death.
By all accounts, he had a some what lack-lustre career trajectory, and left the unit in the early 90s.
“CWO” Dan WHITESELL also known as Call sign “Chicken Legs”
Well Mr Daniel Howard Whitesell, the puck is in your end of the rink.
It’s now time for you to surrender the PPCLI hat badge that you have absolutely no entitlement to; followed by a public apology for your shitbaggery.
Remember this poser who self identified as a war criminal?
Daniel Howard WHITESELL Windsor, Ontario
Whitesell said that “his team would enter the villages in the middle of the night, and that if a teenager or child, the same age as the students he was speaking to had seen him, that he had to silence them by any means necessary to avoid giving up their position, alluding to the fact that he had killed innocent children during his service.”
In a series of emails, which we have not responded to, Whitesell has demanded that we remove the posts which detailed his medallic fuckery™ while portraying himself to be a highly decorated special forces operator. He has also threatened SVC with legal action and he’s now engaged a lawyer and will initiate a 400 Thousand dollar lawsuit against us. Apparently, Whitesell holds the belief that we are harassing him by not removing the documentary evidence of his bogus military service from our social media platforms…
So, how did we become aware of his shameful tales of murdering innocent children in the performance of his duties?
*Where did he believe the photographic evidence of his military themed fairytales that are showcased on our platforms originated?
*Did he think that his bogus persec / persec demands directed at 600 school kids would be followed?
SVC has supporters in every region of the country and they share our approach of separating posers, fakes and embellishers from their their bogus medals, uniforms, insignia and lies.
The “RSM’s” shadow box of shameful stories…Who’s picture has he used to pump his tires?
Although the plaque is difficult to read in the image; the “RSM” makes a number of interesting claims!
What we do know, Whitesell was never member of the former Canadian Forces Medical Service now Royal Canadian Medical Service or the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. He has never served in Canadian Special Operations Force Command and he certainly wasn’t a member of the Clan of the Big Badges!
Whitesell attempted to purchase a replica medals group from a reputable medal mounting service claiming that he had sent his originals to the National War Museum. The company declined his business…
However, Whitesell’s limited service in the Navy Reserves should have taught him that honesty & integrity are critical personal attributes of a professional service member.However, his willingness to stand in the blood of our wounded and fallen for personal financial gain indicates that he knows absolutely nothing of what it takes to be soldier!
Perhaps, Whitesell should provide proof that the 150 dollar honorarium he received for his Remembrance Day performance was donated to “the children’s hospital” as he has claimed?
His reprehensible conduct has insulted the dedicated service and incredible sacrifices made by every member of the CAF and their families.
And, for that there is a consequence…
SVC will provide former Ordinary Seaman Daniel Howard WHITESELL of Windsor, Ontario an opportunity to take full ownership of this situation and publicly apologize, via our platforms, for his reprehensible actions.He knows how to contact us…
SVC has dozens of leads sent to us. Many of these stories do not fall under the definition of Sec 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada as “Stolen Valour” so, we we thank the contributor and move on…
However, every once in a while we get sent a story that is so incredible, so fantastic, so far fetched, that it should begin “once upon a time in a dangerous land far, far away”.
This military themed fairy tale was sent to a former Minister of Veterans Affairs in an attempt to illustrate how dangerous is was for a Canadian soldier to serve as a peacekeeper on the Island of Love!
Take some time to read it all the way through, those who served in Cyprus at the time should remember these heroic actions vividly.
We’ll let you draw your own conclusions…
Lest We Forget
The following letter to Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada is written by Robert Simpson. His description of what it is like to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the most heart-wrenching I have read. The irony is that he served on peacekeeping missions. BONNIE
To: the Honourable Mr. Blackburn Minster Of Veterans Affairs Canada From: Robert Simpson I am a Disabled Veteran. I suffer from PTSD:
Minster, I am writing you today about the terrible effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This wound has terrible effects on those of us who suffer from it. It is worse than losing a limb. In fact, Minister, it can be worse than two missing limbs. It is a proven fact that PTSD leads to heart attacks, which rob us of the jobs we’ve fought so hard to hold despite of the crippling effects of PTSD. Many have killed themselves to stop the hellish nightmares.I served in the Reserve force until 1976, then the regular forces from Oct 1976 until medically released in June 1980. During this time I was a member of the Ontario Regiment in Reserves.
During my time with Reserves, I was shot point blank in the helmet on the pistol range. A few days later, I experience two grenades thrown into my pit, then a grenade dropped at my feet. Also in Aug of 1975, I fought a forest fire at CFB Petawawa in which we were cut off by the fire and I had to call in water bombers on to our position while standing in the Petawawa River.
During basic training in 1976/77, I had a member turn around on the rifle range with a fully loaded C2 on automatic. He was disturbed and the weapon was only 18 inches from my face. I was able to talk this person into putting the weapon on safe at which time I disarmed him.
After basic training, I was posted to the 8th Canadian Hussars in Petawawa. During that time I became an original member of the 3rd Special Service Force in 1977.
From October1978 until April1979,
I served in Cyprus. During that tour I was wounded several times. I was in hand-to-hand combat on a number of occasions starting with the Battle of Fort Worthington, our third night on tour. In this battle, I was pulled from my bed by Turkish Commandos. The only other Canadian and myself fought our way through the dark house to the rifle rack only to find our weapons locked up. While my smaller partner called on the radio for help from the main body, I fought off the attackers by myself defending a doorway. After we had cleared the house and help had arrived, I was lead to a shower to clean myself, as I was coated head to foot with blood. They had to see if in fact I had been wounded. While I did suffer some light cuts, most of the blood was from the attackers.
The Big Devil, Nicosia, Cyprus 1978
Several weeks later, we were told that 40 Turkish Commandos entered the house that night, with the intent of taking us prisoner to find out who we were and then to dispose of us in the buffer zone ( IE kill us). I was then told what the captured Turk said. “That big devil killed 8 of our soldiers.”
Since that battle I have been unable to sleep without a light on as the nightmares and flashbacks come in the dark and I cannot tell if it is real life or the nightmares. I am happy to say that Thanks to the OSI Clinic in London, Ontario, I am finally able to sleep without a light most nights. However, the flashbacks of being covered in blood haunt me to this day. I see myself covered in blood all the time; as well I relive that battle and others which happened during my tour. Sadly my wife has had to see me suffer from the flashbacks and nightmares of this tour of duty. Also we found a dead family of six including about an 18-month-old little girl whom I carried out of the house near OP Irish Bridge.
I’ll skip forward to the last two weeks of my tour. On the way out to the East line, we heard what sounded like firing. My Sgt. yelled, “Sniper. engage! ” To my horror, there was a young boy approximately six-years-old with a cap gun just 30 feet away. I had taken up first pressure and my rifle was then in effect on a hair trigger. Somehow I managed to not squeeze off that shot. I would not have missed at that range…
…I was also shot in January 1979. Luckily it was a spent round and only pieced my arm a slight distance in. Once more lucky.
What I am trying to tell you, Minister, is that the wound of PTSD is horrible in its effects on us. We fight each day for self-control so as not to lash out at those around us, to control ourselves in a crowd. We are always on alert for sudden movements or sounds. During our waking hours, we suffer flashbacks and also sleep is often not a blessing nor restful. We know not of peace and quiet, but the constant vision of war.
The effects of all of this can cause massive heart attacks, which rob us of the chance to work. Suicide is what some of us turn to to end the hell. As well we turn to booze or drugs to stop the torment. This I call tell you offers but a few hours of peace while we are passed out. It only get worse when we awaken again.
We only receive little income, yet we suffer as much as a person who loses a limb. I’d like you to try to live on less than $1,400.00 per month. I use to make $25.00 per hour.
I would not wish this hell which I go through on my worst enemy. They say they cannot make it go away. All I ask is that you at least let me live in comfort, above the poverty line. I kept my part of the deal Minister… I served where you sent me, under the conditions of that area of operation. It was a war zone, not a special duty area. The deal was I do what you order me to do and if I can no longer do my job, you would take care of me. I kept my part of the deal. I served in a hell hole. When will Ottawa keep their part?
PTSD is living always in hell with a continuous running of that hell which we served in. I with unloaded rifle was forced to use only my fists and boots and a pick handle against armed troops. As well we did not receive any UN pay. It was split between the Turks and Greeks. Minister, I was shot in Jan 1979. I feel that I paid for the bullet which violated my body. When it came time to receive my medal, it was tossed to me by a hungover officer after double duty on OPs ( 16 hours), not pinned on my chest like the majority of my unit. Many wrongs have been visited on me, a Nobel Peace Prize winner. I did not see any Peace during my tour, only war, and I don’t know any now. It will end when I die…. I hope.
We don’t ask for much, just what was promised: a proper amount of pension for the rest of our lives, treatment for our wounds and respectful treatment of us.
I am more than willing to come to Ottawa to speak to any Veterans committee hearing or even you. I am more than willing to speak about PTSD and its effects as well as the treatment I receive. Also the lack of pensions. Please understand, Minister, I am thankful for all the help Veterans affairs Canada has given me. I would point out that Colleen Garlough of the Windsor Office has helped me so much. I am lucky to have had her looking after me. From others, I hear of VAC workers who are not as helpful. To best serve a Veteran, you need to have Veterans manning those VAC offices.
Canadian Soldiers are the best in the world. While the new charter has done some really good things for Veterans, it needs to be changed to lifetime pensions for us and at a decent level of income. More treatment centers like Parkwood are needed.
In closing, I’d love to see my pension fixed to a lifetime pension and improved treatment for the hellish wound called PTSD. I did as Ottawa commanded. Please in return give us livable pensions and good treatment for our wounds, both the physical as well as the terrible wounds to our minds. Help Canadians before helping other countries. We are owed that courtesy.
Also minister I speak not only of myself… but for the 10s of thousands of men and women of the Canadian Forces who have and do serve this great country called Canada. The people of Canada walk everyday in peace and safety far from the horrors of war and strife. Why? Because we left these shores to ensure that war never visits this country’s shores, but is fought many miles away.
We served and kept our part of the deal. It’s time Ottawa keeps their part. It is a national shame that Canada’s Veterans live in squalor without a roof over their heads or food to eat. We suffer greatly. Too many have died at their on hand because the was no treatment or that treatment was slow to come. As well, because we were unable to work, there was no money to keep us fed and housed in comfort, which we earned the right to. We freely served only to be left without the means to live with dignity for the rest of our years. It is time to right this wrong, here now, today.
Pasanen was a member of both the 1st and 2nd Bns of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and a Cold War veteran who earned the Special Service Medal (NATO) for service in Europe. He was also a member of the Seaforth Highlanders, a Vancouver based reserve infantry unit.
As a Private in the PPCLI
Pasanen 1966, Canadian Forces (Europe)
Then one day, he makes the decision to embellish his career narrative & claim Vietnam service with the US Army. Although, he’s technically a US Army “Veteran” he’s a deserter and has no lawful entitlement to the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart & the Combat Infantry Badge…
We contacted Mr Pasanen, during the Summer of 2017, in order to provide him with an opportunity to sort to the situation reading his Vietnam claims. He told us via email that he had been drafted by the United States, he went AWOL from Fort Ord,CA, received a Less than Honourable Discharge and wore the US medals, less the National Defense Service Medal, and basic parachutist wings without lawful authority.
Given his claim of being drafted by the US, SVC then asked our US counterparts at This Ain’t Hell (www.thisainthell.us) for their expert assistance in securing Pasanen’s US Army records under a Freedom of Information Access request.
The records tell that Pasanen was less than truthful with us.
Mr Pasanen had legitimate military service in the Canadian Army during the Cold War, that’s something in which he should have taken great pride.
Pasanen was “legitimately” awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal however, his name was misspelled as PARSANEN on the GG’s web site…
Now, it’s time for him to heed the advice of General Douglas McArthur and just fade away…