Stolen Valour Canada was advised by a number of parties that there was a potential issue with the medal that HABETLER was photographed wearing at the Royal Canadian Legion branch in Lloydminster, Sk.
Prior to investing any research effort into what has the potential to become a wild goose chase, we contact named individuals in order to provide them with an opportunity to sort out the reported situation. SVC does not act upon unsubstantiated intelligence or malicious tips, and we hoped that Sir Brent would take advantage of this offer to assist in protecting his reputation.
SVC asked him via his email using his verified email account on 17 October 2019 to contact us over a sensitive situation.
His one word response – NO!
Our brave knight produced the following documents as proof of service, not exactly convincing….
Mr HABETLER, do everyone a favour, put your military themed trinkets back into your tickle trunk and stop telling fairy tales of make believe army career! Your foolishness is nothing but an insult to our wounded and fallen.
Video of “Sir Brent” has now surfaced documenting his antics at the Alberta Legislature (16 Oct 2021). In his latest scam, our brave knight claims to be the “Queen’s Representative” and will negotiate on behalf of First Nations with his third cousin, Queen Elizabeth II…
He must have left his fancy gold rope, his bogus documentation and the fake Canadian Forces Decoration in his tickle trunk of military fairy tales.
UPDATED – 15 and 21 March 2023
15 March 2023
Alberta Police Report
Saskatchewan RCMP advise of 45-year-old male in Maidstone RCMP detachment area at high risk to breach conditions involving youth
In the interest of public safety, Saskatchewan RCMP advises the residents of the Maidstone RCMP detachment area and surrounding communities of an offender who has been charged with committing an indecent act in the presence of one or more persons, contrary to Sec. 173(1) of the Criminal Code. This charge is currently before the courts.
Sir Brent Adair Habetler was released from police custody on March 14, 2023, after appearing before a Justice of the Peace. A short time later, Lloydminster RCMP located Habetler outside a local daycare, which was a breach of his release conditions. Habetler was subsequently arrested and charged with breach of release conditions. Habetler was taken back before a Justice of the Peace. Full background information can be found in the Alberta RCMP media release below.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO ENABLE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO TAKE SUITABLE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES, NOT TO EMBARK UPON ANY FORM OF VIGILANTISM OR OTHER UNREASONABLE CONDUCT DIRECTED AT THIS INDIVIDUAL.
Habetler is known to breach his release conditions. As of March 14, 2023, Habetler has been ordered by court to obey, among others, the following conditions:
• No communication, directly or indirectly, with any person under 16 years of age, subject to the following exceptions:
This condition does not apply to incidental or superficial contact with persons under the age of 16 who are:
Customers at his workplace; or
Are employed at other places of business as long as such contact is necessary to conduct transactions as a customer.
• Shall not attend any public swimming area, school and school yard, daycare, playground, youth shelter or public library.
Habetler is described as a 45-year-old male, 6’1″ tall weighing approximately 215 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair.
21 March 2023
CTV News Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan RCMP say a 45-year-old man in the Maidstone area is “at high risk to breach conditions involving youth.”
Sir Brent Adair Habetler is charged with committing an indecent act in the presence of one or more persons, RCMP said in a news release.
Habetler was released from police custody after appearing before a justice of the peace on Tuesday. Soon after, Lloydminster RCMP found him outside a daycare — in breach of his release conditions, according to police.
He was arrested and charged for beaching his release conditions, and again appeared before a justice of the peace.
According to RCMP, Habetler is forbidden from going to public swimming areas, schools and school yards, daycares, playgrounds, youth shelters or public libraries.
He can not communicate with anyone under the age of 16 except in the case of “incidental or superficial contact ” with customers at his workplace or employees at businesses where contact is necessary to conduct transactions.
While RCMP want the public to take “suitable preventive measures,” police emphasized that no one should “embark upon any form of vigilantism or other unreasonable conduct” directed at Habetler.
Updated 16 November 2023
Court orders former Prince George man not to be where there are youth.
Brent Habetler, who legally changed his name to Sir Brent Adair Habetler, was arrested in March and charged with committing an indecent act in a public place.
A Saskatchewan man entered into a 12-month peace bond on Wednesday not to be at any swimming pool, daycare, day school, or youth centre.
Brent Habetler, who legally changed his name to Sir Brent Adair Habetler, was arrested in March and charged with committing an indecent act in a public place, and willfully obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property, the community swimming pool, thereby committing mischief. Those charges were withdrawn in Lloydminster, Alta., court on Nov. 15.
In March, Saskatchewan RCMP said that in the interest of public safety, they were advising the residents of the Maidstone RCMP detachment area and surrounding communities of an offender who had been charged with committing an indecent act and the RCMP said that he was at high risk to reoffend.
Back in 2000, Habetler was arrested in Prince George for two counts of indecent exposure, one at a drivethru restaurant and the other at the Elksentre.
Police at the time said they had witnesses who could prove Habetler, who was then 23-years-old, was responsible for the acts. However, one charge was later dropped and Habetler was acquitted of the other.
– with files from Hanna Petersen/Prince George Citizen
Mr Gerry Conway is another dude who likes to enthral gullible audiences into believing his military fairytales. Conway has spent the past few years telling Guelph, Ontario school kids of his exploits and then being splattered with piss outside of a US Marine Base in San Diego, California.
His obvious and frankly ridiculous uniform embellishments prompted us to contact our US counterparts in order to initiate a Freedom Of Information Act request to secure Conway’s military career file including the DD Form 214. The DD 214 is the capstone military service document, as it represents the complete, verified record of a service member’s time in the military (Active and Reserve), awards and medals, and other pertinent service information, such as highest rank/rate and pay grade held on active duty, total military combat service and/or overseas service.
The results will determine if, in fact, he was a member of the US Army, served in Vietnam with the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valour and the Purple Heart which recognizes an individual wounded in action.
Additionally, the documents will prove his entitlement to lawfully wear the RANGER tab, US parachute wings, Air Assault wings (established in 1974 without retroactivity), Canadian Parachutist Wings and, what he likely believes to be British Parachutists Wings (however, he’s wearing the hat badge of the UK Parachute Regiment, as he likely doesn’t know the difference)
Mr Conway and his claim of being a US Army soldier leaving a US Marine Base to face 1000 protesters is nothing but a fabrication meant to deceive his gullible audience in a sick sympathy play!
Veterans take mental health issues seriously and many fight the stigma of PTSD on a daily basis yet, Mr Conway perpetuates lies and mistruths that lead to the view that all returning service members are damaged goods…
Lest We Forget
“So where do these stories come from?”
The Myth of the Spitting Antiwar Protester – The New York Times
JERRY LEMBCKE OCT. 13, 2017
“The reporter was asking about accounts that soldiers returning from Vietnam had been spat on by antiwar activists. I had told her the stories were not true. I told her that, on the contrary, opponents of the war had actually tried to recruit returning veterans. I told her about a 1971 Harris Poll survey that found that 99 percent of veterans said their reception from friends and family had been friendly, and 94 percent said their reception from age-group peers, the population most likely to have included the spitters, was friendly.
A follow-up poll, conducted in 1979 for the Veterans Administration (now the Department of Veterans Affairs), reported that former antiwar activists had warmer feelings toward Vietnam veterans than toward congressional leaders or even their erstwhile fellow travelers in the movement.
I was glad the reporter was interested in the origin of these stories, because beginning even before the war ended, news organizations had too often simply repeated them — even though some stories had the hallmarks of tall tales all over them. Even The Times once quoted, matter-of-factly, a veteran telling of how he arrived stateside from Vietnam on a stretcher with a bullet in his leg, only to be splattered with rotten vegetables and spat on by antiwar college kids.
Whoppers like these go unchallenged by reporters and scholars perhaps because of their memoirist first-person quality, stories told by the men who say it happened to them. I collect the stories, I told the reporter, and have a spreadsheet with about 220 first-person “I was spat on” accounts.
But you don’t believe the stories, right? she asked. Acknowledging that I could not prove the negative — that they were not true — I went on to say there is no corroboration or documentary evidence, such as newspaper reports from the time, that they are true. Many of the stories have implausible details, like returning soldiers deplaning at San Francisco Airport, where they were met by groups of spitting hippies. In fact, return flights landed at military air bases like Travis, from which protesters would have been barred. Others include claims that military authorities told them on returning flights to change into civilian clothes upon arrival lest they be attacked by protesters. Trash cans at the Los Angeles airport were piled high with abandoned uniforms, according to one eyewitness, a sight that would surely have been documented by news photographers — if it had existed.
Listeners, I speculated, are loath to question the truth of the stories lest aspersion be seemingly cast on the authenticity of the teller. The war in Vietnam was America’s longest war at the time, and its first defeat. The loss to such a small, underdeveloped and outgunned nation was a tough pill for Americans to swallow, many still basking in post-World War II triumphalism. The image of protesters spitting on troops enlivened notions that the military mission had been compromised, even betrayed, by weak-kneed liberalism in Congress and seditious radicalism on college campuses. The spitting stories provided reassuring confirmation that had it not been for those duplicitous fifth-columnists, the Vietnamese would have never beaten us.
The “war at home” phrase captured the idea that the war had been lost on the home front. It was a story line promulgated by Hollywood within which veteran disparagement became a kind of “war story,” a way of credentialing the warrior bona fides of veterans who may have felt insecure about their service in Vietnam. In “First Blood,” the inaugural Rambo film, the protagonist, John Rambo, flashes back to “those maggots at the airport, spittin’, callin’ us baby killers and all kinds of vile crap.” The series supported the idea that decisions in Washington had hamstrung military operations. “Apocalypse Now” fed outright conspiracy theories that the C.I.A.’s secret war run from Washington had undercut the military mission. “Coming Home” and “Hamburger Hill” played on male fears of unfaithful wives and girlfriends, a story line hinting that female perfidy and the feminist subversion of warrior morale had cost us victory.
Women had been prominent in the opposition to the war. Two organizations, Women Strike for Peace and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, led early protests; Cora Weiss, Jane Fonda and Joan Baez lent their social and celebrity standing to the efforts to end the fighting. New Left organizations such as the campus-based Students for a Democratic Society intersected with the burgeoning women’s movement to boost young women into leadership roles in the antiwar movement. Placards reading “Girls Say Yes to Boys Who Say No” — no to the draft, that is — lent credence to the fears of conservatives who were pro-war and distraught over loosening strictures on premarital sex and believed that the rising of the women meant societal collapse.
The adoption of long hair, embroidered shirts and bell-bottom pants, and general rejection of military bearing by men in the movement evinced a softening of conventional sex-gender boundaries. By the late 1960s, troops in Vietnam were battling authorities over hair length, and the right to wear love-bead necklaces and draw peace symbols on their helmets.
Finger pointing for the loss of the war began even before it was over. The pacifists and radicals who stoked the antiwar movement were easy targets for the patriotic right wing looking for scapegoats, but the visibility of women in the resistance to the war made them suspects as well. After Ms. Fonda went to North Vietnam on a peace mission in 1972, she was denounced as a traitor in profanely sexist language and tarred as “Hanoi Jane.” Years later, the feminist author Susan Faludi wrote that fears of emasculation having cost America its victory in Vietnam were the basis of a backlash against women in the 1980s.
But, the reporter pressed, why spitting? Resisting the urge to plunge into the Freudian exegesis I wanted to take, I pointed to the long history of spitting imagery in legends of betrayal. In the New Testament, Christ’s followers spit on him in renunciation of their loyalty. Following Germany’s defeat in World War I, soldiers returning from the front claimed to have been spat on by women and girls. The German stories were studied by historians and found to be part of the “Dolchstosslegende,” or stab-in-the-back legend, that the military had been betrayed behind the lines, sold out at home.
Anticipating the question, I agreed that the presence of such stories in religious teachings and myths only pressed more questions to the fore about where the biblical Apostles and German folklorists got them, questions that will keep professors and students of cultural studies occupied for years.
But, I ventured, where the stories go — how they play out in the political culture — is more important than where they come from. The reporter seemed interested. In Germany, I recalled, the imagery of shellshocked World War I veterans became a stand-in for the nation’s lost pride and damaged sense of racial superiority. The riffs of betrayal in the photographs, films and news reports of veterans made victims by war kept alive the certainty that enemies outside the gates could never defeat a rearmed and unified Germany; the stories incited a dangerous witch hunt that led to the Holocaust.
Is the abiding American discomfort with the war it lost in Vietnam and the enduring allure of the spat-upon veteran stories indicative of betrayal preoccupations at work in our own culture? Is it the post-Vietnam lost-war narrative that feeds the back-to-the-future sentiments in campaign promises to restore and rebuild America? And are the recent public and political spectacles of nativism and gun-toting masculinity symptoms of a wounded people more than deviant personalities?
The reporter was interested.”
Mark S. BERES
We were asked to have a look at this individual who wears a substantial group of medals detailing his service in South East Asia as a combat infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division.
In the group, there are two medals which are readily researchable. The first, the Silver Star, the United States’ 3rd highest award for heroism in combat and, the Prisoner of War Medal.
Our team could find no open source record of these two medals ever being awarded to Beres so, we contacted our US counterparts for their advice and assistance. They initiated a FOIA request for his military records on our behalf.
The documents received from the National Personnel Records Center are quite interesting as there’s absolutely no mention of the Silver Star nor the POW Medal…
We’ll draw your attention to the Decorations and Awards block.
The accounting for US Army Vietnam Prisoners of War (returnees / escapees) is 100% accurate, Beres isn’t listed!
Interestingly, the three other Vietnam POW claimants we are currently tracking are not listed as returnees / escapees either!
Beres can contact us if he has independently verifiable evidence of the awards. We aren’t hard to find…
In fact, we encourage him to do so.
We are asked to have a look at Dobson’s high speed, low drag claims by some brothers from another mother.
Dobson is wearing the MiD oak leaf on his NATO Former Yugoslavia ribbon and he’s not listed an the GG’s website detailing the recipients. Now, there could be 3 reasons for that, (1) an administrative error, (2) he’s a former SF operator and his award was never named publicly or, (3) he’s wearing it without lawful authority…
Secondly, he’s wearing the undress ribbon of a medal that only 31 Canadians have ever been awarded, we can find no record of him serving on either the UNOSOM 1 or 2 missions.
This medal is separate and distinct from the Canadian Somalia Medal that members of the CAR Battle Group were awarded.
SVC has reviewed the nominal roll for the CAR BG and he’s not listed as a member on that either.
We are also well connected with the Airborne Forces groups, and not one soldier can recall serving with him as a jumper. Additionally, the Pathfinders are one of the tightest fraternities in the Canadian Army, and again no one knows of him, attended the patrol pathfinder course with him, nor served with him in the regiment!
We can find absolutely no evidence of Mr. Dobson being an Infantryman in The Royal Canadian Regiment, a paratrooper, member of the Canadian Airborne Regiment and/or a Pathfinder,
He’s not Mentioned in Dispatches,
He didn’t serve in Canadian Forces Europe, the Former Yugoslavia or Somalia,
Not a single day in the Canadian Army, however, he’s wearing a lotta bling for a fella that was in Army Cadets!
SVC reached out to Dobson with the goal of assisting him sort out the situation, although he has read our emails, there’s been no response.
Mr Kenneth “James” FRENCH has been making false claims of military service for at least a decade.
In a recent newspaper article, he is pictured wearing a most interesting group of medals including the Sacrifice Medal, the General Campaign Star (South West Asia), the Persian Gulf & Kuwait Medal, the Special Service Medal & the Canadian Forces Decoration.
(1) The Sacrifice Medal, awarded to CF personnel Wounded in Action or posthumously for those Killed in Action. This medal was created in 2008 and is retroactive to 2001. Mr French says he served in the CF until 1999 therefore, he cannot be a legitimate recipient of that medal.
(2) The Persian Gulf and Kuwait Medal awarded for service during Gulf War 1 (1990-91). The 3rd Battalion RCR, then based in Germany, was deployed to Bahrain / Qatar as a defence / security force for the headquarters and the airfield. However, French is a complete unknown to that group of Royals. He is also unknown to the members of the 1sr Battalion RCR tasked with the defense and security of 1 Canadian Field Hospital.
(3) The General Campaign Star (South West Asia) was created in 2004 and first awarded later that year, it is not a retroactive award, and again French claims his military service had concluded prior to this mission.
(4) The Special Service Medal (SSM) recognizes a multitude of missions and is ALWAYS awarded with a clasp detailing the operation – PEACE/PAIX, ALERT and NATO are the most common. Of note, there is no clasp on the SSM he’s wearing.
(5) Lastly, the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) is a long service and good conduct medal, it requires 12 years of honourable service. By his own admission, he has only 10 years of military service.
Typically, posers, fakes and embellishers are exposed due to their difficulty understanding recorded history and simple arithmetic.
French is just the latest in a long line of individuals who have used a bogus military narrative in an attempt to gain something without any lawful entitlement
We remember the blood, sweat and tears that it took to earn a piece of metal attached to coloured ribbon, a strip of cloth or an embroidered badge, and that is why we get somewhat emotional about them. Stolen Valour Canada does not take our mission lightly. We are absolutely dedicated to finding posers where ever they may be and making sure that they are stopped from sullying the memory of Canada’s service men and women. For an individual to wear the Sacrifice Medal, without the making the requisite sacrifice is an absolute insult to our wounded and fallen.
These reprehensible acts should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Lest We Forget
HERE IS WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE COVETED (US) ARMY TABS
From “Mountain” to “Jungle,” the US Army has a lot of tabs- twelve official ones to be exact, with countless unofficial ones.
While the authorized wear of said tabs vary from unit to unit, the sheer number of them -usually used to signify the completion of specialized courses or unit affiliation- pays compliment to the Army’s unique and varied capabilities.
Some tabs -such as Special Forces, Ranger, the President’s Hundred and Sapper- signify the completion of specialized schooling and course completion in order to wear the tab, be it to enter the ranks of elite units or to prove that an individual has what it takes to go above and beyond.
Number one in tab precedence, the Special Forces tab was established in 1983, long after the actual Special Forces existed. In order to earn it, one has to complete the Special Forces Qualification Course or the Special Forces Officer Course at Fort Bragg North Carolina. For those who have the tab, wearing it is not always necessary as the beard and relaxed uniform standards make it clear they have one.
The Ranger tab doesn’t mean you’re part of a Ranger battalion (those are scrolls), but signifies a completion of the brutal 61-day Ranger School course. The tab itself can be retroactively awarded to World War II Rangers, members of “Merrill’s Marauders” or Korean War veterans of the Eighth Army Ranger Company, so long as they have a Combat Infantry Badge. Ranger tabs have been a thing for over sixty-six years.
Similar (but not really) to a Ranger tab is the Sapper Tab, which was authorized in 2004 for soldiers who complete the Sapper Leader Course at the US Army Engineer School. The Sapper course is 28-days long and involves a lot of challenging combat engineering skills. For a long time, the Sapper tab was the only way for women to be able to get “tabbed,” since Ranger and Special Forces schools were off-limits.
Similar in the vein of the aforementioned tabs, the President’s Hundred Tab is awarded to the 100 top-qualifying Army shooters who attend the annual President’s Match at Camp Perry, Ohio. A similar tab known as the “Governor’s Twenty/Twelve/Ten” tab, is awarded to National Guard troops of varying states who excel above their peers in marksmanship. These tabs are actually quite difficult to get, and only so many are given per year.
The Special Forces, Ranger, Sapper and President’s Hundred are “forever tabs,” authorized for permanent wear, no matter what unit you end up in later in your career.
Not so much earned as they are part of the uniform, Airborne, Mountain, Combined Division and Honor Guard tabs are given to individuals assigned to respective Airborne Units (such as the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)), the 10th Mountain Division, The Second Infantry Division’s Combined HQ in Korea and the 3rd US Infantry Regiment,known as “The Old Guard.” While these tabs are more a unit signifier than anything else, one generally has to meet qualifications to enter such a unit (be it Airborne qualification or stringent uniformity requirements) and thus the tabs are a great source of pride for those who wear them.
For a very brief time, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) had a quasi-official unit “Air Assault” tab, as well as a dark blue beret. This only lasted about a year or two before it was discontinued. That said, units in the late 60s to 70s more or less did whatever they wanted.
Unit-specific but lesser known than the others, the Arctic badge and Jungle Expert tab are awarded to members of specific climate-specialized units for completing gruelling arctic and jungle leadership courses, respectively.
The Arctic tab is given to members of the US Army who complete the Cold Weather Orientation Course or Cold Weather Leadership Course in Alaska. Members under the command of US Army Alaska can wear the patch on combat uniforms while in the borders of Alaska.
The Jungle Expert/Jungle tab was formerly assigned to individuals who graduated from the Jungle Operations Training Center in Panama until the school was shut down in 1999, when the US handed the Panama Canal and all associated areas back to Panama.
Currently, the Jungle tab is assigned to members of the Hawaii-based 25th Infantry Division and others in the Pacific Area of Responsibility who complete a Jungle leadership course.
As much as we would like the “SNIPER” Tab to be an authorized tab (some units authorize to be sewn inside of Sniper’s boonie caps) for completing specific marksmanship courses, it (sadly) just isn’t the case. Originally meant for troops who graduated from the US Army Sniper school, the unofficial patch was later watered down during the Global War on Terror to signify graduates of Sniper School, the Special Operations Target Interdiction Course (SOTIC) and various advanced long-range marksman courses (due to the difficulty in getting soldiers sent to the actual US Army Sniper School amid countless back-to-back deployments and unit budget woes. Some units might even allow them for members of Sniper Platoons who haven’t gone to a marksman school at all, though this is generally a taboo practice.
Similar unofficial tabs include “FISTER” (for artillery spotters), “SCOUT” and “RECON” (for Infantry and Cavalry scouts, respectively).
Older tabs no longer in existence include the “Recondo” tabs for graduates of Recondo training and the “Pershing” tab, which was assigned to operators of the now-defunct Pershing missile system, which was phased out in 1991.
RECONDO or “RECONnaissance and commanDO” was a pretty cool school to go to/tab to get. These were generally reserved for graduates of Recondo school, which taught small but fierce and heavily-armed reconnaissance teams how to patrol -and survive- deep behind enemy lines. Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols/ Long Range Surveillance Detachments (LRRP/LRS-D) units frequently went to Recondo schools, often set up at their home installations. Unfortunately, the US Army -in its infinite wisdom- shut Recondo down, later eliminating LRRP and LRS altogether in favor of flying a million-dollar RC plane (flown by a paunchy and dissatisfied airman) over enemy territory. Way to go, Army.
Countless (very) unofficial “morale tabs” exist, often hidden under a pocket sleeve but readily available for display to those who belong to a tight-knit unit. Platoon nicknames or fire team monikers regularly made up the bulk of orders for custom tabs, particularly in the Iraq and Afghan wars. These were never authorized for use, but likely saw the light of day “in country” more than one could imagine.
No matter what tab you wear, the addition of a rocker over one’s insignia is a source of pride to be treasured.
Source: Popularmilitary.com EDITORIAL STAFF January 6, 2018
Ernest Hemingway’s Fiery Rant Against Stolen Valor Is Still Relevant Almost A Century Later
By DANNY LEFFLER on August 9, 2017
Long before Ernest Hemingway wrote, drank and fought his way into the ranks of America’s legendary wordsmiths, the beloved author cut his literary teeth on the beat of a Canadian newspaper. Fresh off a stint driving an ambulance for the Red Cross on the Italian front during World War I, the young Hemingway landed at The Toronto Star Weekly in early 1920, where he covered everything from mobsters to the complete uselessness of wedding gifts — including the rise of stolen valor and the lousy market for war medals that accompanied the end of the Great War.
One of Hemingway’s funniest pieces was “Popular in Peace, Slacker in War,” a sarcastic, mocking lecture for the Canadian citizens who deployed not to the bloody trenches of war-torn Europe with the Canadian armed forces, but to relatively safe jobs in American munitions factories. Sensing these “morally courageous souls” might be a bit ashamed that they were not among their nearly 425,000 fellow countrymen who faced death overseas, the young Hemingway dispensed some sage words to help them pass themselves off as battle-hardened patriots.
Even in the 1920s, donning the proper attire was a crucial part of impersonating a real military man. For this, Hemingway suggests hitting the thrift store for a trench coat and maybe a pair of army boots, which will “convince everyone you meet on the streetcar that you have seen service,” allowing you to “have all the benefits of going to war and none of its drawbacks.”
The phony vet may also face inquiries about why he doesn’t sport the overseas badge of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, to which he should shoot back “I do not care to advertise my military service!” This retort, Hemingway says, will cause the real combat vet “brazenly wearing his button” to feel like a total blowhard.
Papa’s words of wisdom extend into the realm of seduction, too, one of the chief goals of any dirtbag who unjustly dons military dress. If a “sweet young thing at a dance” asks you if you ever met this or that major, he writes, “merely say ‘No,’ in a distant tone. That will put her in her place…” Looking wistfully into a glass of booze works well, too: As Hemingway himself knew, ladies love the strong, silent type.
The key to maintaining the ruse, of course, is research. Hemingway advises the pretend soldier to learn some classic French songs and to get his hands on a solid literary war history, which will empower him to “prove the average returned veteran a pinnacle of inaccuracy,” since “the average soldier has a very abominable memory for names and dates.” “With a little conscientious study,” he writes, “you should be able to prove to the man who was at first and second Ypres that he was not there at all.”
Acting the part is important, too. “Be modest and unassuming,” Hemingway goes on, “and you will have no trouble. If anyone at the office addresses you as ‘major,’ wave your hand, smile deprecatingly and say, ‘No; not quite major.’ After that,” he writes, “you will be known to the office as captain.”
Those unfamiliar with Hemingway’s sardonic, tongue-in-cheek style may take his guide literally, an actual roadmap to usurping the honor that comes with military service. But Papa makes his feelings about stolen valor very clear in the closing section of his piece.
“Now you have service at the front, proven patriotism and a commission firmly established, there is only one thing left to do,” writes Hemingway.
“Go to your room alone some night. Take your bankbook out of your desk and read it through. Put it back in your desk. Stand in front of your mirror and look yourself in the eye and remember that there are fifty-six thousand Canadians dead in France and Flanders. Then turn out the light and go to bed
Manitoulin / Sudbury, Ontario area.
Longueuil PQ, Esquimalt BC, Dallas Texas
Jack Proulx Oliver, BC
Kent County Michigan
Cornwall On/Montreal Qc
Honolulu, Hawaii / Hamilton Ontario
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Sudbury, Copper Cliff, Orillia Ontario
Edmonton Area, Alberta.
Okanagan Falls, BC
Fort Frances, Ontario
was Gary Reginald ROWE aka Herne GALLOWSGLASS
Trois Riviere, Quebec
St Catherines, Ontario
KW Ontario / Nanaimo BC
St Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec
St Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec
Quebec City, Quebec
North Battleford, Sk
Red Deer, Alberta
Scotch Creek, BC