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Man Claims He Outed Military Impostor At Indiana Graduation

A former U.S. Marine told WRTV he spotted a man he claims was impersonating a U.S. Marine at a high school graduation ceremony in Indiana.
Posted at 12:26 PM, Jun 11, 2015

"It's very disrespectful to see someone else in our uniform that we fought for. And it's just extremely disrespectful to any veteran of all branches of service," Brandyn Skaggs told WRTV

That was Brandyn Skaggs, a former U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan. He confronted a man he says was impersonating a military officer at an Indiana high school graduation ceremony.

"Where were you stationed?" Skaggs asked the man.

"Camp Pendleton," the man said.

"What was your rank?" Skaggs asked.

"None of your business," the man said.

Skaggs' father recorded the exchange and posted the video to YouTube where it had been watched more than 100,000 times in just a day.

"I just immediately knew. It didn't take long for me to realize that he was a fake," Skaggs said.

Our partners at WRTV spoke with Skaggs and his friend William Jones, who also served in the military. They say the man's uniform helped them realize he wasn't a Marine. 

"It's the medals right there. You can see they're displaced, all over the place. First of all, he has two of the same medal right there," Skaggs said.

"The lack of a white belt — that kind of sticks out like a sore thumb," Jones said.

The Stolen Valor Act, first signed into law in 2006, made it illegal for anyone to lie about military service. That law was later struck down in 2012 by the Supreme Court, ruling it violated First Amendment rights.

A more narrow version of the law, signed by President Obama in 2013, made it illegal for a person to falsely claim he or she received a military award with the intention of receiving money or benefits for it.

Skaggs never did get an answer from the man about why he was supposedly impersonating a Marine. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.