Michael's Dispatches

Veterans Bashing Veterans who are Helping Veterans


image001-1000Paul Rieckhoff, founder of IAVA, attacked by wild milbloggers

16 July 2012

Paul Rieckhoff is a veteran of the Iraq war.

After his return from Iraq, Mr. Rieckhoff founded the organization IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America).

IAVA is widely respected.  As a result, Mr. Rieckhoff wields considerable influence and likewise has a considerable number of enemies who wish to see him fall.  Some of those self-declared enemies operate a website called "This Ain't Hell."  These people are trying to destroy Mr. Rieckhoff.

They have accused Mr. Rieckhoff of unauthorized wearing of both a low-rated award (bronze star for meritorious service) and a unit patch.  The specific allegations, along with a statement that I just received from Mr. Rieckhoff, are at the end of this dispatch.

I do not know Mr. Rieckhoff other than through communications over the last few days, but I know something of those who are trying to bully and bury him.

The same people have pursued similar agendas with my own reputation.  For instance, the website "This Ain't Hell," is written in part by Jonn Lilyea and Mark Seavey, who both associate closely with the discredited website Blackfive, which in turn orbits with the discredited blogger CJ Grisham.  Grisham once published a photo of a dismembered mouse he killed.  He is known for veiled threats of physical harm to several women and three men, myself included.

Grisham presents himself as a heroic figure returning from war, whose mission in life is to kill zombies and to uncover frauds.  Who better to catch a thief?  Grisham, an active duty senior NCO stationed in Texas, makes frequent public appearances, raises funds, and uses his puffed up veteran status as a backstage pass.  He never misses a chance to belittle President Obama, yet the Army generals let him ramble on via Twitter and articles he writes.

Grisham omits that he was sent home early from Afghanistan this year after complaining about work stress. He never left base, and he saw zero combat in Afghanistan.  He complained that he could not take the pressure, blogged about PTSD, and suddenly he was back in Texas, bragging about going to a Godsmack concert.  He left his unit behind in Kandahar.

Why is Grisham important here?  Because Grisham still makes frequent media appearances and is part of an asteroid belt of milbloggers that some people call “milkooks,” of which Mark Seavey, Jonn Lilyea, Jim Hanson, and Matt Burden are members.

Matthew Burden is the founder of Blackfive, and is a Trustee at Soldiers’ Angels, known for its far rightwing leanings.  Burden padded his own military resume, which I stumbled upon but did not expose until now.  Burden advertises himself as a special operations veteran, and as a battalion commander.  Burden left the military as a major, and he did not attend special operations training.  He did not command a battalion in any way that most of us would understand the term command or battalion, and he was no special operator.  Matt Burden is a blowfish.

image003-1000Mark Seavey: Soldiers' Angels Trustee and Attack Blogger

Many of these bloggers, such as Burden, Seavey and Grisham, are involved with Soldiers' Angels, which resulted in my shunning the organization.  I cannot endorse Soldiers' Angels while Burden and Seavey are on the Board of Trustees.  (If these people are purged, I might reassess my stance.)

Just yesterday, Jonn Lilyea admitted on his blog that he obtained my military records via the Freedom of Information Act, but he found nothing noteworthy, and so he dropped the witch hunt.  Lilyea is the same guy who just days ago called a black man an "ape" on his website.  That is not a crime, but it is indicative.  Especially so considering Seavey is a hardcore member of that website, and a Trustee on Soldiers’ Angels.  Do Seavey and Lilyea believe that black veterans are apes?

Why is all this worth mentioning?  Why not just ignore them?  People have often asked these questions out of naivety.  In today's Internet world, and with the shoddy overall media quality from established sources, we see websites such as Blackfive, and characters such as Grisham, Burden and Seavey, taken at face value.  They damage and bully many people, but bullying will not work here.

Yesterday, Seavey emailed to me, "Jesus you are dense." I responded in part with, "Please don't call me Jesus."

Jonn Lilyea also emailed to me and copied Seavey with a photo maybe obtained from my military records:


Lilyea emailed the above photo with the following strange email:

Gee, I wonder how and why Jonn got Yon's ID card picture?

Jonn Lilyea
SFC, US Army

That about covers it for weird behavior.  Make no mistake: cyberstalkers can damage reputations and careers in the same way that a physical stalker can shove a blade into flesh.

Why would Mark Seavey, as a Trustee on Soldiers' Angels and blogger at "This Ain't Hell," put himself into a position where he appears to be involved in trying to destroy IAVA?  I am not alleging that there is some conspiracy to crush IAVA as a sort of clash of the charities, but I am saying with full seriousness that Seavey, as an attorney who represents Soldiers' Angels, must be fully aware that the appearance should be avoided as much as the act itself.

The saddest part of this is that veterans are bashing veterans who are helping veterans.

Allegations have been made by "This Ain't Hell" that Paul Rieckhoff engaged in dishonest conduct by wearing a Bronze Star and a Special Forces patch before actually getting assigned to a Special Forces unit.  Mr. Rieckhoff has been open with me, and I suspect he will be the same with writers who try to drill down to the core on this. It needs attention, as does the archaic paperwork system that our military suffers with.  Just recently, a trooper has been emailing me from Afghanistan that some Soldiers in his unit have gone months without combat pay.  That Mr. Rieckhoff's paperwork might be off is no surprise.

The original accusations are here.

I called Mr. Rieckhoff and we swapped some emails.  I asked for a statement, which he provided.


Thanks again for reaching out. I hope this will help clarify things for you and anyone else who is interested. I want to be fully transparent, so here is the background on the BSM and unit patch.  During my deployment I was told I was being put in for a BSM for service as a meritorious tour award. My DD214 listed a BSM for service (also attached for full clarity).

I tried to track down a citation later, but I never received one. Initially I attributed this delay to the fact I was in the New York National Guard but attached to a Florida National Guard unit in Iraq. But after several months, and multiple attempts to contact my various units to clarify, I assumed the BSM had not been awarded to me and I never claimed it again. I would never take the chance of misrepresenting my service record. Ever. And I’ve been in contact with the Department of Defense, Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA) to seek further clarification.  In the unofficial photo from 2004, I wore a service award that was clearly noted in my official separation form DD214 at the time. As stated above, my DD214 included the BSM for service. For soldiers, especially in the National Guard, that is always the form of record. I did not have a presentation ceremony or other formal confirmation of the award. But that was not unusual for me and many other soldiers in the National Guard who have changed units multiple times, and was the case with a number of my other awards from my time in uniform stateside, at Ground Zero, and in Iraq. I acted in good faith by wearing that service award and I take any allegation that I acted otherwise very seriously and personally. That day was the first and the last time I wore my Class A’s after coming home. My subsequent drill weekends et al were all done in Battle Dress Uniform, which does not have medals on it.

I had the SF unit patch on in the same photo eight years ago because I was in the process of transferring over to an SF unit at that time. Let me be clear, it’s a unit patch and not a Special Forces individual qualification tab. I have never claimed to be Special Forces qualified.

Later that spring, I was on national TV talking about the war and thrust into the public eye. It was definitely a whirlwind time that I’ve written extensively about in the past. I talked to the SF Commander, and given my new public profile and uncertain future, I could obviously no longer join that kind of a unit. It was disappointing, but because of the events of last few weeks at that time, I didn’t know if I’d be allowed to stay in the service at all. My life became pretty public from that point in 2004 on. So I stayed in the NY National Guard, and later the IRR, wearing the appropriate unit patches, until I was officially released from the military.

I know this letter won’t satisfy every critic or blogger, but I wanted to make sure my side of things was fully represented. I sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone—especially in the military and veterans community. I have dedicated the past 14 years of my life in service to our country, supporting our veterans and their families, and driving a positive, national dialogue about the unique challenges facing the veterans’ community. I hope I have made a significant difference in the lives of the veterans and families I serve.

Best regards,  Paul Rieckhoff

Paul Rieckhoff's redacted DD-214

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    nellie · 9 years ago
    The military is a large sector of society and, as a pure numbers game, will contain it's fair share of assorted nutters - it's a shame that anyone has to waste time to going down to their level to respond to their assorted ramblings - good luck with that Michael!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    BSWilson · 9 years ago
    Michael, you've provided us with great value in the insight and depth of reporting you've offered in the past years.

    With that said, these updates amount blogger bickering, and likely only serve to give them greater momentum at the expense of your readership. I don't care about the shenanigans of other bloggers, I would venture a guess to say that most would agree.

    We'd rather be reading about Mexico over milkooks.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Birchy · 9 years ago
    AS a member of the Air National Guard who has been rainbowed in with active duty units, he;s aboslutely right. I have the AF Commendation, Achievement and state Legion of Merit, and never receieved a ceremony for any of them. These aren't huge awards or anything, but most people get some kind of ceremony, if only at formation on Monday morning. I don't need one or anything, cause that's just the nature of the beast. Just want to confirm that it's not odd to have a medal from active duty, but never get anything in writing or ceremony.

    However, if it's on his DD 214, he should be wearing it! Good on him for not wearing it "just in case", but if it's on his 214, he has it, period. Thne 214 is the document of record for this sort of thing. I had a similar situation with my small arms qualification in basic. My original 214 out of basic had it listed, but it was dropped for some reason on subsequent 214's (as a guardsmen, you get one everytime you start and stop active service). I had to fill out a form and make some phone calls and because I had a 214 with it listed, it was an easyt process to have it added. I'm not being petty, awards and decs apply toward retirement points!

    ANyhow, good report Michael, as always!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joe · 9 years ago

    This a serious subject and you insert the following statement:

    Yesterday, Seavey emailed to me, "Jesus you are dense." I responded in part with, "Please don't call me Jesus."

    Mr. Yon, had I not just taken a bite of food this would not have been a problem however it has now caused me extreme PTCD...please give some sort of alert next time before intermixing these comments with your normal blog posts.

    All the best,

    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tommy B · 9 years ago
      While having a seizure :lol:

      Laughter lowers the blood pressure BTW 8)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan B · 9 years ago
    Thanks Mike. I have subscribed to and have supported your work. Briefly, I grew quite weary months ago of all the personal attacks and back and forths with the milbloggers. That said I really appreciate your work and the reporting on this situation. You also made great points relating as to why this should be brought up periodically.

    I am an IAVA member, met Paul briefly in 2009 in NYC and have spoken w/ members of his team on several occasions. I appreciate the tireless work and efforts of Paul, the staff and the countless volunteers w/in the organization. Unfortunately many soldiers in the Guard community can relate to Paul's statements about lost records and inconsistent personnel record keeping. Really really glad to hear the facts of this situation and that this is indeed a non-issue.

    Stay safe (and sane)!

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jim,MtnView,Ca,USA · 9 years ago
    So, SA is a whacko org with far right leanings?
    Would like to know about this since I have heard good things about them and have donated to them.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tommy B · 9 years ago
      I believe what Michael said was, certain members on the board of SA are right wing whacko's, which does NOT imply that SA as an organization is whacko, unless of course they start regurgitating publicly the right wing whacko statements of said board members, then maybe we'd all have pause for concern :eek:

      Therefore I see NO basis for your insinuation that Michael was handing out an indictment of SA other that he would NOT support them as long as said right wing whackos are on the board!
      Does that clear it up for you :-*
    • This commment is unpublished.
      valerie · 9 years ago
      Please if anyone has pertinent information on Soldier's Angels,share it. I am a regular contributor for quite some time now and recommend them to everyone..
      Thank You Mr. Yon.
      • This commment is unpublished.
        Robin · 9 years ago
        Because most of the work done by SA is done by the volunteers they are a good group. However, when it comes to donating money to them I stopped when I found they only have a C+ rating by different Charity review organizations. I started donating my dollars to organizations that can prove that the majority of their funds raised actually go to the programs and not to their marketing divisions.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John-Capt in ANG · 9 years ago
    The DD214 is an official document of record. This is why we were told to take it to the county courthouse upon separating and have it made a public record. This is exactly what I did. Go to the Orange County, CA county courthouse and you'll find mine.

    Hence, if tis on there, wear it with pride and give it no further thought. I had a break in service and upon re-entering I found out the unit I was in at the end of my active duty enlistment got an Air Force Outstanding Uinit award. I spent months trying to track the 81st Training Group historian (my unit, 5 4th, which got the award was later absorbed by our sits squadron) and gave up. Even though my service was for over 1 year of the two year period resulting in award, I don't wear it. I already had one so it would have just been a device (oak leaf cluster) so no big deal. It's in my 214.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Nelvin · 9 years ago
      I would like to tell everyone not to take their DD-214 and registering it with the court house. This was done in the past when if you lost yours and needed a copy of your DD-214 would take forever. If you needed a certified copy you could just go to the court house and pay for true copy of it. Times have change and true copies of your DD-214 can be requested and received in a couple of weeks.
      Yes, it is an official document. If you turn in you DD-214 to the court house it becomes a public records matter and anyone can request and obtain a copy of it. Along with Name, DOB, SSN, military awards, military training and complete history of deployments and all kind of good stuff criminals like to get to steal your identity, open bank accounts, request credit cards, etc. Enough said.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy B · 9 years ago
    Miserably incompetent!

    I have a bit of experience in dealing with veterans causes particularly the Vietnam Veterans while living in Brevard County FL. While participating in their functions I learned of "Stolen Valor" stories which back then it really had no such monicker, we called the perp's liars, frauds, and con-artists and exposed them by whatever means. When the web came into fruition we then had a really effective tool to spread the word about such deplorable actions and who was doing same.

    Now we have Veterans going around using that same medium, the Web, to bicker amongst each other over nit picking details of someone's DD-214? Inexplicably some of the same other so called "veterans" are actually making up stories about themselves and being believed by the gullible and the ignorant.

    This really pathetic, when we have many veterans causes these days that are largely being ignored while mil-bloggers engage in personal attacks and carpet bombing rhetoric against other veterans organizations.

    Defending one's self against allegations that are false is one thing, but to engage in artillery barrage banter is quite another and those engaging in same just should be ignored and/or shunned! I am guilty of being lured into this trap myself because emotions tend to run hot on these kind of subjects, but I have learned to be more strategic in dealing with these issues and more tactical in my responses.

    I always reminded in these situations of John Wayne's response to a young impertinent cub in his last great hurrah "The Shootist":

    ""I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."

    More Americans need to learn this particular line and live by it and we'll have a lot nicer society, but until then we'll have to live with the likes of the villains Michael so ignominiously exposed several times here!

    Which BTW Michael, I think you have given those losers enough publicity;-)
    • This commment is unpublished.
      george li · 3 years ago
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ron · 9 years ago
    I read a few of black5's blogs... something just didn't ring true about his comments and perceptions...haven't read 5 since...not a good source... am still reading your's... thanks for the clarification.. Ron
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tommy B · 9 years ago
      I can always trust Michael will consistently be a source for things that, he feels from the heart, should be said, no matter who is offended or embarrassed.

      My sainted mother sent me out into the world with the admonition that, it was always the little things that made people or crazy or as she put it, "Upset the apple cart" While Michael does touch on the "big things" it's the little things that matter most to the troops, from the time of Gen. George Washington to the present.

      Like for instance the troops ill fitting uniforms, weak equipment, weak tactics, weak leaders (like this Grisham character). It's these seemingly little things that drive the GI batty.

      It's the timeworn concept that all the little things one day add up to being the "straw that breaks the camels back" (an apropos euphemism if there ever was one)

      Michael is the revelator of all these little nagging straws 8)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    James L. Owens · 9 years ago
    Inteerestting about the DD214 abd the BSM. When I was discharged from the Navy in 1949 my DD214 stated I was awarded the American Theater Service Medal. Actually I wasn't, I needed to have enlisted a few months earlier than I did. I never wore it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy B · 9 years ago
    Michael I have seen all of the posts that have been deleted so far and some of them justifiably so, as they are reactionary attack rhetoric by the accused and their minions

    But some of the other responses you might think about as they seem like reasonable requests to disengage from the combat actions of blitzkrieg rhetoric between you and the "mil-kooks" :-*

    Let those pigs wallow in their own filth, rise above the stench and defend yourself but with dignity and clarity, not reverse blog trench warfare, ok 8)

    You are an interesting insightful writer and one of the finest photographers I have ever seen, and you have a wealth of experiences many of us would die for, and some have, (and we'd like to hear more about) so listen to the good part of your heart and put aside the animosity you have for these folks that don't begin to rate in your shadow 8)

    You have opened wonderful windows to worlds that many of us can only dream of or ever hope to see and experience. Please keep up that work and put all this garbage behind you. You are doing the lords work when you open peoples eyes to other worlds, but shut them when you go on the attack, please try to keep this mind. I know, I am guilty of the reactionary rhetoric sometimes myself and my wife is always harping on me to knock it off, that ordinary folsk don't want to hera it, and she id right, for once :-*

    Peace be unto you and yours ;-)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    LarsPorsena · 9 years ago
    :eek: I'm sure that IAVA does some noble work. But, before you fully embrace it, do some research on its non-vet staffers and board. They have one common denominator that's troubling for a 'non-partisan' organization.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tommy B · 9 years ago
      In answer to the veiled attempt at skecptsim above I went and checked on the IAVA BOD.

      The only real flag I saw that someone may a problem with is the Policy Adviser who worked for Anthony (HotDog) Wiener :P

      So what there are lots of folks that worked for Demoncrats, took their money split. What see is comprehensive group that has all the experience needed to run such an organization including the founder of Craigslist. :-*

      If there is someone in particular that offends your sensilbiities please point them out, because most of the group I would love to have my BOD 8)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon author · 9 years ago

    My webmaster takes care of that. Instructions are simple. No advertisement, pages from holy books of any sort, gratuitous ad hominem, gratuitous profanity, no obvious disinformation, and no massive sidetrack or hijacking of subjects. Basically, just keep it polite and on target and have at it. Chances are I will not even see those comments before they are gone. Banning less than 1% seems to make the site 99% better.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tommy B · 9 years ago
      And what a great webmaster you have too 8)

      I see he is a Joomla! hack like me 8)

      I hope you pay him well becasue most of us don't really make squat at doing this stuff :-*
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael Yon author · 9 years ago
    I have not embraced or researched IAVA. Only gave the accused an opportunity to say his side, while putting some of the accusers in the light they bring upon themselves.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    fthomas · 9 years ago
    There are those in this world who have risked nothing and accomplished less. Don't allow them to cause you to do anything other than move forward with goal.

    As you accomplish great things on behalf of our men and women in uniform it will not be without adversaries and negative pundants. Ignore them and Soldier On!

    Thank you for your service and your efforts on behalf of all those that served.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John_G · 9 years ago
    Gee Mike,

    I don't know any of these guys but 1, 2, - don't like Obama, lean Right and somebody said something that might be construed as "racist". Right out of Huffpo. I like your stuff by why don't you keep your politics to yourself.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy Lombardo · 9 years ago

    As far as I'm concerned anything coming from Paul Rieckhoff isn't worth spit. He personally attacked my wife in the media after she was part of a Presidential briefing that was televised in 2005 from Iraq. The attack was not only unprofessional, it was disrespectful of soldiers who participated from a war zone. If I ever see that asshole I'll spit in his face. You can pass on my worst regards,full name and email to him. Email back and I'll give my address too.

    I've followed you for years on your email list and appreciate what you do. It's just mention of that asshole again as a reputable source that riled me up enough to finally comment.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommy B · 9 years ago
    It's not that I am doubting your word sir, but I could find NO references to any such live briefings from Iraq in 2005 by President Bush and no one with your last name either :-*

    It would be nice if you could site this instance where, when and who was at said "live briefing" maybe a link to same, there must video of this somewhere, but I cannot seem to find same :-*
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan B · 9 years ago
    Paul did have an EXTREME left leaning media/policy consultant working with IAVA several years ago... some type of personal relationship there... and frankly there have been occasions where I have seen the non-partisan tightrope stretched a bit much to the left with several of the leaders.

    That said, as an OIF era Veteran, and volunteer active in Veteran reintegration and employment work, I am never the less grateful for Paul's leadership and his team's work. Many of us are using the new GI Bill benefits and so many more are benefitting from the watchdog efforts with the Dept of VA. IAVA has been, in my opinion, the most effective in engaging Gulf War 2 Veterans and ranks highest in my mind of all the Veteran Service Organizations...

    That said, I hope our Veteran voice does truly remain as non-partisan as possible...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy lombardo · 9 years ago
    Tommy B, the briefing was televised nationally from Tikrit, Iraq in October 2005. 10 members of the 42nd ID and one Iraqi soldier briefed President Bush days before the constitutional referendum. Reickhoff called out my wife (MSGT Corine Lombard by name after the event. The press picked up on it and savaged her as a disingenuous "hack" for the White House. Lara Logan picked up Reickhoffs comments hours after ward and ambushed her after requesting an interview supposedly about women in a combat zone. SNL followed with a parody a few days later. Cheri Oteri's depiction humiliated my wife's family, though Cori shrugged it off. Of course she was busy in a war zone at the time. Our Local press picked up on it naturally and suddenly my family was targeted by left wing blogs and cranks for attack. We recieved the most hateful mail and phone calls imaginable. My then 11 yr old daughter was afraid to go to school and had trouble believing that she was safe at home. Reickhoff's quotes, origonaly picked up by the Village Voice started all of that shit. He is no friend to any soldier and is only a self promoting asshole.
    Dan B, those words of attack did not come from some policy/media adviser. Reickhoff himself made the attack on the integrity of soldiers in a war zone. Nothing he ever does will pardon his sin of attacking the very soldiers he so desperately wants us to believe he supports. He is a class a asshole.

    By the way, I'm a vet also, AF 1975-81.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy lombardo · 9 years ago
    Dan B, I failed to mention that President Bush was in DC while the 42nd were in Tikrit. They used a satellite video hook up.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bob doe · 9 years ago
    I have my issues with IAVA but this is ridiculous. Thanks for the info Paul. I've defriended This Aint Hell from my facebook page.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Disharmony · 9 years ago
    I'd say one has to look real closely at charities as a whole. There is money to be had in charity, and some people would rather help themselves to that money rather than to the ones for which the charity is meant. Instead of looking into political leanings of staff working for the charity, one should consider such things as how much of the actual income to the charity is actually distributed to the veterans, in this case. Any charity where the actual charity part is less than other spenditure should be seriously questioned. Charities are meant for aid, not for profit.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Michael j. Kerrigan · 9 years ago
    The bad news is Learned of your work from the post "Veterans bashing veterans..." My limited knowledge of the thousands of entities whose mission is to help veterans, IAVA among them, most all are sincere in achieving their mission. My issue is with those civilians who lack appreciation for the sacrifices having been made by our veterans over the last 11 years and before. The good news is I now have book marked your site. Keep up the good work.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bob doe · 9 years ago
    Being a right winger I never trust a source that labels any thing as right wing whacko...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Randy Lombardo · 9 years ago
    Tommy B, Here is your hyperlink

    • This commment is unpublished.
      Tommy B · 9 years ago
      Okay Randy,

      I dug around some more using your wife's name in combination with Paul's and here is what I find.

      I find that your wife was part of a staged media event that was practically scripted by the GWB WH and your wife played a prominent role because she was the PA NCO for her unit and was doing her job as directed by her unit Command.

      Just by the flurry of links I eventually found on this staged event, (which is what all administrations do since PR came into play) I found that your wife was under attack by leftist media before Paul Rieckhoff added his comments. Paul was being used by the leftist media, just as your wife was being by the Bush WH, along with the other troops present, in a PR war between the communist influenced media and the Bush WH. (Kinda like the PR war the "obomination" and his commie buddies in the media are waging against Mitt Romney and the Repubiclicans as we speak;-)

      I didn't dig to see where your wife was specifically called out by Paul, but nevertheless your wife and your family was going to be attacked by the commie leftist media whether Paul said anything or not! I don't understand why you are attacking Paul here when it seems your hate venom should be directed at the perpetrators and NOT one of the other victims of the commie medias PR war against America!

      I do appreciate you, and your wife's service to an ungrateful nation of dolts, idiots, and MTV morons, but you have to direct your energies against your real oppressors and not people like Paul Rieckhoff being used as media PR pawns! I don't know Mr Rieckhoff and would not know him if I saw him on the street, but he seems to do a lot for veterans causes and is not sitting on his butt playing the victim card and waiting for a Government check, like I see so many doing here in Houston!

      He's making a difference whether you appreciate that or not and in the process of making a difference you're are going run across those who may have a difference of opinion, and when large amounts of money and influence are involved, those adverse opinions soon become an open warfare of words! I know! Been there, done that, got the scars and the torn T-Shirt;-) ( I was a PRO for a political motorcycle rights organization trying to overturn the state helmet law when I lived in FL, imagine the hell we caught from the nanny state media)

      That said, please direct your vengeance at those who have truly injured you on the commie leftist media, not one of the pawns in the present political warfare over power, greed, and corruption!

      Peace be unto you and yours :-)

      BTW here is a link to an article from a George Soros funded leftist website purporting to be "fair and balanced"! http://www.prwatch.org/node/407
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Marvin Rydberg · 9 years ago
    I served with Paul in Iraq and can attest to his leadership first hand. I find it disappointing that Veterans are tearing down one of the best of our generation after all of the sacrifices he has made. All combat Veterans deal with their journey in their own way. Those of you trying to tear down this man didn't fight with him or you would know better. His character, ethics, and moral compass are beyond that of ordinary men. Paul was a warrior in Iraq but he was also a man who understood what was right. In my book, if a man keeps his wits, honor, and character in the harshest of environments he is deserving of trust. I almost wrote "I wish you could have been there with us" but that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Back off the LT! Oooo-rah...the former Marine came out there for second.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robert Burrichter · 9 years ago
    Your article describing the back biting in blogerville, and Paul Rieckoff's clarification of his awards, brought to mind the National Defense Service medal I was awarded. I discovered that I was eligible after reading an article in PARADE MAGAZINE in 198 . It sits proudly on a shelf in my library. Great work, Michael
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MNNGVeteran · 8 years ago
    I'd like to state that just because your DD214 shows that you were awarded something does NOT mean it is necessarily true. The award would be in your permanent record and thus on any info requested from the NPRC.

    If you know you were awarded something (in this case a BSM) and you have the requisite paperwork to file a DD215 then you should do so.

    Like several stated above I have received awards and the paperwork for them but never had any kind of ceremony for them. It was a simple "You've been awarded this. Here's the paperwork and we put it in IPerms already so it is on your official record."

    The DD214 is the most forged document where military records are concerned so using it as proof you were awarded something without the paperwork to support it is not a good idea. Trust me I got questioned a lot about my CIB until I showed my orders for it.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank Visconi · 6 years ago
    "This Ain't Hell" is only one of several blogs out there that go after veterans with a vengeance. Lilyea and others like him prey of anyone they believe in their own mind is faking their military record. These people have nothing better to do with their lives but sit at the computer all day and bash people. One of these blogs went as far as to print my Social Security Number along with my date of birth and enough information that could ruin me financially let alone my reputation. They are miscreants and the law will not touch them. They hide under the banner of the 1st Amendment right to free speech but what they do is called defamation but the courts just toss these acts aside. Unfortunately I am one of the veterans that they prey on and they are relentless. What has happened to me is due to poor, sloppy record keeping by the Naval Records Department. There needs to be a MASS EFFORT to shut the likes of Lilyea and others like him down. Unfortunately, GOOGLE picks up all of this garbage and posts it. When I type my name in Google, there are four pages of information on me that should not be available to anyone and that is besides all of the garbage blogs calling me a fake and embellisher. Even when you send these guys proof of your innocence, they completely disregard it. Once they have singled you out, they will ride you until you can't take it anymore. This is cyber-bullying and stalking and it should be pursued by law enforcement with a vengeance.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank Visconi · 6 years ago
    Those on blogs like This Ain't Hell who call others dishonorable, are the most dishonorable of all. They are losers who have nothing to do that is fruitful, but spend all of their time searching for people (veterans) to blemish their good, honorable reputation. I, for one, am willing to join forces with anyone who is willing to take these guys on. They need to be stopped and guys like Lilyea and others like him need a spell behind bars to make them reflect on what they are doing.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sam Killeffer · 6 years ago
      Didn't have to search for Visconi, he surfaced on Marines.TogetherWeServed.com in 2009 with his tales of combat daring-doo while sporting a "ribbon rack" including his self awarded Bronze Star w/V, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Commendation, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. When he was questioned by members he furnished copies of Bronze Star and Purple Heart Citations that were obviously faked. In numerous lawsuits he sued the government requesting that those awards be added to his Official Military Personnel File but the government said no.

      His last case went to the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. In the courts decision it stated that "And, significantly, the citations that Visconi provided for the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, purportedly issued to him in 1969, do more to undermine his claim than to support it. When
      Visconi made his initial request in 2006, he stated that he had never received the awards and did
      not know whether recommendations were ever made or granted. Id. at 287-88. It was only after
      this request was denied that Visconi claimed to have actually received the awards and to have the
      citations that accompanied them. Id. at 71. At no point has Visconi acknowledged this discrepancy or explained his failure to include the citations in his initial request."

      The court denied Mr Visconi's appeal and Visconi's next and last move would have been to file an appeal with the United States Supreme Court which he did not do.

      This man is a disgrace to himself, his family, his Marine Corp League Detachment (he is the current Senior Vice Commandant of the detachment) and the USMC. He is a liar, forger and Valor Thief and anything he says would be questionable.

      To review the record go to "Blowfish-bomber.com" where a number of his court cases can be reviewed and there are pictures of him wearing his un-earned awards.

      Mr. Visconi has also recently finished in the top four as a finalist in the 2014 Blue Falcon Stolen Valor Award.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank Visconi · 6 years ago
    I served in Vietnam during a time when records were either not kept at all or they were lost or any number of things. My records are void of everything that happened while I was in Nam. If not for one single entry, and the dates of it are incorrect, you would not even know I served in Vietnam. I took on the Board for the Correction of Naval Records (BCNR) and they will NOT change anything no matter how much proof you send them. If it ain't on their records, then you didn't do it...period! I battled them from 2006 through 2009 and was finally told that their decision was final and my only recourse was to sue them in federal court (told that by the Naval Legal Dept). I did just that and after years in the court system, once again the "system" did not work. As far as blogs like This Ain't Hell and others like it are concerned, take a close look at some of the "threads". These guys twist your words, whatever you say, around to make it fit their agenda. There are so many idiots on these blogs they even contradict each other. These people are low life miscreants.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Frank Visconi · 6 years ago
    Reading "Paul's) letter on this site reminds me of my own personal experience with these cyberstalkers. I, like Paul, would never do anything to dishonor my service or anyone else's as I have been accused of. The people on blogs like This Ain't Hell, and formerly POWNETWORK.org run by Charles and Mary Schantag of Missouri (Charles passed away last year), are relentless and will dog you to your grave. They are shameless. It bothers me that I even served with men and women like them. Where do people like this come from? They have no scruples, no heart, and they are completely mindless of the harm they cause.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Richard Speights · 6 years ago
    A woman is defaming me on a web blog called, Prevent Stolen Valor, claiming someone from This Ain't Hell advised the content of her blog. I contacted someone on This Ain't Hell's Facebook page, and I was shocked at the low caliber of individual with which I was dealing. That is one belligerent dude, I must say. See my retort to Maran's defamation and my bit at the bottom on the This Ain't Hell website at: http://www.richardspeights.com/defamation-of-valor.html

    Richard Speights

    The This Ain't Hell website and others like it is a modern version of McCarthyism, online witch hunts.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      gEOrge Li · 3 years ago

  • This commment is unpublished.
    daniel a bernath · 6 years ago
    Mark Seavey, American Legion Director convicted of rape. DISTRICT COURT OF MARYLAND FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY
    8552 SECOND AVENUE, SILVER SPRING, MD 20910 Case No. 0602SP007062015
    Date: 0 /20/20154:20 p.m.
    KAREN WILLIAMS vs MARK C. SEAVEY, American Legion Director at American Legion Headquarters, Indianapolis Indiana
    and RESPONDENT'S COUNSEL(JOHN D MASON), and in consideration of the Petition and evidence,
    the Court makes the following findings:
    A. 1. There is a preponderance of the evidence that within 0 days before the filing of the Petition, the
    Respondent committed the following act(s):
    Placed person eligible for relief in fear of imminent serious bodily harm: THREATS OF PHYSICAL
    Based on the foregoing, the Court hereby ORDERS:
    1. Unless stated otherwise below, this Order is effective until 09/20/2015.
    2. The Respondent SHALL NOT commit or threaten to commit any of the following acts against Petitioner: an act
    which causes serious bodily harm; an act that places the Petitioner in fear of imminent serious bodily harm;
    assault; rape, attempted rape, sexual offense, or attempted sexual offense; false imprisonment; harassment;
    stalking; trespass; or malicious destruction of property.
    . The Respondent SHALL NOT contact (in person, by telephone, in writing, or by any other means), attempt to
    contact, or harass the Petitioner.
    4. The Respondent SHALL NOT enter the residence of the Petitioner at 6915 WILSON LANE, BETHESDA, MD,
    (Residence includes yard, grounds, outbuildings, and common areas surrounding the dwelling.)
    9M7 9M7
    Date: 0 /20/2015 JUDGE PATRICIA MITCHELL ID Number
    Violation of this Peace Order may be a crime or contempt of court or both, and could result in criminal prosecution
    and imprisonment or fine or both.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Richard Speights · 6 years ago
    Someone wrote a response to my comment under the name of Dwight Huth. I know Dwight, and he did not write that comment. At the time the comment was uploaded onto your site, Mr. Huth was asleep, since he works at night.

    The writer of the comment castigating me was written by a man name Dirk Hartog, of New York, a troll who follows me from place to place, casting aspersions upon my name wherever he goes.

    Thank you for your time,

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Adrian Anthony · 6 years ago
    My children had started a nonprofit organization that I swore we would do what ever it took to start. I'm a single mother, simply trying to start all over the right way. Without the abuse, and with Christ in their hearts. Christ has called us to the very best we can as patriots to care for all of our troops. We have canine veta that lice in our home. We train them,love, them,more then anything ony want them to to understand how to live again. Our church will soon be helping us so that children we able see their dreams uniting human soldiers whom also suffer the many levels of PTST . Eventually finding a compatible partner to learn to bond and and trust. Most of all fiction in society and remember they are still needed. This a lagacy to my children and families everywhere. A man named Jonn Laylea is has started a blog that the children's school, daycare,and my employer can see.. According to my reaserch he wears fraudulent badges and is prejudice. He will ruin all my children's dreams. A 10yr old put that sight together..
    Thank you for your time,
    Adrian M. Ford
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bobby Dias · 5 years ago
    Check out bobbydias.com to see what kind of person Jonn Lilyea (thisainthell.us) wants to destroy the reputation of(me).
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Demetrius · 5 years ago
    One of thоse CDs that аfter a fᥱw listenns the songs ɑre jjust etched іnto your memory.
    Τhᥱгe's a wealth of fantastic wrds օut thᥱre--use them.

    It iѕ loely to observe ѕо many couples aat tɦeir tables
    holdung hands.

    Тake a ⅼook at mmy homepaɡe: baby goodѕ: https://arleyballenger.le-vel.com/
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bob · 3 years ago
    I have noticed you don't monetize your website, don't waste your traffic,
    you can earn additional cash every month because you've got hi quality content.
    If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search for: Boorfe's tips best adsense alternative

    My web site FirstBrittney: https://10Bert.blogspot.se
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Oscar · 3 years ago
    I believe what you composed was very logical. But, what about this?
    suppose you were to create a killer headline? I ain't suggesting your information is
    not good., however what if you added something that grabbed folk's
    attention? I mean Veterans Bashing Veterans who are Helping Veterans is kinda boring.
    You might look at Yahoo's front page and watch how they write article titles
    to grab people interested. You might add a related video or a
    pic or two to grab people interested about everything've written. In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little livelier.

    Feel free to surf to my site :: hi: http://lksjflksdjf.net
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Meridith · 3 years ago
    It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

    Here is my site :: hi: http://lksjflksdjf.net
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ezra · 3 years ago
    It's in point of fact a great and helpful piece of info.
    I'm happy that you simply shared this useful info with us.

    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    Here is my weblog; hi: http://lksjflksdjf.net
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Thad · 3 years ago
    I have checked your blog and i have found some duplicate content, that's why you don't
    rank high in google, but there is a tool
    that can help you to create 100% unique articles, search
    for; SSundee advices unlimited content for your blog

    Visit my web site DannBold: https://ErmaTalks.jimdo.com
  • This commment is unpublished.
    retiredvet · 2 years ago
    Micheal. I served with Paul and he is not telling the truth. It was very clear when we left Iraq who was awarded the Bronze Star and who was not. Let’s say this action by the Lt is constant with his serve overseas with our BN. Always a look at me person and not a very good leader. There is more there if anyone really wanted to look into this.

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: