I use 17thfabn as short for the U.S. Army 17th Field Artillery Battalion. My father served with this 8" howitzer battalion during the Korean War.
I've used this same nickname for well over 15 years on various sites. Mostly history sites such as the old History Channel site. Although I used the same name on the DIY home improvement site! Great plumbing advice!
I am a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard. And I have the good fortune to have not been in combat.
This is not aimed at any one on this site. I have noticed many people will lie about their military service. A number of famous people and politicians in the U.S. have been caugh lying about their military service.
I've met several people who make out rages claims about their military service that I know are false. For example two of the three people I've met who claimed to have been involved in the U.S. invasion of Grenada. They both were not even old enough to have been in the service at that time.
I was talking about the subject of fake Vietnam Vets with a friend who was in that war. He mentioned the actor Brian Dennehy was a fake Vietnam vet. While Mr. Dennehy is a very good actor especialy in bad guy parts such as the sherrif in Silverado the closest he came to Vietnam was Okinawa in 1962.
You have to wonder how a high profile character like Brian Dennehy or a politician thinks they can get away with such a lie? It is much easier for some one you meet at a bar ... or the internet to claim an inflated military record.
Looking up Brian Dehhehy's story led me to this very interesting article on fake vets. It is not a new phenomenon!
I love this quote from the above article:
Amusingly, the man from whom Williams inherited the "Oldest Living Confederate" title, John Salling, was another phony. In fact, a dismayed Marvel wrote, "Every one of the last dozen recognized Confederates was bogus"
— including all three attendees at the last United Confederate Veterans' reunion, where, one imagines, they shared made-up stories of how they whipped the Yankees at Bull Run, witnessed the burning of Atlanta,