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The Vietnam War Wannabe and His/Her Most Used Lie
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The common lie told to friends (and particularly girlfriends and wives) by Vietnam War wannabes (a group that continues to outnumber actual in-country Vietnam War veterans by twenty to one [f1], is that they cannot produce a DD-214 or other military-issued documents confirming their (heroic/valorous) service in Vietnam because their military record files "remain classified" due to their "top secret" assignments in Vietnam.

Of course, those of us who actually served in Vietnam and held equal or higher than SECRET security clearances know well that security classifications were/are always on a need-to-know basis as well as sharply defined and limited to specific operations or assignments. And never, in any case, is/was a military 201 jacket (or individual personnel file) classified in full. But what many Americans don't know is that all Vietnam War records have been de-classified for over 13 years since 1994... and there is no, repeat not a single, Vietnam War incident, operation, mission, or military person who's activities remain classified since 10 November 1994.


The Vietnam War de-classification process began on 19 June 1992 when presidential candidate William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton met with USSR Premier Boris Yeltsin at Blair House, Washington D.C. Working with Clinton advisors Hershel Gober (later SecVA) and Jerry Bowen (later UnderSecVA for Cemetery Affairs), Phill Coleman, Senior Librarian of The American War Library strongly advised candidate Clinton to obtain his national security and foreign relations credentials by meeting with foreign heads of state. In one aspect this advice materialized in the unscheduled 19 June meeting that preceded Premier Yeltsin's first meeting with then president George H.W. Bush that occurred much later.

Readers should recall that at this time in 1992 there were no formal relations between the United States and the Communist-led government in Vietnam, nor since the end of World War II were there any formal discussions between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. on the hundreds of thousands of Americans unaccounted for from that war which were reported to have ended up in the Soviet Union servicing the Soviet defense industry.

In his meeting with Premier Yeltsin, Candidate Clinton convinced Yeltsin to de-classify and open up Soviet WW2 archives and intelligence files to assist the U.S. in resolving the fates of our countless WW2 MIA's. Yeltsin not only unjesitatingly agreed, he provided Candidate Clinton with access information and contacts in the U.S.S.R. to assist in information recovery.

Two years later, as Mr. Coleman continued to serve as military and veteran advisor to the Clinton Administration for veteran and military affairs, (now as president) Mr. Clinton agreed to assist the American POW/MIA community and other veteran interests to also declassify all WW2, Korea and Vietnam War documents for the two-fold purpose of allowing greater research into missing American military personnel and clarifying the claimed military service of fraudulent individuals who falsely claimed to be war veterans or former POW's.

The result of this appeal produced Executive Order 12937 which ordered full and completel declassification of all WW2, Korea and Vietnam documents... to include individual personnel files of personnel whether living or deceased.

Henceforth, no active, former or self-alleged American military member can truthfully state that their (alleged) Vietnam War or other foreign war service is "classified".

Should you or anyone you know encounter any individual who claims that he or she served in Vietnam but refuses to produce proof on the (false) basis that their military personnel file is "classified" you should inform the individual that his or her excuse is not only false but fraudulent and possibly punishable by fine or incarceration for impersonating a military medal recipient (under the Stolen Valor Act signed by George W. Bush, 2007).

Date-stamped References:

Executive Order 12937:

POWs And Politics: From WW2 To Vietnam:

[f1] 2.7 (officially listed in the DeptDef "Official Vietnam War Service Index) to 3.1 million Americans served in Vietnam. As of this date, 17 April 2007, approx 985,000 survivors of the Vietnam War are estimated to be alive today. (Information on access to the Official Vietnam War Service Index of Vietnam War Participants is located here:

Counter established 18 November 2008