Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Andrew Diabo, Fake Marine busted? Oh Yeah, wide open

April 22nd, 2010 Posted in The SandGram v1.0


This just published by Larry King at the Philadelphia Inquirer, a great story on what this guy has been doing:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20100425_How_a_local__war_hero__went_AWOL.html

My Post on Diabo with more to come:

Desperate Posers:

 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.

http://www.thesandgram.com/2009/02/04/poser-alert/

http://www.thesandgram.com/2009/11/14/another-marine-poser-bites-the-dust/

http://www.thesandgram.com/2010/04/17/another-fake-army-general/

 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

Tags: , , , , , ,

  1. 16 Responses to “Andrew Diabo, Fake Marine busted? Oh Yeah, wide open”

  2. By Barb on Apr 25, 2010

    Great job, Taco! This kind of jerk deserves to be fully prosecuted for the impersonation alone, but especially brought to justice for the fraud he brought in his neighborhood.

  3. By Starbuck on Apr 25, 2010

    It’s amazing that people still do this.

    Dave Dilegge (of Small Wars Journal) once noted that it’s really simple for a trained military eye to look at a uniform and have a good picture of where someone’s been, what they’ve done, and ultimately, whom they might know. Especially with digital cameras and social networking site proliferating as they do now, it’s relatively easy to spot these phonies.

  4. By Taco's Mama on Apr 25, 2010

    I had to laugh at Diabo telling people that he was working “deep cover!” I worked as a Genealogist in the Registrar’s Office of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and we had an applicant who submitted her papers claiming that her ancestor, John Smith, served in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia. When I wrote her and pointed out that it would be difficult for a man to serve in all those different colonies within a few months of each other. It sounded to me like she took any John Smith she could find and claimed his service! So, I wrote her and said that we needed more proof that all these services were for the same man and she responded that indeed they were for the same man because he was in the secret service!! :)) The Poser of the American Revolution!!

  5. By Steeljaw Scribe on Apr 25, 2010

    BZ Taco — keep up the good fight!
    w/r, SJS

  6. By Andy Kravetz on Apr 26, 2010

    This is amazing, but i have a question for you vets out there. First off, it’s wrong. People should NOT say they were in the service if they weren’t. However, many of the phonies I have seen have gotten no personal gain. This guy, it appears, did. Is there a different in the scheme of things or does any one passing themselves off as a Marine, soldier, sailor or Airman, even the much maligned Coast Guard, desecrating the honor and the service of the millions who have and will put on the uniform?

  7. By Taco Bell on Apr 26, 2010

    Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Andy, the problem legally that this guy will run into is submitting the fake Gov’t orders among other things. He returned some money that was donated as I understand it. He is an Actor bottom line and loved his “Role” as a Marine.

  8. By Andy Kravetz on Apr 26, 2010

    I agree. And I think he should get hammered for violating the law. Stolen Valor, falsifying orders, etc. It’s wrong. It’s lying and it diminishes what other vets like you have done over the years.

    But, I wonder if there is any mitigating factors for someone who just wanted to put on the uniform and be a Marine or Soldier as opposed to a guy like this who apparently tried to benefit and help himself. Both are wrong but is there a different degree of wrong. Is it flattery in a bizarre sense for one but not the other.

  9. By Martin Focazio on Apr 26, 2010

    I’m one of the people in the news articles, a “local” who knew Andrew, and tried to help him out. I believed him. I ate dinner with the man and his family. He’s been in my home, and we’ve looked after his kid. And I ALSO know the people who lived next to his unfinished house, in fact, our families shared a beach house vacation one year. Their comments were taken both out of context and with bad intent by the paper. They are good people, they actually wanted to help, but nobody mentions that.
    When the truth came out (thanks Mitch), he dumped me and everyone else here and high tailed it out of town, leaving food in the fridge and virtually all their belongings behind.
    If anyone wants to ask me something, go ahead, I’ll be back to this site to answer.

    Oh, and I have no intention of not helping people who need it – veteran, civilian, whatever, despite this experience.

  10. By Rich Joyner on Apr 27, 2010

    Andy, If someone is identifying himself as a Marine and he is not, it is an insult to the men and women who have served, plain and simple. If they want to be a Marine then enlist and do it, before I joined the Corp, I did not see the big deal either with guys who say that they are in the service to pick up girls and impress people, but now not so much. If you say you were in the service and you were not, the penalty should be the same as if you are posing as a police officer or any other branch of law enforcment, they should also be required to complete Marine Corp boot camp in lieu of serving time in jail.

  11. By Andy Kravetz on Apr 28, 2010

    I agree with you Rich completely. They should have to go through boot. That’d be hell at his age. :) Marine Recruit training is the hardest around (I know, the Air Force says theirs is harder).

    No one should say they are something that they aren’t. As I have said in a previous post or blog here, I feel sorry for this guy, not because of his troubles, but due to the fact that he had to lie about his life.

    Heroes occur every day. They can be the people who pump your gas or fix your car. Or they could be an Marine who served honorably at Hue, Fallujah or Iwo Jima. You get the idea.

    I was merely trying to see if there are degrees of bad – if that makes sense. Should someone get a break if they don’t benefit as it is a backhanded compliment or does it matter. In this case, he lied for his own gain, and that is inexcusable.

    Andy Kravetz, reporter
    Peoria Journal Star
    akravetz@pjstar.com

  12. By Bruce on May 19, 2010

    Andy, If someone is identifying himself as a Marine and he is not, it is an insult to the men and women who have served, plain and simple. If they want to be a Marine then enlist and do it, before I joined the Corp, I did not see the big deal either with guys who say that they are in the service to pick up girls and impress people, but now not so much. If you say you were in the service and you were not, the penalty should be the same as if you are posing as a police officer or any other branch of law enforcment, they should also be required to complete Marine Corp boot camp in lieu of serving time in jail.

  13. By Bob on May 22, 2010

    Does anyone know where in Canada he is from? My family is from a Mohawk Reservation in Canada and Diabo is a pretty common name up there. It would be a shame that this ‘man’ has sullied the tradition of many Mohawk men coming down across the border and serving in the USMC and other branches of the US Armed Forces. I want to warn my family about this guy in case he tries this scam back home. Thanks.

  14. By Taco Bell on May 22, 2010

    Bob, not sure but he was born on the Artic cicle on the French Canadian side. Adapted by a family in Montreal as far as we know… I would still email your family this story and let them pass it around. It may find it’s way back to someone who knows him and save them some $$$ before he bilks them of them their money!

  15. By Bob on May 23, 2010

    Thanks, Taco. The Reservation is just outside of Montreal so that scumbag could be there. I will let my family know about him right away. I think my cousins, whose father fought and was wounded on Iwo Jima, would love to have a nice little ‘talk’ with him about pretending to be a Marine. Thanks for the info.

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Apr 29, 2010: Mitch "Taco" Bell Helps Bust Another Poser
  3. Apr 19, 2014: The SandGram » Blog Archive » Going down the Poser Rabbit hole

Post a Comment