Gregory Earl Witter aka Greg Lonewolf – Native American, Special Forces, Sniper, US Army Ranger, POSer, Blog of Shame2
BACKGROUND AND MILITARY CLAIMS
Lonewolf often puts forth a claim of Native American ancestry that involves the Oglala Lakota tribe (Sioux). The Native American claims will be explored in a dedicated section below.
Lonewolf has made various claims that he spent sixteen (16) years and twenty-two (22) years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Master Sergeant. He has made claims of participation in almost every modern conflict that the U.S. has engaged in. He has worked in Korea, Eastern Europe, Columbia, and Africa and twenty of those years in the Middle East.
Greg Lonewolf claims he was a U.S. Army Ranger, U.S. Army Sniper and served with Special Forces. He completed SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) training as well as the Special Forces Qualification course.
Lonewolf served with 1/75 Rangers and 5th Group Special Forces. He has been involved in rescuing POWs. He saved a man’s life in Somalia in 1993. Lonewolf gave details of his combat operations as part of Task Force Ranger in Somalia in 1993.
In Afghanistan, he lost his best friend and spotter from his sniper team. His friend’s name was Wade Emory Jacques and he died in Lonewolf’s arms in the back of a Blackhawk helicopter.
Greg Lonewolf’s team was involved with Task Force 20 that killed Saddam Hussein’s sons and part of the operation unit, Task Force 121, that captured Saddam Hussein.
There was also mention of Lonewolf serving with Task Force 141. Ronald Verini, who is a veterans advocate and writes a weekly column for the Argus Observer in Ontario, Oregon, wrote the following about Lonewolf after a speaking engagement:
|All combat veterans: Greg Lonewolf gave a moving address at the VAOI Event Center in Baker. Greg talked about “sixteen years in shooting skinnies in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and would compare his hell to those Vietnam veterans in a group at the VA that also have the CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge).” I took the previous sentence from a post by Greg. He is one of those great Americans willing to share his disability of post-traumatic stress disorder with others. He can be reached at retiredshooter.blogspot.com. Greg was in Task Force 141 and talks about their many missions and teaching others about things worse than death.
“It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it.” Gen. Douglas MacArthur
.In the end, Lonewolf claimed he retired as a result of injuries sustained in war. He gave details in that he was the only one of his men to return home from Iraq and he had to spend a year at Walter Reed Hospital. He claims he retired in 2010.
To sum up his career, Lonewolf states that he’s “pretty sure I have earned my retirement“.
Lonewolf has often made these claims as a part of professional speaking engagements and when soliciting donations. On the ‘Retired Shooter’ page on the Tea Party Community, it states that “Retired Shooter’s focus is threefold: Writing and Speaking to Veterans anytime anywhere, educating public awareness in each community and raising donations for Veterans Organizations”.
To sum up Lonewolf’s story, the female motorcycle group Bomber Girl’s LRC of Savannah, who are very supportive of all veteran causes, posted their support along with the press release for an upcoming speaking engagement by Lonewolf. One person even commented at the end that Lonewolf’s story should be made into a movie.
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NATIVE AMERICAN CLAIMS
As mentioned above, Lonewolf often puts forth a claim of Native American ancestry that involves the Oglala Lakota tribe. Within this claim, he says his father’s name is ‘Otaktay’ (meaning ‘kills many’) and that his grandfather’s name is ‘Akecheta’ (meaning ‘fighter’).
He states that he was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.
The “last of my family” claim may stimulate an image of “Last of the Mohicans” so this provides additional meaning, if not irony, to the name of ‘Lonewolf’. Greg Lonewolf also claims, beyond being born there, that he grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Although this case file is primarily focused on military claims, the Native American claims combine with Lonewolf’s Army background to create a interesting if not legendary status. This combination would peak an interest for anyone looking to have Lonewolf speak at an event.
Therefore, an exhaustive search was made of newspaper archives and other genealogy resources to investigate this claim further.
The Oglala Lokota are one of six Sioux tribes and they live on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The infamous Wounded Knee massacre occurred on December 29, 1890 near Wounded Knee Creek and when it was over more than 200 of the Lokota tribe were killed.
It is also a policy of Military Phonies to not involve family members and focus on the primary person of interest. Since Greg Lonewolf posted about his father, including his death, the information is already out on social media. The following research was deemed important to substantiate or refute claims by Greg Lonewolf of Native American ancestry.
Greg Lonewolf’s father was named “Earl Laverne Witter” and he was born in Rockford (Floyd) Iowa on 03 Oct 1914. He died on 08 Sept 1999 in Knoxville (Marion) Iowa. His father and mother, or Greg’s grandparents, were also both born in Iowa.
The U.S. Census data from 1920 shows that Earl Laverne Witter was living on his parents farm in Rockford, Iowa when he was 5 years old. This begins to cast doubt on Greg Lonewolf’s claim that his father was raised on a reservation in South Dakota, although it is still possible because Greg Lonewolf claimed his father was “forced into an orphanage when he was eight years old“. It is not clear if he was taken from the reservation and forced into the orphanage or the orphanage was on the reservation.
The census report shows that both of Earl Witter’s parents, now deceased, were also born in Iowa. For Earl’s father-side grandparents or Greg’s great-grandparents – Earl’s grandfather was born in Illinois and his grandmother was born in Ohio. For Earl’s mother-side grandparents or Greg’s great-grandparents – Earl’s grandfather was born in Indiana and his grandmother was born in Wisconsin.
There was no connection seen with South Dakota on either the mother or the father’s side of the family.
Earl L. Witter and his wife, who married in 1941 but are now both deceased, had four children. The first born, a boy, died in 1993. Then there were two twins, a girl and a boy, whom are presently living in Iowa. This throws more doubt on Greg Lonewolf’s claim that “I am the last of my family“.
An Iowa newspaper article in 1961 states that Mr. and Mrs. Earl Witter were guests in someone’s home. The oldest boy was not mentioned. He was to go into the Marine Corps in a few short weeks. The twins were mentioned. Greg was not mentioned because he was not born yet. This further established the Witter’s living in Iowa vs. Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
The above newspaper announcement directly undermines the claim that Lonewolf made that he was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Wounded Knee, South Dakota. It also establishes him as being born in Oskaloosa, Iowa which is 600 miles away from Wounded Knee, South Dakota. This also represents a nine and a half hour drive between the two.
Six months later, the same newspaper carried a section announcing newcomers to Pella, Iowa. This announcement states that the Witters lived near Oskaloosa, Iowa prior to their move to Pella, Iowa. The towns are eighteen (18) miles apart. Greg (who was misspelled as ‘Gregg’ in the article), was six months old at the time. This casts even more doubt on Witter’s claim that he “grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation“.
There are many more articles that establish Greg Witter as living in Pella, Iowa.
- Greg Witter at three (3) years old
- Greg Witter at nine (9) years old
- Greg Witter at ten (10) years old
- Greg Witter at eleven (11) years old
- Greg Witter at eleven (16) years old
- Greg Witter at eleven (17) years old
- Greg Witter at nineteen (19) years old
To further establish the Witters as living in both Oskaloosa and Pella, Iowa — the Rolscreen Company of Pella Iowa employed both Greg Witter’s father and mother. They were each recognized in 1976 as each having over 10 years service with the company. It is reasonable to conclude that Greg lived with his parents and they did not commute 600 miles from a reservation in South Dakota each day at 9.5 hours each way.
There was no connection found with the Witter family or their ancestors to South Dakota.
CONCLUSION – Greg Witter (aka Greg Lonewolf) was not born on a reservation and was not raised on a reservation. His Native American heritage is also not shown by a genealogy trace, but it is highly doubtful he is half Lakota on his father’s side. There is no association found with Witter’s ancestors for the name “Lonewolf”. Greg’s living brother and sister may be able to provide insight but there could be a chance he is estranged from them as he indicated in the press release about his life.
‘Gregory Earl Witter’ changed his name to ‘Gregory Earl Lonewolf’ on 27 May 2010, according to Idaho court records.
On to the military claims…
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FOIA RESULTS – SELECTED
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FOIA RESULTS – COMPLETE
SUMMARY & CONCLUSIONS
Greg Witter had a distinguished career in the U.S. Army. One that anyone would be proud of. Many of his claims are not supported in his official military records. He appears to have served in Korea and Afghanistan and it appears he saw combat since all of these are reflected in his awards.
There is no listing of a “Wade Emory Jacques” as a U.S. Army casualty in Afghanistan (or Iraq). There was an extensive search conducted of the Paktia province of Afghanistan as well as all casualties for Iraq and Afghanistan. There was no record of anybody in the United States by that name in several reliable databases. Therefore, it casts doubt on Witter’s story that this man “died in my arms“.
He appears to have served as support for 1/20 SFG, but he is not a Special Forces soldier. His records also do not show him as having a medical retirement.
His records do not support his claim that he was a U.S. Army Ranger, nor do they support his claim that he was a U.S. Army sniper. The records do not show that he ever attended schools for each.
His records also do not indicate service in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia or Iraq.
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SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009686831730 (active) [pic]
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retiredshooter8606 (deleted) [no pic]
Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/Tampa-Bay-Sailing/members/185225402/ (active) [pic]
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This Ain’t Hell: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=61608