This just published by Larry King at the Philadelphia Inquirer, a great story on what this guy has been doing:
My Post on Diabo with more to come:
They lurk among us, maybe your neighbor, co-worker, even a husband, boyfriend or friend from church. They are Posers, desperate to find that small but powerful purpose in their life to give them meaning. It’s funny, President Reagan once said, “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they’ve ever made a difference in the world. Marines don’t have that problem.” Could this be one of the reasons there are so many fake Marines out there? I say this in jest, but you don’t see too many Air Force Logistic posers pop up on the radar with a Silver Star.
I am one of those guys who after 24 years in the Marine Corps, has the Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblazoned upon my soul. I live, eat, breathe, and dress Marine Corps (really, I think everything I own has that emblem on it). I know no other way. It gives me a purpose; something that I identify with. When at a party, usually Marines can sense one another, and will eventually gravitate to each other (at the bar most of the time); sharing a bond forged by years in the Corps.
See, I can understand the attraction to pose as a Marine or Army guy because of the brotherhood. So, it is with guarded jealousy that I strive to protect our Corps from the men and women who do not rate the honored title “US Marine,” and make sure they are posted on my site.
In January, a friend of mine sent me an email asking for help. Her brother-in-law was interested in a guy named Andrew A. Diabo, and he needed a set of Marine eyeballs on this guy to verify that he was actually in the service. The email included links to two stories published by Amanda Cregan at the PhillyBurbs.com.
They were about a Marine LtCol who was back from the war, and was about to lose his $530,000.00 home. In the story, the Marine was recalled after 9-11, and was sent over to the war for four or five years. Somehow he was behind in his mortgage payments to GMAC. The neighbors were a bit upset at the nearly completed eye sore across from their elementary school with no sign of the owners for over 8 years. They wanted to know what happened to their neighbor, and why the house was in the state it was. When it was published, and folks discovered that he was a “wounded vet,” a ground swell of support began, touching many hearts in the local area. This was the catalyst to put together a grass roots effort hoping to assist Andrew and his wife Evelyn by Marty and Paul in the articles. On a side note, the residents who complained about the unfinished house were unfairly crucified in my opinion with online comments like this:
“I cannot believe you would make this poor mans life harder. He is in Iraq fighting for your freedom and you are worried about what you have to look at in his unfinished home. I’m sure he would rather have his home finished as well. Maybe you could all track down his poor wife and see if there is anything you as a community could do to help out with maintaining the homesite for her. What a bunch of snobs you people can be. Making a soldiers life harder while he is risking his life for your freedom. Shame on you.”
On one hand, folks are looking out for our troops (good), but on the other hand, they were fooled by a self-proclaimed actor (bad), and that is the driving force for my lack of acceptance of these posers.
On the surface, this was a really well-written piece and a “feel good” story showing the kindness of the locals, and the way they reached out to a fellow “Marine.” As I read these stories, little red flags started popping up.
More to come